To Be Sure

by Nathan Matthews

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price




This album consists of two solo marimba works, "a ray of living light" and "Themes for Now", which I commissioned from respective composers (and non-marimba players) Elliot Cole and Skyler Hill. The result of the commissions is a fresh step in marimba literature, created by two imaginative, talented, and charming individuals, whose work I hope to have presented adequately. These commissions were an attempt to highlight the reflective, humble, and accessible nature of the instrument, which is often replaced with pigeonholed, scholarly endeavors, aimed towards other percussionists. Emotion, simplicity, beauty, and accessibility, often get overshadowed by technicality, masculinity, "licks", and the inherent need to lock solo marimba in a purely academic setting, abandoned upon graduation. The work on this record is performed on an instrument I love, written by people whose spirit and heart I believe in. That's all.

Regardless of familiarity with this instrument, I hope you enjoy.

"a ray of living light, to be sure, but without an object to color..." (Melville)


released April 6, 2017

'a ray of living light' was composed by Elliot Cole and 'Themes for Now' was composed by Skyler Hill. Bloom Suite was composed by Elliot Cole. Audio engineering by Jeremy Snyder. Album cover by Zachary Neesmith. Lyrics for "Now" comes from a poem of the same title by Campbell McGrath.



all rights reserved


Nathan Matthews Rock Hill, South Carolina

contact / help

Contact Nathan Matthews

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Themes for Now - Now
It is a wish a dream
The hose of just this moment
We live in it now

After the clouds have passed
The river floods the valley
The future does not exist

They grow and we hew them for home
It strikes a spark and the forest burns
They grow and we hew them for home
It strikes a spark and the forest burns
It burns
It burns
It burns
It burns
It burns

But the trees remember
Their claim upon the land
The past does not exist

It is the house of this
Of just this every moment
We live in it