All the Pieces
Reviewed By Pam Asberry
Lynn Tredeau released her first album in 2015; her fifth title, “Fellowship of Solitude,” was chosen as Best Solo Piano Album of 2018 by Zone Music Reporter. With her sixth release, “All the Pieces,” Lynn continues in the tradition of creating music that has been described as “eloquent, emotional and artistically clever.” It is “a beautiful collection of puzzle pieces that musically fit together to make a whole, resembling the many pieces of one person’s life.”
The album opens with the heartbreaking “Photos Without a Memory” which tells a tale of Alzheimer’s disease. The ostinato left hand patterns put me in mind of Erik Satie; the melancholy, improvisational melody describes the experience of sorting through boxes filled with photographs of people and places that have been sadly forgotten. “Love for a Lifetime” is a poignant tribute to the special person that walks beside you on life’s journey, sharing your dreams and sorrows and offering a safe place to be yourself. “One Drop is an Ocean” explores the delicate upper registers of piano, tinkling throughout like a gentle rainfall. “All in One Place” features a sparkling, upbeat melody over rolling left hand chord accompaniment and is followed by the tender and yearning “910 Taylor.”
The brooding “A Weathered Heart,” with its haunting minor melody splashed with dissonance, describes the way experiences of great joy and deep sorrow leave impressions on the heart just as stones become worn and polished over time. The epic “Sea of Amber” alternates between two themes – one pensive and bucolic, the other glorious and sweeping – and is a favorite. “Bohemian,” with its mysterious Eastern European flair, is another favorite. “Wilson’s Pond” expresses a childlike simplicity and innocence tinged with nostalgia and a subtle sadness. The jazzy “Broken Pieces” is followed by the sentimental “Precious Handprints,” its heartfelt melody singing over a simple left hand accompaniment. The album ends with the beautiful “History Yet to Come,” dark and solemn and emotionally fraught.
Of her composition, Lynn Tredeau says, “Just like most musicians, I compose from my heart and soul. Every song tells a story.” And “All the Pieces” is arguably her most intimate collection of musical stories to date. Recommended!
Snowlight: A Christmas Memory
Reviewed By Darla Bower
SnowLight A Christmas Memory is a festive kick-off to the fast approaching Christmas holiday season. This album is a combination of Mrs. Tredeau’s arrangements of traditional Christmas carols and her own compositions. This album boasts of melodic rearrangements of favorite Christmas carols but yet invokes a joyful reflection of Christmas season’s past and present with delicate enticement. Each piece has a surprising and different interpretation of classic Christmas carols while showcasing gentle artistry. Several of my favorite Christmas carols are found in this seasonal presentation. The title and CD cover give the impression of fond memories of Christmas past. I am told the photo was developed by Mrs. Tredeau’s son. Each arrangement was appealing to me for their quiet melodic structure and “playability” which will appeal to both music students and musicians alike.
There are several carols on SnowLight that stood out to me. The first track and also the title track of the CD is a wistfully sweet melodic composition. SnowLight begins by whispering a gentle treble flow and continues to give the picture of rhythmic falling snow throughout. I think this piece will become a favorite to play and enjoy year-round. SnowLight lights the way into a magical music journey. My absolute favorite on this CD is Hark the Herald Angels Sing – the intro in this piece foretells an unexpected arrangement of this carol in B flat Major. I loved it! Pines Dressed in Winter evoked the image of pine tree’s flocked with snow even though Mrs. Tredeau said she wrote this piece in the middle of summer. The song does give the listener the imagery that was intended flowing into the upper register which reminded me of tall snow laden pine trees. Colors of a Winter Night is a song about the Northern Lights from her time spent living in Alaska. This piece captures the brilliant colors of each note played in F minor giving a musical portrait of the Northern Lights—loved this one as well. Mrs. Tredeau’s use of both the upper and lower register throughout this CD really drew me in as a listener.
This project has been a wonderful and amazing experience according to Mrs. Tredeau. While doing Christmas arrangements for her students, she decided to do her own compositions and arrangements for a Christmas album. I am so glad she did! This delightful CD will be a welcomed addition to any friend or family gathering of Christmas celebration or even for quiet reflection of holiday solitude. I highly recommend this CD. SnowLight A Christmas Memory is available at: lynntredeau.com, Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes. ‘Tis the season to turn up the volume and enjoy SnowLight A Christmas Memory.
Fellowship of Solitude
Reviewed by Pam Asberry
Lynn Tredeau is an American musician who lives and performs in the Pacific Northwest and “Fellowship of Solitude” is her fifth album. Her music has received multiple nominations since her debut in 2015 (her holiday album, “SnowLight” won Best Holiday Album 2016 at Enlightened Piano Radio) and it is easy to see why. Tredeau’s style is graceful and elegant, her music unpretentious and evocative.
Believing in the importance of solitude to our emotional health and well being, Tredeau has created an album with pieces providing opportunities for reflection and contemplation, from which we emerge with a renewed sense of resolve and purpose. The title track, “Fellowship of Solitude,” expansive and flowing, sets the perfect tone for the rest of the album. “Traces of Daylight” is upbeat and sparkling, followed by the melancholy “Land of Forgotten Dreams,” a sorrowful reflection on childhood hopes and dreams that will never be realized.
The Owyhee Mountains, located in extreme southwestern Idaho, was one of the areas of the continental United States to be reached by explorers and one of my favorite tracks, “Call of the Owyhees,” speaks powerfully to the rugged beauty and wilderness of this terrain. “Love Leaves a Memory” is an uncomplicated tune making more use of the lower register of the piano. “What Hides in the Dark” refers to the secrets from our pasts that we keep from all but those closest to us. A repeating section of this piece seems to be a conversation between the past (resonant bass octaves) and the present (haunting snippets of melody in the upper register of the piano) – quite fascinating and makes this piece another favorite.
“Afternoon Reflection” is a luscious, soaring musical description of a lazy summer afternoon. “The Time Machine,” is another melancholy rumination, resolved by “Peace in the Midst,” – no matter how much we might wish we could turn back the hands of time and undo past mistakes, we must all make peace with the fact that this is impossible. “Left Behind” is a poignant reminder that though we might have the notion that we have not lived up to our potential we are, in fact, right where we are supposed to be and is followed by “Life is in the Journey,” Tredeau’s reflection on her own life’s path, each new day providing her with the opportunity to learn more about herself and the world around her.
A final favorite, the dark, atmospheric “Purple Fog,” is a departure from Tredeau’s usual style and makes for a contemplative finish to this introspective and engaging musical experience. Very highly recommended!