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The Shift

“The Shift” – a short suite of 3 solo guitar pieces for Matt Withers, commissioned by the ABC in their Fresh Start Fund initiative, June to November 2020, premiered by Matt Withers January 2021.


10:00 - approx 3.5 per piece

Program Note

The Rain Will Go Away:
This is a piece that reflects being ‘in the thick of it all’. When life is dense, heavy & full of darkness, we seek to find comfort only in the hope that it will not be this way forever. But it is certain that it will not be this way forever. Seek solidarity in those things and people that keep your heart light, and know that beyond the pain of hardship, it will breed profound strength and knowledge in a new way of living.

A repose from the storm: this work revolves around the metaphorical repose in which we take a breath, when the storm eases even for a mere moment—those crucial glimpses of hope and clarity that give us the strength to push through adversity. A rest; a recharge, a re-lighting of the fire to fight on.

Beyond the mist:
Know that there is something beautiful, something wonderful, beyond the mist in front of you. Though it may be dense, it can be permeated. Though it may be dark, there is light beyond it. In hardship, we only need to dream of what’s beyond the mist, and know that it is wondrous.

These works were written as a reflection of watching a loved one slowly lose themselves in one of the hardest years our earth has seen to date. 2020 has been absolutely unprecedented, and it never really hits home how profoundly a pandemic like we’ve seen can take a toll on someone’s mental health, until we see it in ourselves or someone we love. The works move chronologically as I watched and supported this person through a painstaking existential crisis. At first, he thought the rain would go away—timely, neat, momentarily. Then, he had a sunbeam of hope that helped us push on—helped us fight for health and happiness. Finally, the mist lay heavy on life, but beyond it, there is something beautiful, something incredible just waiting for him to arrive.


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