Well-Rounded Excellent New Age Music Created By Richard Noll On His Debut


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Richard Noll is a new age multi-instrumentalist who has finally stepped to into the spotlight with his debut album, Peaceful Being, and it proves to be well worth the wait for new age music lovers. Noll is the husband of longtime new age music singer and pianist Shaina Noll who has four best-selling albums -- Songs for the Inner Child, Bread for the Journey, You Can Relax Now and Resting in the Now. Richard helped out on these albums contributing wooden recorder solos, vocal harmonies, arrangements, production, artwork, engineering and editing. So now the man somewhat behind the scenes for Shaina’s career, gets the chance to have his own original music presented.

It is mostly instrumental although Shaina sings wordless vocals on three tracks and Richard on one. Shaina also plays piano on one tune and returns Richard’s favors by assisting with production and arrangements. Richard composed most of this material on his preferred instrument, wooden recorder flute, which he plays in the style of Native Americans playing wood flutes (he absorbed much of this native proclivity when he lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for three-plus decades). He also wrote most of the music while playing alone either out in the wilderness or at least viewing beautiful nature scenes while he was improvising and riffing until he created a melody worth keeping. In addition to the recorder, he also plays synthesized keyboards on most tracks where they might sound like a synth one moment or a gamelon or tabla or something else the next. In addition, on one piece he plays an Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) and makes it sound like two different saxophones so that when overdubbed it becomes a sax duet. The eight tunes are four-to-six-minutes long except for “Inner Journey” which is 12:41 and goes through various sections and changes that are meant to represent just what the title states.

And as the album title proclaims, the entire recording will help the listener become a more “peaceful being,” or, if you are of a more pro-active mindset, you could say that by listening you are “being peaceful.” Regardless of how you choose to look at it, the music is very much in the pattern of great, classic new age music from the past 40 years, but with a few little new twists (like using the recorder instead of a traditional flute, and putting in the sax tune). I almost forgot to mention that several numbers also feature a real violist who gets to shine on the tune “Nightfall” on which she is overdubbed doing a duet with herself plus interacting with Richard on recorder (no other instrumentation on that exquisite track). And Richard plays solo recorder on the final piece, the spiritual “Invocation.” This is a well-rounded, solid new age music recording well worth checking out.
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