Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Walking the Path of Peace By Ken Noland

Walking the Path of Peace
Ken Noland
Written by
Steve Sheppard

The world of flute music took a huge step forward with the Native American Styled Flute Awards on One World Music Radio the other day, solo flute, and with other instrumentation is, and has now become, a must listen to genre of music, and has now placed it on the centre stage of the vast realm of what can be determined as instrumental music.

One of the artists that this spotlight has shone most prestigiously upon, is one of the nominees for best song solo flute track, and a winner of a Soaring Eagle Award in one Ken Noland, his true hearted and organic performances are certainly endearing himself to a vast global audience these days.

Noland has also now released his second studio album and it is this journey that we shall travel today. This voyage of flute starts with the earthy textures of Walk Beside Me, one that morphs afterwards into one of my personal favourites from the album in Morning Song. I have lived in Oklahoma and this was something that really wouldn’t have been out of place there upon a glorious sunrise; a quite transcendent offering indeed.

The haunting qualities of The Other Side of the Stars are so powerful and quite moving; the flute of Noland seems to hover with a level of expectancy that is rarely seen these days, then the short and jolly Woodland Jazz offers a different direction to walk in beauty with, while Intercessor is a composition that has a perceivable level of depth within its construction that is truly undeniable.

On Eagles Wings is the midpoint of the album and is indeed one of the most beautiful arrangements upon it. The performance here is one of the best solo efforts I have heard this year, its quality of composition is delightful in manifesting something so truly insightful and moving, it feel likes Noland has poured his very heart and soul into this piece.

There is Always Tomorrow is our first doorway into the second half of the album, and once more the artist plays with a connection to the divine and the loving embrace of his ancestors and elders watching over him. This is a masterful solo flute performance by the artist.

My favourite mantra has always been the title of this song We Are One, so it is with a happy smile that I come across this flute/native drum combo on the album. I must thank Ken at this point, because after listening to this track it has inspired Chrissie and myself to give it a go as well, a wonderfully organic offering indeed.

As we move into the deeper waters of the release we come across a truly spiritual offering in the track Keeper of the Heart. The tones and vibrations that come from this offering are so warm and all encompassing, a beautifully played piece that deserves a lot of recognition for its unique and enchanting performance.

A gentle acoustic guitar joins Noland on this next composition entitled The Woman I Love a track written for his wife, and then we seamlessly slide into the penultimate song entitled Spirt in the Wind, this is such a persuasive slice of solo flute, one that I am sure I will be listening to again, and many times over.

Sadly we have now come to the end of our sojourn of mystical flute with Ken Noland and we part company with what in my view is the best piece off the album, and of course the track the artist was nominated for, My Soul Takes Eagle's Wings. There is something so uplifting and captivating about this track, it is easy to see why it received a nomination for an award.

Ken Noland is fast becoming noted as a passionate flute performer and a consummate artist, always giving everything to his audience, often for charitable causes too, and always honouring his ancestors with his heart felt and honest compositions. Walking the Path of Peace by Ken Noland is an album that will warm your heart and bring peace to you soul, this is blissful, uncomplicated Native American styled flute music at its best.

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