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Solo Piano album

Origins

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This recording finds Matt comfortably returning to his roots…the piano…indeed, his “origins.” A collection of 17 pieces—shared in their original solo piano versions.

Listen ~ Download Audio Files

 
 

Download ~ Print Sheet Music

Some of the music from this recording has been transcribed for solo piano and is available below.

Click a title to download the sheet music:

~ Reassurance

~ Noah's Theme

~ Cannes

~ Thirty-Two

~ klmn

~ Windchimes

~ Origins

~ So Good to Me

~ Remarkable

~ ROAR

~ My Thoughts Are with You

~ Caitlin's Lullaby

~ A Wedding Gift

~ Sambinha

~ Morning Sun

~ Transitions

~ Simple

Download all the pieces
  in one Collection:

~ Origins Collection

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Matt offers his original music with no expectation of payment. The above audio files and musical scores are absolutely FREE for your personal use and enjoyment.
However, donations are always appreciated.

Recording Information and Credits

Matt Johnson, 2000

 

International Standard Name Identifier

ISNI 0000 0004 6875 3420

Title: Origins


Artist: Matt Johnson
Release Date: July, 2000
Producer: Matt Johnson


Engineer: Matt Johnson

~(with Ray Lyon on track 7)
Record Label: Dolce & Nuit Productions 
Recording Studio:


~LMIC—Coral Springs, FL


Mixing Studio:


~Balsam Pillow Studio—Boca Raton, FL


Mastered by: Ray Lyon at

~Balsam Pillow Studio—Boca Raton, FL


CD Number: DNP3798-2


Cassette Number: None Manufactured

UPC: 045011379820



 

Total Disc Time: 67 minutes, 49 seconds

Musicians:

~Matt Johnson: piano

~Lana Warden: vocals

 
 

Graphics created for this recording

REVIEWS

Album Review: Origins


Matt Johnson
2000 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
68 minutes

Review by Kathy Parsons/www.MainlyPiano.com


Origins is a collection of sixteen original piano solos and one piano/vocal piece by pianist/composer Matt Johnson. Johnson is a classically-trained pianist who earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Oklahoma Baptist University. He earned his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Composition with a Distinction in Performance from New England Conservatory of Music. A prolific composer and performer as well as a sought-after teacher, Johnson has performed extensively in venues from Boston to Brazil. His music is a neo-romantic blend of contemporary jazz, new age, popular and classical elements. He started piano lessons at the age of six and the cover photo for Origins shows him playing the piano at this young age.

With such a variety of influences, it is no surprise that the music on Origins is varied in mood, styling and tempo. My only criticism is the sound of the digital piano. When the album was recorded, most digital pianos had a metallic harpsichord-like sound and a narrower dynamic range than an acoustic piano, and this one is no exception. The music itself is excellent, the piano sound is less so. Many people can’t hear the difference, but I have a good acoustic grand and listen to piano music, both live and recorded, most of the day every day, so it’s a bit of a “job hazard” in my case. Since the album is free on Matt Johnson’s site, give it a listen there first. The quality of his music is very high.

I can’t comment on all seventeen tracks because this review would get too long, but will tell you about a few favorites. “
Reassurance” is a heartfelt and comforting piece that opens the album and lets listeners know right away that this is a pianist/composer who really knows what he’s doing. “Noah’s Theme” is a beautiful tribute to a beloved son and is more jazz-infused than classical with complex chords and rhythms. The lively and spirited “Cannes” has a joyful touch that dances all over the piano keyboard. “Windchimes” is my favorite piece on the album with its light, sparkling flow and sunny expression of peaceful contentment. The title track "Origins" is by far the longest piece on the album (13+ minutes) and much of the piece features jazzy wordless vocals by a female singer. The piece itself is fascinating, but I’m not crazy about the vocals and find them a bit distracting. “So Good To Me” has a more pop/ smooth jazz ballad styling and a melody that could easily support lyrics (none needed!). The poignant and emotive “Remarkable” is perhaps the most “new age” piece on the album, reminding me a bit of Jim Chappell. I will be revisiting this gorgeous piece with sheet music in hand! “My Thoughts Are With You (Little One)” is a lovely slow ballad for a young child that reflects sadness with a tender touch. The sweet and innocent “Caitlin’s Lullaby” was composed in an easy classical style reminiscent of Mozart and Haydn. “Sambinha” (little samba) is lively and exuberant with a joyful Latin beat. The short and uncomplicated “Simple” brings the album to a gentle, wistful close.

It is always interesting to explore a composer’s early work, and Origins is available as a free download (the full album or single tracks) from www.MattJohnsonMusic.com. Free sheet music is also available there. Origins is also available from Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and Apple Music.


 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

​Songbook Review: Origins Collection

Matt Johnson
2018 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
165 pages / 17 songs

Review by Kathy Parsons/www.MainlyPiano.com


The Origins Collection solo piano songbook is the companion sheet music book to Matt Johnson’s 2000 recording Origins. The seventeen pieces were composed over a period from the mid-1980’s to the later 1990’s and were compiled into book-form in 2018. There is a lot of variety in the music with strong classical and jazz influences. Many pieces are rhythmically complex and some are quite showy with fast runs, trills and other advanced keyboard /piano techniques. There are only a few pieces that I would consider to be at a less than early-advanced or advanced playing level, so plan on spending some practice time to master this music.

This collection is available as PDF downloads of the whole book or individual pieces. The notation is clear and roomy, making it easy to read. Trickier passages include fingering and most of the pieces have pedal markings and metronome settings (only the more rubato pieces do not have an “MM.”) Most have chord charts, and all have clear expression and dynamics. Pianists with smaller hands will be happy to know that there are only a few reaches of more than an octave.

If you are printing out one piece at a time, this shouldn’t be a problem, but when I was printing all 165 pages, several pages hit the floor in the process. There are page numbers for each piece, but not for the book itself. The titles are only on the first page of each piece so getting the loose pages to match up to the songs they belong to was a bit of a puzzle. This isn’t a major complaint, by any means - just something to be aware of. It would also be helpful to have “8vb” markings on some of the really low bass notes as many are hard to read without stopping to figure them out.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable book to play! The book and individual pieces are available for free from www.MattJohnsonMusic.com. They are also available on SheetMusicPlus.com for a nominal charge.

The titles of the pieces, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

~
Reassurance - Key of G (1 sharp) - 8 pages
~
Noah’s Theme - Key of Ab (4 flats)/ C (0 sharps or flats) - 8 pages
~
Cannes - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 11 pages
~
Thirty-Two - Key of Ab/ F minor (4 flats) - 10 pages
~
klmn - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 12 pages
~
Windchimes - Key of G (1 sharp) - 12 pages
~
Origins - Key of B (5 sharps)/ Cb (7 flats) - 24 pages
~
So Good To Me - Key of F (1 flat) - 10 pages
~
Remarkable - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 6 pages
~
ROAR - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 14 pages
~
My Thoughts Are With You (Little One) - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 6 pages
~
Caitlin’s Lullaby - Key of D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
~
A Wedding Gift - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) / D minor (1 flat) - 12 pages
~
Sambinha - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 9 pages
~
Morning Sun - Key of D (2 sharps) - 6 pages
~
Transitions - Key of G (1 sharp) - 9 pages
~
Simple - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 2 pages