Considering the incredibly creative and prolific roll Lynn Tredeau has been on since releasing her popular and emotionally impactful debut album Echoes of Life in 2015 – a span in which she’s released eight albums and received a stream of inspiring accolades from the new age community – it would be easy to experience Reflection, her latest masterful solo piano collection, as a thoughtful and gratitude filled look back on this time. The multi-talented composer and performer’s life has truly been a fascinating journey. She began playing her family’s upright piano at age six, but as an adult set her musical expressions aside for years to raise her family – and only started composing, as opposed to teaching and performing the works of others, when she switched from playing an upright to a grand piano and became more technically proficient.
Intentionally trying to let us, her grateful listeners, know that we can draw inspiration from these twelve exquisite, mood swinging and rhythmically eclectic tracks to spark reflections in our own life, the promo materials for the album include an encouraging general quote where she mentions that “music is a journey of discovery and remembrance. . .allows me to reflect on my life in the past, present and future. . .It provides comfort, encouragement and is an expression of joy.” She concludes with a hope that the music she presents here, from the gently hypnotic, image rich “Tide Pools” and the elegantly hopeful meditation/prayer “Someday, Somehow” to the unique closing juxtaposition of the haunting, soulful “Washed Away” and spirited, sweetly whimsical (and emphatically hopeful!) “Celebration,” will “help you reflect on your own journey.”
Yet it’s the deeper story behind these reflections that truly makes this album a transcendent emotional and spiritual experience, far beyond simply calling it another wondrous new age piano work by one of the genre’s great new shining lights. The story she tells on Reflection truly speaks to the power of the human spirit to respond to grave personal crises with grace, embrace life for what it is and persevere through great challenges. In 2021, the year she released A Quiet Path, she was diagnosed with a chronic illness that required her to rethink and restructure much of her life. She took a long time reflecting on what her life had been up to that one pivotal point in the hospital when she knew everything would change drastically. She turned to music to express her thoughts and feelings – and as difficult as all this must be for her physically and psychologically, it is our blessing that she has decided to share her inner world with us on Reflection.
On a road that is sometimes heavy with darkness but also full of slight, then empowering movement on the way to hopeful breakthroughs, perhaps the most intimate of the tracks is the album’s first lead single “What The Rain Said,” a deep, hypnotic landscape with a chords representing brooding darkness and a melody that tends towards the light – and where a grey watercolor sky offers a vast landscape for her (and by extension and us) to contemplate the sometimes unspoken nuances of our lives. As Lynn says, “Rain relaxes my mind as I listen to the soft beat of the drops on the windows. The rhythm is a language all its own and it always has something to say.”
Lynn chose the similarly contemplative but also lyrical and melodically sparkling, fully awash in poetic colors “Aspens of Targhee Mountain” for a different reason. She and her husband love to hike deep into the mountains, and one of the first questions she had upon her diagnosis was if she would never be able to do it again. The composition feels wistful at times, cautiously hopeful at others, as she goes through the various emotions in response. Fortunately, she’s been able to return to hiking and Targhee Mountain near Driggs, Idaho was the first such hike. She artfully reflects the gently swaying trees and dancing leaves that at last fall on the ground. This piece showcases, among all others, her emergence from any remaining fears of limitation to the reality that indeed, she would overcome her new challenges and still be able to live to the fullest.
Likewise, Lynn invites us to experience other beautiful places in her life, from the “Tide Pools” on the rocky shores of the Washington Coast (near her home in Seattle) to “Deep in the Forest,” letting us join her (truly a “Nomad” trying to figure out her place in the world now) in her “Meanderings” to a special hopeful moment with a “Dreaming Tree” and, through “The Passing of Time,” setting course on “The Road to There” – where life may not be the same as before, but somehow, some way, all will be well.
“Life and those universal life experiences are what inspire me the most,” Lynn says. “I find that nature also inspires me. Anytime I get outside, I find that I return to my piano and want to sit and create. People inspire me, especially my family & friends. I have several songs throughout my albums about my husband, my children, my grandchildren and my parents. With each album, I try to share a little piece of myself - little glimpses of how I spend my time, little glimpses of what I love, the people I love and what I dream about. With this newest album, I share my sadness and fear. I also hope that, people feel inspired to take on their own challenges and find ways to overcome and find that life is worth a ‘Celebration.’”