Mark Holland | Instruments of Peace

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New Age: Relaxation World: Native American Moods: Instrumental
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Instruments of Peace

by Mark Holland

"the most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace". Carlos Santana Native American Flutes with piano, tabla, cello. Reflective and engaging music born out of silence.
Genre: New Age: Relaxation
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Colours of My Dreams
5:32 album only
2. Instruments of Peace
3:58 album only
3. Every Time I See You
4:14 album only
4. Secrets of an Evening Moon
5:01 album only
5. In Touch With Silence
3:56 album only
6. Return to Simplicity
3:50 album only
7. Tree By the Waters of Marah
4:20 album only
8. Sacred Refuge
4:41 album only
9. Abide
4:33 album only
10. Rest Assured
5:27 album only
11. Healing Is in Your Hands
5:29 album only
12. Your Song
4:04 album only


Album Notes
Mark Holland’s Instruments of Peace: A CD Review
by Dr. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl
This is the Mark Holland sound that brings forth the luminosity and tenderness from within the soul of the listener. This musical offering is expressive and introspective. Instruments of Peace embodies the characteristics of New Age music, but with a contemporary global perspective. It is an enchanting musical story; it is a day filled with sunshine and laughter. The musicians on this CD are truly gifted individually, but they are sublime as an ensemble. The creative force on Instruments of Peace is: Mark Holland, Native American flutes; Cory Edwards, piano and guitar; Jim Feist, tabla; Jay Hungerford, upright bass and fretless bass; Valentina Takova, cello; and Tracy Andreotti, cello. Their collective sound and musical mastery is exceptional. There are 12 songs on Instruments of Peace, each special in its own way.
As “Colours of My Dreams” begins, the grace and delicacy of the music brings light into the darkness, breathes life into the weary heart, and imbues the soul with butterfly wings of comfort. Here, the flute, piano, and tabla successfully create a refined and accomplished resonance, with all three working together to generate a substantial musical oeuvre.
This selection’s musical form is created via the range of flutes that Mark employs throughout. The piano and tabla offer a dulcet prelude, establishing the character of “Colours of My Dreams.” Using a low-range Native American flute, Mark enters with a soulful, contemplative melody that exudes peace and placidity. The middle section of this ternary form features Mark playing a mid-range flute, offering up to all to hear a mellifluous, soulful melody complete with tasteful embellishments. Here, the pianist renders a spinning, ostinato-like accompaniment full of lush harmonic and dynamic shadings, while the tabla puts forth a solid but delicate groove that deftly weaves in and out of the flute and piano lines. A piano solo interlude serves as a bridge into the final section of this ternary form. Mark returns to playing the low-range flute and the initial soulful melody. “Colours of My Dreams” concludes with a tabla solo full of timbral iridescence and imaginative rhythmic inflections.
“In Touch With Silence” gently gave to me a sense of tranquility and serenity. The piano and flute interplay on this song is ambrosial. Mark is a master of the prolonged, resplendent melodic line, melodies that one wishes would simply continue on forever because of their beauty and charm. Here, the flute melody tenderly grasps the listener by the heart and hand, leading the music devotee on a melodious odyssey to a realm full of quietude and repose. On this selection, the pianist is adroit at effectuating florid timbral color and shading, tension and release, and motion and breath. “In Touch With Silence” truly brought me down to a place of significant introspection and peace.
“Return to Simplicity” combines the musical offerings of Native American flute, guitar, piano, and cello. This song form and its instrumental utilization and combination remind me of Dan Fogelberg, an icon in the acoustic-based singer-songwriter-folk genre. Perhaps it is due to the presence of the guitar and the manner in which it is being played, in conjunction with the presence of the cello. But, most of all, “Return to Simplicity” is unquestionably a song without words; but, the listener can readily hear and take to heart the story in the shadings and passionate melodies weaving a web of spiritual warmth and love. There should be words, but, then again, there should not be words, since music should express the story of whoever’s heart-story needs expressing, whether inward or outward. The use of the cello on this song adds an engaging dimension to the musical narrative. It provides in-depth, passionate countermelodies to the piano, supporting the melody and adding further ambiance to the alluded-to musical storyline. The cello is the instrument that is closest in timbre and range to the male human voice. It enhances the graceful ambiance of “Return to Simplicity.”
“And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah” (King James Bible). According to the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible commentary, “Marah is almost universally believed to be what is now called Howarah, in Wady Amarah, about 30 miles from the place where the Israelites landed on the eastern shore of the Red Sea, a distance quite sufficient for their march of 3 days. There is no other perennial spring in the intermediate space. The water still retains its ancient character and has a bad name among the Arabs, who seldom allow their camels to partake of it.” “Tree by the Waters of Marah” is certainly the most melodically unique song on this CD, with Mark playing an E magen avot flute made by Russ Venable. The melodies are Middle Eastern in character, imbuing the song with an exotic flavor. This song is alluring and intriguing. The pianist begins the selection with a small solo, quickly joined by the flute melody that alludes to the upcoming foray into an exotic musical revelry. When the song proper commences, it is charismatic and vivid. Mark motivically enhances the character of Middle Eastern music at the apex and endings of musical phrase, by employing riffs and splashes of melodic movement typically heard in Middle Eastern music. “Tree by the Waters of Marah” concludes with a cello solo that is striking in its simplicity and range.
Mark Holland has created many CDs, both alone and with his ensemble Autumn’s Child, and each recording has its own identity and spirit. As Mark started on his musical journey, I was there listening. And, I am still listening. Mark has offered diversity with his flute playing, diverging from the expected paths of Native American flute music. He is a gifted musician, skillful in melodic creation, ensemble diversity, musical phrasing, and his employment of embellishments that add to the character of the music instead of being gratuitous in nature. Mark’s embellishment utilization is often typical of normal vocal inflections when singing, naturally and instinctively enhancing the melody line. In general, I do not do many CD reviews, as time constraints often keep me from such endeavors. But, I enjoy Mark’s music and he consistently has something new and innovative to express. New is sometimes difficult to come by in the Native American flute world. So, when it arrives in a package all wrapped up by Mark Holland, I give it a listen and start typing away. I have to say that Instruments of Peace is one of my favorite Mark Holland CDs. This CD possesses an ethereal magic and a wholesome joy. It is definitely on the top of my CD stack. Do not miss this CD!
To learn more about Mark Holland and his music, please visit:

