Some of our dreams occur when we are asleep, and then there are those we dream when we are awake… our goals, desires, and visions for what we want in life. For pianist composer Lynn Tredeau, one of her dreams has been to create beautiful emotionally expressive music to share with the world. And with her third album, A New Dream, she continues making that dream a reality. In her words: “I feel like my life has been a journey through triumph & failure, joy & sorrow with each stage of life teaching me something new about myself and changing me in some way. As the music for this album came together I realized many of the pieces were touching a dream to compose and how it really became a journey of self-discovery and growth for myself, and also my husband.” Lynn Tredeau is also one of the latest names on the growing client roster of RS Promotions, run by recording artist Sherry Finzer, whose own music I’ve had the pleasure of featuring here on Music and Media Focus.
Lynn is quick to acknowledge her husband’s role in this music making adventure. As she shared: “My music is very much a joint creation. Every step of this journey, my husband has not only encouraged but also assisted me. He retired from Engineering and I from teaching to take this journey together. He has handled many of the technical aspects for me and operates the behind the scenes when I do online concerts. He coordinates CD and songbook manufacturing.”
The long road to her dream began at the age of 6 when Lynn started taking piano lessons. By the time she was 16 Lynn was playing multiple instruments in about a half dozen bands and ensembles. Her early musical instruction was all classical, including Bach Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff. Lynn’s home growing up was filled with Nat King Cole, the three tenors and Bing Crosby. As a teenager she drifted into rock and roll, but the piano and the classics drew her back. An interesting turning point came much later when she discovered the music of pianist Michele McLaughlin on Pandora, and Lynn found her calling in the genre of new age music. Enamored with this new musical style, Lynn released her debut album, Echoes of Life, in January 2015, which led to her nomination of Best New Artist 2015 by Enlightened Piano Radio, as well as a number of other award nominations, critical acclaim, and chart success. Lynn’s second album,SnowLight (A Christmas Memory) was also equally well received.
The freedom of new age music gave Lynn the perfect canvas to paint her personal music portraits. As she shared in our interview: “My music really comes from my life experiences. I create music that tells the stories that I know, the places I have been, and the people that have been important to me. I love being in nature and hiking with majestic mountains, wonderful streams and waterfalls – all of nature inspires me, my family and friends inspire me. Music is interwoven into every day and has been for many years. When I am happy I play the piano, when I am sad I find solace in the piano. My parents always encouraged my love of music and even though they have both passed, I feel them in the music.”
The first of the musical portraits on A New Dream is appropriately titled “Awaken.” Here Lynn describes the particular inspiration for this piece: “’Awaken’ came from a time when I found that life was becoming somewhat of a sleep walk. The daily routine can sometimes get in the way of living out a dream.” I was immediately swept up in the song’s gentle flow and also intrigued by the shifting currents of Lynn’s pleasantly surprising chord changes. If I were to characterize the musical colors of this piece, I would call them pastel. This song was well chosen as the entry into the album. Moving on, according to Lynn: “Track 2, entitled ‘Deepest Part of the Lake,’ is about time spent quietly reflecting on a boat in the middle of a lake. These are the peaceful moments when we ponder all the important questions.” This piece has a dreamier feel than the first one with just a trace of wistfulness. It is quite easy to imagine the scenario Lynn described while listening to it.
The inspiration for track 3 touches on a universal theme, which Lynn describes in this way: “’Living in a Dream’ reflects a grateful attitude towards all the wondrous blessings that life brings. It is a reminder not to take the gifts we have and the people we love for granted.” I found this song’s tender heartfelt melody quite emotionally evocative. While compositions like this, and the next one, “Courage,” draw from Lynn’s inner experiences, others reflect external inspirations. A good example is “Lunch With Vincent,” which was inspired by a Vincent Van Gogh painting. As Lynn shared: “What a wonderful dream it would be to sit in a Paris café and have lunch, perhaps the famous one depicted in the painting.” This piece, written as a waltz in 3/4 time, sparkles with an uplifting ambiance, as does the next track entitled “Pixie Dance,” with its enchanting music box-like melody.
Providing a bit of a yin yang contrast to these last few songs is another waltz called “Winter Thaw,” that has a more somber, yet hopeful feel. A variation on this theme extends to the next track, which Lynn describes in this way: “With ‘Seasons Change’ there is a time to look forward and a time to look backward at one’s life and realize that every season of life has something to offer if you keep your mind open.”
Another piece that was inspired externally is “Land of Enchantas,” in which Lynn was approached by an author to write a theme song for his trilogy of fantasy novels of the same name. On this one I particularly enjoyed the various movements it evolved through, varying from a darker feel, as played on the lower registers of the piano, to light dancing melodies on the higher registers, creating a lovely balance that worked well with the fantasy theme. And speaking of balance, on the last three songs, the poignant ambiance of “Ocean of Tears” and “Shadow of Your Absence,” contrast with the tender sweetness of “Innocence,” which evoked the feeling of looking into the eyes of a new born baby.
A New Dream by Lynn Tredeau provides a journey through a diversity of emotional landscapes, shaped by deeply personal experiences and universal themes. Throughout the album, Lynn allows herself to be vulnerable in expressing her joys and sorrows, and in doing so, creates an empathetic response in the listener that mirrors many of our own feelings and life experiences. Lynn’s melodies and motifs range from simple and stark like bare trees in winter, to effulgent as in the blossoming of spring. I’m sure that this new release, like her previous ones, will find wide acceptance and will be the next step in furthering Lynn’s dream of sharing her expressive music with the world.
By Michael Diamond
Music and Media Focus