This gorgeous debut album features Noll on alto and tenor recorders and an electronic wind instrument. These haunting woodwind leads are accompanied with warn synth sounds and light world percussion. You may have had a lesson or two on playing a little plastic recorder in grade school. Quality recorders are made of wood and come in soprano, alto, tenor and bass keys, and are challenging to master. The sound of a well-played recorder is distinctive and not unlike a Native American wood flute.

This album is a collection of soothing, meditative songs that inspire, uplift and nourish the listener. The simple, plaintive melodies certainly evoke a calming state of mind. Track 2: Grace is almost a lullaby with its gentle tones and cantabile styling. The title track [3] Peaceful Being is a lilting recorder melody with wordless vocals. Track 4: Early Spring advances to a charming recorder duet. Track 5: Nightfall taps into a spare oriental idiom with doleful strings in the background.

Track 6: Open Heart features the electronic woodwind, an EWI 4000, accompanied with other woods. The sound is somewhere between a clarinet and a saxophone. Track 7: Inner Journey is 12:41 min, the longest on the album. The melodic and rhythmic material is well developed and offers an expanding range of sound combinations throughout. The music has a gentle pulse and includes wordless vocals. The final Track 8: Invocation returns to the solo recorder. Apropos of the title, the woodwind seems to call or summon peaceful spirits at the end of this musical voyage.

The album is quite fine for meditation, contemplation, yoga, healing modalities, and any activity that would benefit from tranquil yet evocative instrumental music. Noll keeps his ideas simple and elegant. This is a worthy acquisition for spiritual practices.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Richard Noll
2018, Singing Heart Productions
8 tracks, 50:32 min
CD $13.99; mp3 $9.49