Matthew is an award-winning bestselling author of nonfiction. Matthew specializes in exploring the intersection of the arts, storytelling, and pop culture. He has published numerous books, volume chapters, and articles in academic journals and magazines with over half a dozen international publishing companies.
Matthew's recent works have earned multiple writing awards and recognitions including a 2021 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD (Music Category), a 2021 NYC BIG BOOK DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE AWARD (Music Category), a 2020 NFAA GOLD AWARD (Nonfiction Authors Association), a 2020 BIBA BEST INDIE BOOK AWARD (Nonfiction Category), a 2020 LITERARY TITAN SILVER AWARD, and a nomination for the 2021 ARSC AWARD (Association for Recorded Sound Collections), as well as AMAZON BEST SELLER book rankings in both Kindle and Paperback formats (including Top 10, Top 30, Top 50, and Top 100 category rankings).
Matthew's writings offer readers educational, entertaining, and accessible approaches to such fascinating topics as Disney, comic books, film, broadway, fairy tales, jazz, horror, greek mythology, classical music, animation, and more!
COOL CATS AND A HOT MOUSE:
A History of Jazz and Disney
Foreword by Emmy-Nominated Composer Don DiNicola
**Winner of five international book awards (plus a sixth nomination)
This award-winning bestselling book details the fascinating true stories behind Disney's historic works with pioneering music artists -- sure to entertain and inspire both Disney fans and music lovers alike. Navigate a musical journey sprinkled with plenty of Disney magic!
GOTHAM CITY SOUNDS:
The Music of Batman Villains
Foreword by DC & Marvel Comic Artists Jay Leisten
Why should Batman's music get all the glory? This unique book shines a bright spotlight on Gotham City's infamous villains and the music that helps bring their twisted psychologies to life! Joker, Catwoman, Bane, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and so much more!
EXPLORING THE MACABRE, MALEVOLENT, AND MYSTERIOUS:
Co-Edited Dr. Elizabeth Kusko
Witches. Zombies, Monsters, Oh my! This collection of diverse scholars offers fresh insight into how perceived concepts of horror and dark subject matter influence cultures and societies around the world. Dive into explorations of subjects ranging from disturbing horror to the mysterious unknown.
THE PSYCHOSOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF DISNEY MOVIES
Edited by Lauren Dundes
"Disney 'World': The Westernization of World Music in EPCOT's Illuminations: Reflections of Earth"
Is Disney guilty of westernizing music? This chapter addresses accusations of musical westernization within Disney films and theme parks, with particular focus on the representation of 'world' music in EPCOT's (now retired) immensely popular nighttime spectacular "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth."
AESTHETICIZATION OF VIOLENCE, HORROR, AND POWER
Edited by Nur M. Erdem, Nihal Kocabay-Sener, and Tuğba Demir
"Staging Theatrical Child-Centric Violence: Aesthetic Ownership in The Pillowman"
Does theatre violence ever go too far? This chapter explores the debates regarding violence within storytelling, including historical theatre practices, original fairy tales, and contemporary staged drama such as Martin McDonagh's highly-acclaimed yet extremely controversial play The Pillowman.
MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES ON MEDIA FANDOM
Edited by Robert Andrew Dunn
"Music Behind the Masks: Fans' Reaction to the Sounds of Batman Villains"
Does music help fans emotionally relate to villains? This chapter explores the psychology of musical scores composed for on-screen Batman villains. This chapter was the origins of Matthew's 2021 book Gotham City Sounds: The Music of Batman Villains.
"A HERO WILL ENDURE": ESSAYS AT THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF GLADIATOR
Edited by Rachel L. Carzo
"'Wailing and Moaning': Gladiator's Music Phenomenon and Legacy"
How much legacy can one film score leave? This chapter discusses Gladiator's famous musical score from Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, including its long-lasting impact on 21st-Century Hollywood.
MYTHOLOGICAL EQUINES IN FILM
Edited by Rachel L. Carzo
"Pegasi and Beethoven: Sights and Sounds in Disney's Fantasia"
"Horse Depictions in Equus: Losing Staged Symbolism on Screen"
Matthew contributes two chapters to this scholarly book! One chapter interprets Disney's use of Beethoven's music in their 1940 animated film Fantasia, while the other chapter deconstructs staged symbolism in Peter Shaffer's 1973 controversial play Equus.
A CRITICAL COMPANION TO JULIE TAYMOR
Edited by Phillip Grayson
"Arachnephobia: A Defense of Julie Taymor's Arachne Character in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark"
What A tangled web! This co-written chapter defends the vision of award-winning director Julie Taymor for her created Arachne character in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, one of the most highly-publicized and controversial productions in Broadway history.
MAGAZINE & JOURNAL ARTICLES
MUSICOGUIA MAGAZINE (CIVAE Proceedings)
"Scoring the story: Dissecting Interactive Game Music and Sound Design in Everybody's Gone to the Rapture"
Just how powerful is video game music? This chapter discusses impressive breakthroughs in interactive music by dissecting the award-winning soundscape constructed by composer Jessica Curry and audio designer Adam Hay for the 2015 video game Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.
"21st-Century Broadway Musicals and the 'Best Musical' Tony Award: Trends and Impact"
How important are the Tony Awards? This article dissects the financial and cultural impact of a Broadway musical winning the coveted 'Best Musical' Tony Award, along with the award system's problematic history with representation.
SOCIAL SCIENCES (MDPI)
"Disney 'World': The Westernization of World Music in EPCOT's "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth"
Is Disney guilty of westernizing music? This article addresses accusations of musical westernization within Disney films and theme parks, with particular focus on the representation of 'world' music in EPCOT's (now retired) immensely popular nighttime spectacular "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth." This article was later republished in the book Psychosocial Implications of Disney Movies.