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Fellowship of Solitude by Lynn Tredeau
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 7/16/2018
An album of stunning quality
Lynn Tredeau is without doubt one of the break out solo piano stars of the last few years, but the artist from the pacific northwest hasn’t rested on her laurels and with this new album, she has gone to a place on inner reflection and deep thought and has probably created the best album in doing so. Fellowship of Solitude, apart from having a superb title header for a release, is a place we must all go at some stage, a place to re-energize after a period of change, a sojourn of rest and rejuvenation and then the dawning of a new era comes from that fresh sense of reality.
Fellowship of Solitude the track, is the perfect musical accompaniment of that energy, one could sit by a lake on an autumn afternoon and ponder on life and how things may have been different, then as the day slowly ends, we come to realise that we have only one option, to move onward and upward. This deeply reflective track moves me and helps me move on too.
Tredeau has been honing and sharpening her skills for years now and with each release you can sense and feel the constant positive changes all falling into place. You only have to listen to Traces of Daylight to sample that for yourself, this is one amazingly cultured opus of brilliance and probably the closest that the artist has gone to a film score composition so far. Her melody and energy on this piece creates a sense of hope as night fades and the sounds of her imploring performance ushers in a brand new sparkling day of hope.
I have been having some very bizarre dreams lately, it is as if I am travelling through my whole life all at the same time and one wakes with a sense of confusion as the day starts to crawl past the curtains of the night. Land of Forgotten Dreams is probably the piece of music I could easily choose as my soundtrack of that moment. There is a deep sadness and melancholy nature about this offering that is amazingly musically appealing to me as a writer, I adore the creation of the minor keys and the reflective nature of the story it tells.
We now move to a very effective and most charming arrangement indeed called Call of the Owyhees. Now I am a lover of mountain ranges and as far as I can tell this beautiful fluent track is a testament of musical magic, to the mountain range and all it contains in Owyhee County, Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon. If this is so, Tredeau has created something truly graphic and picturesque that one could actually be there.
On Love Leaves a Memory, we can literally watch and listen to the artist playing with her heart on her sleeve, if one ever doubted Tredeau’s ability to manifest truly moving music, then you need to listen to this one on repeat 10 times at least. Tredeau’s skills as a composer and performer here are simply stunning; this is pure emotion and truth, pouring from the piano and done with such style and charm.
As we crawl over the top of the ridge we can note that we have reached the half way marker, we must do so with care now, as what lays just the other side is something deep, something that may not wish the light of day to be poured upon its wings. This is the truly brilliant What Hides in the Dark. While the doorways to the realms of hidden truths creak open, this performance is and seems to be saying, perhaps it’s better to leave those skeletons where they lay. In my opinion, this is one of the finest compositions that Tredeau has created thus far, one that almost borders on the edge of the classical, a true moment of mystical genius can be found here.
There is always a moment to stop and just admire the view and on Afternoon Reflection we have that very segment of tranquillity. This extremely smooth and peaceful reverie will blissfully ease your afternoon, and Tredeau’s performance here is as sun kissed as the energy that it exudes.
There can be no doubt that this musical voyage has thus far been a splendid one indeed, and that divinity of creation continues with this next offering entitled The Time Machine. Now I adored the movie featuring the acting talents of Rod Taylor back in the 60’s, but I sense that this track is a wish that in some ways we could all have access to a machine, one that could take us back in time, so that we may actually say the things we wanted to say and do the things we wanted to really do, and make our luxury of hindsight today, a reality in the past as well. Having said that artist has to be commended for producing a really addictive piece here, perhaps one that could be used in any new movie about the subject anyway.
I was so very happy to float within the peaceful realms of this next composition, Peace in the Midst. Touching the hem of David Lanz here perhaps, Tredeau brings to the table one of her best arrangements to date and without doubt one of her most technically brilliant performances as well. This has a sense of ambience and a tempo that is set in a dimension of musical majesty that is utterly supreme in every way, and one that I will be revisiting frequently.
There is a delightful reflective nature about Left Behind that is so moving and emotive. The artist has worked hard on bringing this side of her into her compositions and she has manifested so many moments of memorable honesty here. This piece has a sensitive narrative and as the piano is played, one can almost travel along with her on her journey of reflection and aloneness.
The penultimate piece off the release is called Life is in the Journey. The truth in the title is of course correct at every turn and twist of the path it has taken us to get where we are in our lives. Here Lynn Tredeau is masterful in painting the picture musically of her songs title, at times gentle, at times powerful and moving, and with a little intensity and reflection into the mix as well.
We finish now with a curious offering called Purple Fog. However if you listen intently here, as I am sure you will, you will hear a depth and an intensity that is quite clever and very attractive to listen to. The slowness of the tempo draws a lush sense of colour within the offering, one that has been crafted so well.
Fellowship of Solitude is Lynn Tredeau’s best work so far, she has achieved a wonderful sense of balance and fluency among the reflective and inspiring pieces, her performances on the release paint a picture of confidence that only an artist of her growing eminence, and ability can do. Fellowship of Solitude is an album that contains pieces of stunning quality, all performed by a pianist who has clearly not only found her musical soul, but is embracing it with such a wonderful sense of fellowship and class.
Rating: Excellent
Song of the Sidhe by Lia Scallon
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 6/27/2018
Allow yourself to go on a voyage of wonderment
When you are presented with an album like this, it’s best to listen to its utter majesty in its entirety first, to allow all that has been created to sink in and fully flow within your energies. Lia Scallon has been on our radar since the release of The Luminous Pearl, Songs of Mystery, Beauty and Light, back in 2013, that album has a special warm place in our hearts as it was one of the first ever played on One World Music Radio and now Lia is back with this outstanding and glorious new release called, Song of the Sidhe, The Fairie People Arise From The Mists Of Time.
