Imaginations is an album of Australian compositions for guitar and string quartet – including eight world premiere recordings – performed by Matt Withers and Acacia Quartet.
The album 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 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’.
Matt Withers guitar
Acacia Quartet: Lisa Stewart violin Myee Clohessy violin Stefan Duwe viola Anna Martin-Scrase cello
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RICHARD CHARLTON Shorelines* 1. I. Dark Horizon 2. II. The Lonely Shore 3. III. Storm Dance Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet
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* Acacia Quartet
NICK WALES 9. Harbour Light Acacia Quartet
NAVA RYAN 10. Solitude* Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet
ROBERT DAVIDSON 1. Landscape* Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet
PHILLIP HOUGHTON In Amber 2. I. Dance 3. II. Dream 4. III. Initiation Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet
GORDON KERRY String Quartet No. 5* 5. I. Bright Summer 6. II. Seascape 7. III. Scherzo 8. IV. Fantasia on ‘Hyfrydol’ Acacia Quartet
RICK ALEXANDER 19. Storming* Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet