Matthew’s Yoga Music, Volume 7 is the seventh of an eight-part series of 60-minute albums of piano improvisations by Matt Johnson. Originally released in 2010, the album is made up of four 15-minute segments that were intended for yoga, massage therapy or “for your own personal times of reflection and contemplation.” While the music is relaxing and very pleasant to listen to, it has powerful passages and plenty of substance, making it very suitable for simple listening pleasure or background music as well. Sometimes “music with a purpose” can be hard to listen to with full attention, but that is not at all the case with Johnson’s series. The music was created on a (digital) piano and utilizes “harmony ball texture,” which sounds like very delicate wind chimes, adding a sparkling sound to the music. Each of the four segments is distinctive and individual, and the album plays beautifully from start to finish.
All four improvisations begin with the sound of the harmony ball texture before the piano enters - a gentle, “twinkling” prelude of sorts. Track 1 has a peaceful, reflective feeling occasionally punctuated with notes in the deep bass of the piano. Over the course of the fifteen minutes, some passages are quite dramatic while others are quieter and more subdued. I really like this one! Track 2 is a bit darker and more mysterious, and is emotionally powerful throughout. There are occasional pauses in the music that allow it to take a breath while the sound of the light wind chimes continues. Track 3 is much lighter and feels kind of like the dawn of a new day - fresh and full of promise. It expresses feelings that are warm, peaceful and serene and is beautiful from the first note to the last! Track 4 has a slightly Asian flavor and most of the piece is very relaxed and soothing. Some passages have short bursts of energy and drama, but the piece is mostly smooth, open and contemplative.
This is a fascinating series of albums and Matt Johnson offers all of his recorded music as free downloads from his website (www.mattjohnsonmusic.com
). It is also available for sale on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Check it out!