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, Journeyscapes Radio