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  • Jonathan Widran

LYNN TREDEAU, Fellowship of Solitude

Growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lynn Tredeau was one of those all-star musical kids who could play it all. She mastered classical piano, played guitar in her school jazz band, clarinet in the orchestra, sax in the marching band – even hymns on the pipe organ at church. Though she set her musical dreams aside to teach professionally and raise a family, there has been no stopping her since her retirement, an empty nest and a relocation from her longtime home of Seattle to Idaho. Emerging as one of the most prolific, critically acclaimed new age pianists of the decade, Lynn has now released a total of five albums since early 2015, starting with her debut Echoes of Life and including her Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) nomination for Solo Piano of the Year for Shifting Sands.

Lynn’s beautifully eloquent, emotionally provocative and melodically soul capturing latest album Fellowship of Solitude is an exclusive invitation to her innermost heart, an introspective place where joyful optimism and gratitude for the now dwell side by side with sorrow, regrets, secrets and moments of crossroads and confusion in the past. The touching, meditative opening title track helps us realize that sometimes our thoughts and memories can bring comfort, support and fellowship to our lives – and some of our best reflecting takes place without another living soul around.

When we understand Lynn’s deeper personal story (leaving her musical dreams behind for so many years), we can ache along with her for what might have been (despite no regrets about the wonderful alternative path she took) as we reflect on our own life choices along the lush, and somber highways into the “Land of Forgotten Dreams.” She finds peace and solace listening to the gentle “Call of the Owyhees,” a reference to a mountain range in Southwestern Idaho, near where she lives. This gently wistful piece brings solace that is even more fully realized on the later, starker meditation “Peace in the Midst.” Listeners new to Lynn’s music may feel especially privileged to share in her innermost secrets via “What Hides in the Dark” – a somber and hypnotic, classically tinged tune about the skeletons in her closet, now slowly being freed to share with a select few.

There is regret but hope they will find that elusive peace. Lynn’s vehicle towards acceptance her chosen path leading to the wondrous journey she’s on now is “The Time Machine,” whose darker edges and subtle movements hint at a gradual process of becoming. By the time she gently and gracefully reminds us, on Track 11, that “Life is in the Journey,” we feel we’ve been on the trail with her, dealing and making peace with the regrets, embracing her inner light, sharing that with the world, and looking forward to all of life’s future possibilities.

As with many solo piano works of this caliber, Fellowship of Solitude can be appreciated solely for its multitude of musical moods and melodic excellence. Yet we can connect more meaningfully with the artist when we know she’s been where we’ve been, wondering about so many things, hoping we made the right decisions and appreciating where that journey has led us.

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