Award winning Native American flute player, Mark Holland is leader and founder of the world fusion group, Autumn's Child and has produced this his 16th cd on his Cedar n Sage Music label. Holland is considered to be among the top Native American flute players recording and performing today.
He is known for his soulful style of playing from the heart. The new work, "Instruments of Peace" is just that - it was created
spontaneously in the moment in the studio - no rehearsals - "just putting your ears on and away you go" says Holland.
This is a very close and personal type of project, the second one he has done in this style. The first time this was realized was on the recording, "Reflections". The ability for Cory Edwards (piano) and Holland to begin a piece, born from silence and then developing it into a composition is
truly a gift and a thing of beauty. The initial tracks were piano and tabla (played by Jim Feist) and native flutes. Holland then listened to the roughs
for a couple of weeks and came up with cello parts to 4 of the tunes. Another was arranged by one of the cellists on the recording, Valentina Takova.
There are 12 tracks on this disc and 10 of them are originals - the other 2 are "Healing is in Your Hands" (an intimate, powerfully emotional song) and
the timeless song from 1969/70 by Elton John, the beautiful "Your Song". (on this arrangement the cello part was arranged and played by Tracy Andreotti)
The overlying influence for this project according to Holland had 4 aspects .... first, the idea that the musical instruments we all play are instruments of peace
(if you want them to be) second, we ourselves are instruments of peace (if you allow yourself to be) third, the music encourages inner peace. As one listens you can go deeper, alone with oneself as well as into the music to find a tranquil place of calm. Fourth, it is birthed out of the desire for peace in times of war. Something Holland feels had cooled for awhile but is finally once again coming back to the forefront. Instrumental songs for peace.
Holland says this about the unusual nature of reproducing live that which happened in
the studio. "From the actual event that took place in the studio where the 2 or 3 musicians were creating, depending on the piece - now have to learn
what was documented in a recorded format. In the case of the piano Cory transcribes his parts onto sheet to have a pretty accurate representation of what was captured and for myself it requires memorizing the melodic lines for all the pieces. The tabla on the items it appears on are pretty straight forward grooves that can be interpreted
by various percussion and the cello parts were written in advance as they (along with upright bass on 2 songs, performed by Jay Hungerford) were the only parts overdubbed." The moods on the cd consist of a few that are good feeling vibes in moderate tempo to the more plaintive and pastoral feels. The overall sensation as most of Holland's work is relaxing throughout while not falling into a state of boredom. Holland continues, "you can have a sense of energy while still living in an element of a relaxing mode and balancing the two." Maya Duran (New World Music)



