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Album Review: Matthew's Yoga Music, Volume 3
Matt Johnson
Cover image of the album Matthew's Yoga Music, Volume 3 by Matt Johnson
Matthew's Yoga Music, Volume 3
Matt Johnson
2010 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
60 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Matthew’s Yoga Music, Volume 3 is part of an eight-volume set of albums of improvised piano music by Matt Johnson. In addition to yoga, the music is intended for massage therapy and/or “your own personal times of reflection and contemplation.” The music also easily slips into the background to enhance other quiet activities and most of it is complex enough for more focused listening. Each of the four 15-minute tracks has open spaces within the music for yoga instructors to speak and that also allow the music to “breathe.” “Harmony ball texture,” which sounds like light wind chimes, plays behind the (digital) piano music, adding a relaxing atmospheric effect as well as continuity in those open spaces in the music.

Matt Johnson is a classically-trained pianist, church musician and teacher who has performed in many venues internationally. His original music is a unique blend of contemporary jazz, new age, popular and classical elements, and he offers his recordings and sheet music as free downloads from his website (MattJohnsonMusic.com).

Track 1 of the album is very open and spare - almost ambient. It becomes somewhat more melodic later in the track, but maintains a dreamy, relaxed mood throughout. I would think this track would be an excellent sleep aid since it is so peaceful and soothing. Track 2 is also on the minimal, quiet side, but is a little darker and more mysterious. In some parts of the music, it seems to be questioning and looking for answers, so this one is especially well-suited to reflection and deep thinking. Track 3 is quite a bit more dramatic and has passages that are more structured and phrases that have a gospel feel to them. Track 4 is also dramatic with powerful segments that are sometimes on the darker, more mysterious side. Beautifully introspective passages are interspersed with the “bigger” passages to create an expressive, fascinating piece.

Matthew’s Yoga Music is a very effective and emotionally varied series of albums whether you use it for yoga or not. In addition to the downloads from Johnson’s website, his music is available for sale on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.
September 9, 2019
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