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Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet - Imaginations

Matt Withers guitar | Acacia Quartet

ABC Classic is proud to announce the release of Imaginations, an album of Australian compositions for guitar and string quartet – including eight world premiere recordings – performed by Matt Withers and Acacia Quartet.

Imaginations features the winning works of the 2018 Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition – Wade Gregory’s Water Music, Rick Alexander’s Storming and Nava Ryan’s Solitude – coupled with new commissions and pre-existing favourites for the ensemble combination.

Established works by Richard Charlton, Nick Wales and the late Phillip Houghton are featured alongside premiere recordings of Robert Davidson’s solo guitar work Forest, Gordon Kerry’s String Quartet No. 5 and Moya Henderson’s Kudikynah Cave.

The competition called upon composers to submit an original composition inspired by the visual artwork of Queensland based artist, Sue Needham. As with Needham’s artwork, the works featured on Imaginations are rich in sonic colour and texture, conjuring visions of striking natural landscapes and seascapes.

“Matt is an inspiration in his artistry and in his boundless enthusiasm for new Australian works, and he has exceptional collaborators in the brilliant Acacia Quartet”, says ABC Classic Label Manager Hugh Robertson. “Imaginationsis an album rich in colour and movement, and gives audiences their first opportunity to hear recordings of a number of exciting new pieces.”

Matt Withers is an ambassador for Australian music, a well-established classical guitar pedagogue, performer and role model for musicians across the country. His career to date has seen him perform with highly esteemed artists of the likes of William Barton, Sally Whitwell, many national orchestras as well as maintaining strong commitments in the leading Australian chamber music group Guitar Trek alongside Timothy Kain.

In just eight years of existence, Acacia Quartet have won great respect for their versatile and inventive programs. They have recorded six albums, with ‘Blue Silence’ earning a nomination for an APRA-AMCOS Art Music ‘Award for Excellence’.

TRACKLISTING

RICHARD CHARLTON
Shorelines*
1   I. Dark Horizon
2   II. The Lonely Shore
3   III. Storm Dance

WADE GREGORY
Water Music*
4   I. Clouds
5   II. River
6   III. Ocean

Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet

ROBERT DAVIDSON
7   Forest*

Matt Withers

MOYA HENDERSON
8   Kudikynah Cave*

NICK WALES
9   Harbour Light

Acacia Quartet

NAVA RYAN
10    Solitude*

ROBERT DAVIDSON
11    Landscape*

PHILLIP HOUGHTON
In Amber
12    I. Dance
13    II. Dream
14    III. Initiation

Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet

GORDON KERRY
String Quartet No. 5*
15    I. Bright Summer
16    II. Seascape
17    III. Scherzo
18    IV. Fantasia on ‘Hyfrydol’

Acacia Quartet

RICK ALEXANDER
19    Storming*

Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet

*World Premiere Recordings

Matt Withers guitar

Acacia Quartet
Lisa Stewart violin
Myee Clohessy violin
Stefan Duwe viola
Anna Martin-Scrase cello

Release
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.