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Album Review: LNA (ep)
Matt Johnson
Cover image of the album LNA (ep) by Matt Johnson
LNA (ep)
Matt Johnson
2020 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
13 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
LNA is a trilogy of piano-based pieces (one is solo piano) that pianist/composer Matt Johnson wrote for each of his three sons - Luke, Noah and Adam. The EP title is obviously the first initial of each of their names and is embossed on the cover for a simple white on white effect. It’s really nice to have all three pieces together on an EP and to be able to hear the different personalities expressed in the music. In addition to the recording, all three pieces have sheet music available as free downloads from Matt’s website.

“Luke’s Theme” is a graceful waltz originally published in 1995 and was originally released on the album, End of a Day (1995); the single was released in 2018. It begins as a piano solo, adds oboe to form a piano duet, and becomes fully orchestrated as the emotions become more intense and passionate; it ends as it began, as a piano solo. “Luke’s Theme” is one of my favorites of Matt Johnson’s many compositions and beautifully expresses the depth of a father’s love.

“Noah’s Theme” was also originally published in 1995 and was included on the album Origins (2000); it was released as a single in 2015. The only piano solo of the trilogy, the first half of the piece is smooth and easy-going, developing more complexity as it unfolds. The lively and upbeat second half seems to express a more outgoing side of Noah’s very likable personality.

“Adam’s Theme (Smile)” is the jazziest of the three pieces and includes flute, bass, drums, percussion, and wordless vocals in addition to the piano. Most of the piece is bright and sunny but is balanced with a somewhat more serious and occasionally turbulent side. The piece was originally published in 1999 and was released as a single earlier this year. I really like this one, too!

Matt Johnson offers all of his recordings and sheet music as free downloads from www.MattJohnsonMusic.com (donations are accepted but not required). The recordings can be purchased from Amazon and iTunes/Apple Music and are also available on streaming sites such as Spotify.
September 25, 2020
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