2023 / Heart Dance Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
Many Branches is the ninth full-length album from multiple award-winning pianist/composer Lynn Tredeau. Like her previous albums, Many Branches is a collection of original piano solos that are smooth and soothing yet rich and nuanced enough to reveal more depth and beauty no matter how many times you listen to them. I have reviewed all but one of Lynn's albums and have seen her perform live a number of times, and I'm always impressed with the elegance and grace of her music as well as her playing. The twelve tracks on Many Branches are reflective, dreamy, and often tinged with melancholy. Lynn explains the title:
"It takes many years for a tree to grow to full height. Along the way the seasons change, cycling from warm to cold and back again. There is the hope of spring, the abundance of summer, changes brought by fall and the stillness of winter. The tree loses a few branches, grows a few more and remains a perfect allegory for life. This collection of music is inspired from my tree of life and its Many Branches."
Lynn's passion for music was sparked as a young child before she started school. Her father was a singer, and her parents gave her an upright piano when she was six. She learned to play and perform on a variety of instruments, becoming proficient in jazz as well as classical music, but she didn't start composing until many years later. Lynn released her first album, Echoes of Life, in 2015.
Many Branches begins with "Room With a View," a warm, gently-flowing piece that feels much like a pleasant daydream that drifts in while gazing out of a picture window - a lovely start! "Sunshine Tomorrow" begins with a simple, wistful melody tinged with a poignant sadness and the hope of better days ahead. I really like this one! "On a Distant Hill" is also melancholy and very expressive, possibly looking to the "distant hill" of the title to find an escape from trouble or difficulty. "Sail Away" very effectively expresses the gentle movement of a sailboat on calm waters with just enough wave action to make progress to a new location - so very peaceful! "Moon Jellies" are a type of jelly-fish, and watching them move through the water is absolutely hypnotic, as is this piece - slow, graceful and relaxed, it's a favorite! "Ilunabara" is an expression of a perfect sunset, a peaceful mind, and plenty of space to breathe - very soothing and beautiful! "Shadows" is much darker and more mysterious, conveying feelings of loss and uncertainty in a very poignant way. I like this one a lot, too! "Technicolor Blanket" was inspired by a brilliantly-colored blanket purchased from a street vendor many years ago and the memories it holds. It's a graceful and nostalgic song without words. "Morning's Promise" tells a tale of fresh starts and new beginnings - warm, relaxed and optimistic. It's a great close to a beautiful album!
Many Branches is available as a physical CD as well as a download from Lynn's website. It is also available to stream or download from Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes, and from many of the streaming platforms. If you are looking for some music to unwind or decompress with, this is a great choice!
October 6, 2023