The opening of this album simply entitled Prelude, is a call to reunification between the Faeire realm and humanity, it is a stirring and wonderfully narrated arrangement to wake up the slumbering hearts of humanity, to cast away the fear and insecurities and join once again with the other realms to create an age of peace and real purpose. Scallon’s audio here is film score in quality and something I would have loved to have done; you will never get a better start to an album than this.
Now it’s time to rest in the arms of a magical realm, allow yourself to float in tone and listen to Queen Tea’s Plea. Scallon’s channelled vocals of the Faeire realm here are so moving, so passionate and so deeply felt. If we could all just stop for one moment, and before our next action, allow ourselves to listen to what is beyond our comprehension, you can do just that with this quite breath taking opus as a soundtrack for your new perception.
Feeling moved, feeling a deeper awareness open up, we now arrive at the next dimensional musical portal entitled King Heremon’s Return. The Celtic influences here are now even more pronounced, Heremon heeds the call of Queen Tea and thus begins his return across hill and valleys green and even the smallest of creatures can feel his presence as he passes. The depth of this piece is stunning, the manifestation of a wonderful energy of regal essences is strong here, and all the while Scallon’s voice flows like the ever dark rivers of Ireland’s lands, calling her King home.
Albums like this are a complete treasure, they are a concept, a long tale told over the eons of time, whispered in the hall ways of the holy and enjoyed by masses of humanity, those who truly enjoy the nature of a grand musical voyage. That sojourn into this outer world’s musical realms is continued within this next piece called The Fairie Portal Opens. The half way marker has been breached and this amazing opus is now before us, the strings here are so beautiful to flow with and manifest such a fluidic dimension of style, it is a literal pleasure to bathe in its energies. Scallon’s voice is the key to this most majestic of portals and we can simply just trust and be at total peace as we watch it open in total bliss. This was one of my personal favourites from the album, the multi instrumental nature of the arrangement is sublime and multi-faceted too, one that seems to drift like an alternate reality of minor and major merged as one.
As we move into the latter half of the release we come across something truly remarkable called The Rising of the Sidhe. Once more the strings set the scene and the piano narrates a gentle landscape of tone all around us, then the artist connects once more to her inner Fae and brings a perfect vocal performance, listen to the flute of (Shakimra) in this composition, it is so moving, the combination of the violin of Simon McMenamin added to Scallon’s vocals will move you to tears of absolute bliss.
Now I know this next piece has been featured on various shows on One World Music Radio and I can see why. Enchanted Crystalline Lake is simply dreamy and takes the listener across the smooth mirrored and mystical pools of a beautiful green lake. We can be totally entranced by the vocals of the artist, but also by the amazing flute of Shakimra and the delicate dance of the fingers on the harp by Joy Zahner, and the Viola of McMenamin seals the deal and manifests the stand out track from the release.
As the mists of time and tide clear from our view, we arrive at the penultimate portal of this wondrous musical realm. The mystical majesty here is literally stunning, I found it difficult to move whilst listening to this piece, I nearly forgot to breath, not a good thing! Stone of Destiny is one of those pieces that demands a place in a movie and has to be one of the most powerful and inspiring pieces I have heard from the artist. There is a vast energy about this composition that is so very appealing and one could easily get lost in its numinous charms, now this is what I call instinctual genius in full operation.
Our voyage of musical bliss is nearly at an end, but before we depart this realm of enchantment, the artist has one more gift of tone and timbre for us to take with us on our journey. This melodic moment of masterful magisterial bliss is simply the perfect end to the album and called Tara’s New Reign. The backdrop of keyboards creates a delightful calming energy to the offering and one also has to applaud the soft percussion from Ben Hakalitz, indeed Mark Mannock’s work on keyboards draws such a sweet refrain when partnered with Scallon’s vocals, it manifests a heartfelt sense of emotion.
Hats off to all who performed on this breath taking release, including those whom I have not mentioned thus far, Nigel Pegrum, Christine Jackson and Kirk Steel, whose contributions on this superb release are outstanding in all ways and very much appreciated by this music writer.
Song of the Sidhe is a splendid album indeed, if you allow yourself to go on this voyage of wonderment with the artist openly, you will return happier and fuller filled because of it. I had eagerly awaited this album, the eleventh in the series, and I will say without hesitation this is by far Lia Scallon’s best work. Brilliantly produced, lovingly created, Song of the Sidhe is an album that demands to be part of the top shelf, of your musical greats.
Rating: Excellent
Eirlandia by Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning
- posted by Gena on 6/20/2018
Exceptional Contempo Celtic CD Johnson & Dunning
EXCEPTIONAL CONTEMPO CELTIC AVAILABLE ON NEW ALBUM BY JOHNSON & DUNNING

If you like Contemporary Celtic music, you probably have heard Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning previously because they have been making acclaimed Celtic recordings together for more than 30 years over the course of about 18 albums. Their new one is EIRLANDIA, full of beautiful melodies made by wood flutes (Dunning), keyboards (Johnson) and special guests on violin, wordless vocalizations, bass, guitars and Ebow guitar. The music was inspired by the new Celtic fantasy novel by best-selling author Stephen R. Lawhead, “In The Region of the Summer Stars - Book 1 of the Eirlandia Series.” Johnson & Dunning have worked with Lawhead many times in the past to create veritable soundtracks-for-the-novels. The fiction inspires this Celtic duo to make visual, cinematic sounds. This is highly-accessible, instantly-likeable music not to be missed.
Rating: Excellent
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