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Album Review: Noel Trilogy EP
Matt Johnson
Cover image of the album Noel Trilogy EP by Matt Johnson
Noel Trilogy EP
Matt Johnson
2020 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
29 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Noel Trilogy EP contains two versions of each of three Christmas carols reimagined by Matt Johnson. The first three tracks are the radio edits of each song with vocals by Heidi Enders, and the other three are the performance tracks without the vocals (allowing other performers to sing with the professional backing instrumentation). By “reimagined,” I mean that Johnson took the original lyrics for the three songs and set them to new music, giving them something of a contemporary make-over. There are hints of the original melodies here and there, but overall, these are brand new songs with traditional lyrics. The three songs are “O Holy Night,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and “Silent Night” (renamed “The New Silent Night”). It is worth noting that the “performance tracks” can also serve as instrumental versions of the songs, although the melodies aren’t always obvious. Still, they are very pleasant to listen to. The three songs are also available as singles.

Instrumentation on the songs includes piano, bells, strings, flute, guitar and atmospheric keyboard textures. These are really beautiful songs that go far beyond simply being arrangements and will be a welcome addition to your Christmas music collection. Matt Johnson offers all of his recordings as free downloads from MattJohnsonMusic.com, and they are also available to download and/or stream on Amazon, iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora.

Sheet music for all of Matt’s music is also available as free downloads from his site. Details about the sheet music for these three pieces are:

“O Holy Night” has two piano/vocal versions - one in the key of A major (3 sharps) and the other in Db (5 flats). In both versions, the piano part is an accompaniment that doesn’t have the melody. There are also lead sheets with the lyrics and chords in the two different keys.

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” has the piano /vocal parts in Bb and C (the key changes in the middle of the song) and a second version that begins in C and changes to D (2 sharps). The piano doesn’t have the melody in either version.

“The New Silent Night” is in the key of G (1 sharp) and changes to the key of B (5 sharps), goes back to G and ends in C. The melody is in the piano accompaniment in places, but not all the way through.

Since all of this music is available for free from Matt Johnson’s site, you have nothing to lose by trying it out. While you’re there, check out some of his other recordings and sheet music, too! Good stuff!!!
October 9, 2020
This review has been tagged as:
Holiday AlbumsHoliday Albums & Singles: 2020