to write a review

Carol Koeppe

Beautiful, reflective and peaceful
Once again Mark Holland and Autumn's Child have created a CD that is a delight to the soul. Mark's use of the Native American flute has always been creative, while being true to the beautiful sound and improvisatory character of the instrument. The combination of percussion, cello and Native American flute has always been the heart of Autumn's Child. The addition of Cory Edwards on Piano and Jim Feist on tabla has added to this winning combination. The result is calm, reflective and consistently interesting music, performed in a very improvisational style. As you listen, you will hear instruments of peace, and you yourself will be taken to a peaceful place in your soul. You will get more from the music each time you listen. Relax and enjoy the experience!

Bill Webb

Master of the instrument
I have well over one hundred Native American Style Flute and World flute CDs. With the exception of one very early and almost obscure album, I have all of Mark’s CDs. They all reside on the top shelf of my CD rack, as they are the ones I listen to the most. Mark (and his ensemble, Autumn’s Child or his collaboration with other artists) never disappoints. On the contrary, Mark’s skills in creating his music are always on top-notch display in all his works.

This new album just continues that rare and wonderful accomplishment. “Instruments Of Peace” is so contemplative, so rich, so extraordinary in musical diversity. It leads me to mediate, to reflect, to smile, and to tears. In my opinion, there is no other Native American style flute player with the abilities and flexibility that Mark has to embrace so many different types and styles of music and perform them as at the level he does. He is truly a Master of the instrument.

The entire album is just fantastic and after my first listen, I immediately had to listen again. Every track is superb and you’ll find yourself playing it again and again (as I am doing). Two standout tracks for me are, #7 “Tree By The Waters Of Marah”, played on a middle eastern scale flute, that has such a beautiful haunting melody that begins slowly, increases in tempo, climbs into the upper octave on the flute and then returns to a wonderful reflective finish with the cello taking the spotlight on the ending. The other standout track is #11 “Healing Is In Your Hands”, one of the two cover songs on this album, is such a beautiful song and Mark plays a higher keyed flute in a manner that just sends chills through you. It’s an outstanding example of what I base my opinion on, as noted above. All in all, this is wooden flute playing at its finest and even if you have only a few (or none) of Mark’s albums – you do not want to miss this one!

Bravo to the other musicians involved in this creation, stellar artists each and every one.

Ken Bogart

Another masterful creation by the best native flute player bar none!
Another perfect compilation of moving enjoyable music by Mark Holland. The only reason I would take the CD from my player is to put another one of Marks CD back in. The best music and I listen to Mark Holland more than any other artist. I enjoy the places he takes me with his music. I "get lost in the beauty of it all" Thank you so much Mark for being so creative and prolific. *****

Greg Bennett

Instruments of Peace
To hear the music of Mark Holland is to experience the sounds of what is right in the world. His music touches all the genres: classical, pop, jazz, spiritual, new age, and so on. He blends all these styles into a “musical smoothie” that quenches and nourishes your very soul. “Instruments of Peace” is just another fantastic arraignment from Mark and his fellow musicians. He is a gifted musician, who plays from his heart to nourish your soul.