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Shifting Sands by Lynn Tredeau
- posted by Candice Michelle on 5/23/2017
Lynn Tredeau - Shifting Sands
Shifting Sands is the fourth album by Lynn Tredeau, an Idaho-based piano and composer with a classical music background. Comprised of twelve compositions spanning forty-seven minutes, the gently fluctuating mood of the album’s individual pieces seemingly illustrate the many subtle changes of one’s everyday surroundings, as well as that of life itself. Likewise, this metaphorical theme of “shifting sands” is beautifully conveyed by the cover artwork, which depicts Lynn in a flowing red dress walking along the desert sand beneath a sunny sky.

The neoclassical-tinged “Lost in Familiar Surroundings” opens the album with a somewhat nostalgic and romantic feel, as it softly drifts up and down the registers, immediately recalling that of a gentle morning breeze. The title track, “Shifting Sands”, ensues in a tiered cascading motion, as Lynn strikes a bit of oomph in the higher registers, making this one of my favorite pieces on the album. “Dance of the Unknown” is an equally compelling ballet-like number that imparts a subtle sense of mystery. Beginning with a delicate twirling in the higher registers, the melody slowly descends into the mid and lower registers before gently ascending the scale again. Likewise alluring is the somewhat pensive and processional, “Travel Me Home”, which seemingly alludes to a long journey unfolding, perhaps by foot, across a snowy landscape beneath a nocturnal sky. A few of the compositions exude a more characteristically sentimental innocence; among these include “Life at Four”, which seemingly alludes to young childhood memories; “To Breathe at Last”, which subtly recalls the hymns of an old chapel in the countryside”; and “Oasis”, which offers a thoroughly soul-quenching, sweet calmness. Closing out the album is the delicate and moderately-paced “If Ever in My Life”, which evokes a sense of reflecting upon the past, and perhaps even that of embarking on a new path.

Bearing some resemblance to the music of Michele McLaughlin, of whom inspired Lynn’s own compositional style, Shifting Sands bears many classical nuances within its contemporary solo piano framework of elegant poise and grace. Overall lending itself to a delicate balancing act of subtle mystery and warm sentimentality, the compositions herein range from slightly wistful to optimistically sunny, yet never become definitively dark or gloomy. A simply delightful follow-up to her A New Dream album, Shifting Sands is arguably Lynn’s best work to date, and wonderfully demonstrates her maturity as an artist! ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Excellent
Shifting Sands by Lynn Tredeau
- posted by Dyan Garris - New Age CD on 5/21/2017
Lynn Tredeau - Shifting Sands
“Shifting Sands,” the 4th release by solo pianist, Lynn Tredeau, is an eloquent, elegant, timelessly lovely journey from beginning to end.
From the first notes of “Lost in Familiar Surroundings,” we immediately feel at ease and relax into the gentle melody. We find ourselves transported to a place where we may have all found ourselves at one time or another: Feeling lost, but somehow knowing that we’re really not. This is a place where we can remember who we are and need not feel lost at all.
All of the songs on “Shifting Sands” are thoughtful, expressive, delicate, yet deliberate, and noteworthy for not only the consonant, flowing melody lines, but also for the exquisite phrasing. Yes, “Shifting Sands” is tranquil, relaxing, and lovely just in itself and as a peaceful listen. But as the title “Shifting Sands” might imply, there is something else beneath; a much deeper meaning to all.
For example, Track 7, “Life at 4,” with its easy and melodic movement, evokes a wistful remembrance of simpler times. Yet at the same time, there is underneath, a certain sophistication and “knowingness” of spirit that weaves its way through the composition.
I must say, I got lost in this sheer loveliness of this album, and in particular in the song “Travel Me Home,” which is track 6 on the album. Like all of Lynn’s tracks on “Shifting Sands,” It’s sensitively played and this one is quite mesmerizingly hypnotic. I am also particularly fond of Track 10, “Oasis.” It’s got a wonderful structure, a simple melody line, and although no lyrics are shared with us, I feel like there are probably some that go along with this.
Track 5, “Looking to Lowman” gently reminds us that inside every tragedy, as the fire that occurred there in the Boise National Forest in 2016, there is love and beauty. We just have to try to see it through the embers. And through the song’s own beauty we are given opportunity to pause, listen, and reflect upon the multiple paradoxes and odd juxtapositions of life.
Lynn Tredeau is a multi-talented musical artist and one to definitely watch as her ascent is assured. Simply beautiful solo piano. “Shifting Sands” is a “must have.”
Rating: Excellent
The Second Dimension by Ketil Lien
- posted by Candice Michelle on 5/19/2017
Ketil Lien - The Second Dimension
Born and raised in Trondheim, Norway, Ketil Lien (who also records as Wim) is a producer of electronic soundscapes that often traverse the boundaries of ambient, chill-out, new age and cinema-inspired compositions. With several albums released on the long-standing English label, AD Music, his past works have joined the ranks of those by other prominent recording artists and label-mates such as David Wright, Ian Boddy and Richard Bone. Comprised of ten compositions spanning approximately fifty-three minutes, The Second Dimension is both classic and outstanding electronic-space music, noted by the incorporation of both modern and vintage synthesizers, and often recalls the works of Tangerine Dream (especially some of their 1980’s-era albums), Vangelis and Jean Michel-Jarre, while also bearing the notably edgier, often danceable electronic stylings of Depeche Mode and Erasure.

The opening piece, “Celestial Beginning”, alludes to the mysteries of space and time, as wordless celestial voices swoosh upon electronic tribal-esque percussion, which gradually morph into a downtempo trance rhythm. An enchanting composition reminiscent of cinematic fantasy, this mood is revisited frequently on much of the album. “City Moods” further picks up the pace with dynamic sequencers and a space-trance rhythm, particularly recalling that of Jean Michel-Jarre’s Oxygene and Equinoxe albums, but with a more modern flair. Slowing things down to an almost dreamlike standstill is “Diamond Beach”, an especially beautiful composition and easily my favorite track on the album. Enshrouded in an ethereal haze of synthesizers that are underscored by a chill-tempo rhythm, the piece seemingly recalls the oft-depicted idyllic scenery of a classic fantasy film. “Elysian” is another favorite that seemingly imparts images of a mythical hyperborean land with its icy timbres, foggy chords and deep, billowing resonance. Equally captivating is the gently rhythmic and spacey number, “Lost in Orbit”, which initially treads along darker terrain with its opening gusty drones and foreboding machinery-like sounds that slowly give way to an approaching horizon of distant light. The title track, “The Second Dimension”, is likewise particularly alluring with its dreamy, floating textures comprised of hovering celestial voices and driftingly bouncy bell-tones. Perfectly concluding the album is “The Sleepwalker”, a most enchantingly haunting composition noted by drifty piano and harp textures with an overall encompassing soundscape that bears stylistic hallmarks of Vangelis.

Often shifting back and forth between dynamic dance sensibilities and dreamy ambient bliss, The Second Dimension takes its listener on an exciting adventure full of retro-futuristic, cinematic soundscapes. A fantastic album in its entirety, Ketil Lien’s latest release is simply a must-have for fans of classic electronic space music, as well as the sci-fi and fantasy genres! ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Excellent
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