Cathedral of Trees performs original arrangements of progressive music for solo guitar, often combining classical, popular, and world music influences. Finding inspiration from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, composer Egberto Gismonti used a mix of primal and modern musical elements, informed by jazz, to reflect on the beauty and complexity of the natural world. Not afraid to keep things simple in order to be deeply felt, here the jungle can be a metaphor for divergent sources entwining to create a beautiful whole. Drawn to Gismonti, the Beatles and other composers who blur the boundaries between musical styles, Cathedral of Trees explores the natural rhythms and mystical sounds of Brazil and beyond through the voices of the nylon strings.

“Armed with a 10-string classical guitar, Anderson explores the intersections between jazz, classical, and world music with spontaneity and dynamism.” – Earshot Jazz 

A native to the Northwest on Duwamish land, Matthew Anderson is a graduate from Cornish College of the Arts and an educator with an emphasis on Baroque and Latin American styles. He was a soloist at St. James Cathedral from 1997 to 2007, where he specialized in the works of J. S. Bach. Matthew next explored the electric guitar, releasing two albums with the Seattle band The Endeavors in 2009, The Fine Art of Persuasion and Highway to Me (Spotify, iTunes). A proponent of new solo music, he premiered Kevin Callahan’s The Fourth Stream in 2011, which was inspired by Seattle’s golden jazz-club era and the music of Jimi Hendrix. Since 2016 he has been arranging the music of Egberto Gismonti and other popular composers for classical guitar, naming his project Cathedral of Trees after Gismonti’s musical compositions inspired by the rainforest. In 2018 Anderson was chosen to perform in Earshot’s Jazz: The Second Century Series at the vibrant Chapel Performance Space, Seattle.

Anderson closely follows the tenets of Slow Living, a vision that is being recognized all over the world by an amazing array of people working on new pathways. These include not only sustainable agriculture (check out Local Yokels!), community building, renewable energy, reforestation, social justice, new economic models and resource conservation, but also deeper explorations into the wisdom of indigenous peoples, feminine and masculine wisdom, and the roles of the arts, ethics, philosophy, science, and spirituality in healing the Earth. If we slow down, if we listen to the waves, and the wind through the trees, we will remember to breathe.

© 2023 Cathedral of Trees