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John Pedersen's "Messages"

"Messages" was released on October 4th, 2020 and continues keyboardist and composer, John Pedersen's long succession of fine instrumental releases. While a strong Native American influence pervades the picturesque sonic landscape of this work, the album cover itself depicts a compelling petroglyph panel on a large rock in Moab, Utah. John took the photograph of this place called, "Newspaper Rock", several years ago while on vacation. The hundreds of glyphs present at this site certainly convey some kind of interesting message to all who gaze upon it. The lovely collection of songs from this album also depicts, with imaginative sound design and enchanting textures, a message to all who hear it. From songs like, "Ruminations" and "Reflections", people are encouraged to take time away from the distractions of everyday life and do some soul searching. Someone in a different realm, perhaps God, might be trying to send them a message of hope and love. "The Wonder of It All" portrays the "good" things in life that are easily forgotten. "Beyond Words" attempts to describe, in a tapestry of blissful sounds, the love and amazement experienced in a vivid dream. "For The Beauty of the Earth", John's favorite hymn, uses some new harmonic ideas to enhance the already uplifting melody of the piece. After a mostly quiet and mellow journey during the first 30 or so minutes, the album offers some faster tempos toward the end with jazz and dance influenced tunes. Especially noteworthy, is the track, "Androids", which depicts a futuristic race of androids who attain sentience and demand that they be treated equally. This thrilling conclusion features electronic sounds and rhythms not found on any of John's other albums. The intent, with this project, was to present a variety of musical influences without sacrificing continuity. Indeed, the album flows quite well.

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