Peace is action, intention and a way of being in the world.
“Peace in Our Hearts is the second full-length album from Native American-style flutist and composer Diane Wheeler Dunn. Peace in Our Hearts is a heartfelt gift in this very difficult time for our world and its creatures. Very beautifully done!”
ZMR September chart has Peace in Our Hearts as #69! I’m happy to be in the top 100 New Age albums for September 2022!
Petunias are Stars: Flute in F#, Congas, Ambient Pad, Acoustic Steel Guitar
Kaia Malu: Flute in C, Finger Bass and Ambient Pad (A tilde goes over the A in Malu)
Imaginal Realm: Flutes in A#, Grand Piano and Ambient Pad
Follow the Sun: Flute in Low D, Dulcimer, Acoustic Steel Guitar, and Ambient Pad
Float the Boat: Flutes in E, Panflute, Upright Bass, and Ambient Pad
Peace in Our Hearts: Flutes in D and A, Flute Ensemble, and Ambient Pad
Be the Flame: Flute in Low D, Cello, Harp and Jazz Guitar
Mystery in the Mist : Flutes in High C and High F, Ambient Pad, and Pluck
While the Rabbit Sleeps : Flutes in Mid A and Low A, Cajon Drums, Ambient Pad
Pause for Peace: Flutes in A and E, Grand Piano and Ambient Pad.
The Stories Behind the Songs
Peace in Our Hearts
By Diane Wheeler Dunn
Written by Steve Sheppard
The award winning Diane Wheeler Dunn is with us again on a new musical voyage of pleasure, this time this flute based reverie of charm is entitled Peace in Our Hearts and a delightful journey with this illustrious and proficient musician it most certainly is.
This 10 track album has sublime moments of utter ambience, the opening piece is a prime example of that serenity and called Petunias are Stars, this composition is also a fine presentation of how to build and progress a composition, the sensitive percussion is also a soothing addition.
On each and every track the greatest attention to detail is paid, listen to pieces like Imaginal Realm, a track where an almost East meets West vibration can be found, or Float The Boat, a hovering arrangement with some incredibly inventive percussive elements and flute magic.
There can be no doubt that the artist has sealed her place among the many layered dimensions of flute performers across our globe, perhaps tracks like title offering Peace in Our Hearts will emphasize that, here lays a song of great quality and almost haunting in its depths and textures, while songs like While the Rabbit Sleeps offer a rhythmic pulse to the proceedings, this is a beautifully fluent composition that raises the rhythms of the whole album.
This stunning new release is concluded by the last offering from the album entitled Pause for Peace; this song is so very valuable and indeed meaningful especially at the moment, and here the artist manifests an energy of stillness and calm, allowing the meaning of the title to take full effect, a very smart way to finish the album, indeed.
Peace in Our Hearts by Diane Wheeler Dunn exemplifies just what a good flute performer she has become and is becoming, this crafted body of work has tone, multi-layered textures of sound and intention, and is without a shadow of a doubt the artist’s best work to date. Peace in Our Hearts by Diane Wheeler Dunn must be an instant purchase for those who love flute based music, and also to those who seek a sanctuary of the soul in search of that much sought after commodity, peace!
Peace in Our Hearts
Diane Wheeler Dunn
2022 / Diane Wheeler Dunn
Peace in Our Hearts is the second full-length album from Native American-style flutist and composer Diane Wheeler Dunn. Her 2021 debut album, Quiet Beauty, was named “Best Flute Album” by the One World Music Radio awards for that year, and she has also released several singles, one of which is included on this album. Instrumentation on the ten original tracks includes a variety of flutes and a combination of ambient pads, grand piano, guitars, dulcimer, bass, cello, harp and drums. In addition to writing music and playing flutes, Diane’s artistry extends to songwriting, producing, photography, watercolor painting and avid gardening. Quoting Diane: “Flutes, flowers, photography and philosophy! These are what I am about, what I spend time with at this stage of my life…. My purpose is to create beauty.” The philosophy that Diane studies and follows is eco-spirituality in the Teilhard De Chardin and Thomas Berry tradition, with some Contemplative and Celtic Spirituality mixed in. “They are all interwoven to create music, art and relationships with others, including our creature and plant kin.”
Peace in Our Hearts begins with “Petunias are Stars,” a piece inspired by a photo Diane took of deep purple star-shaped petunias. In new age folklore, it is believed that petunias will only thrive where there is positive energy, and the Maya and Inca traditions believed that their scent would ward off monsters and evil spirits. Flute, congas, acoustic steel guitar, and ambient pads cast a hypnotic spell that will draw you into the music and invite you to stay for more! “Imaginal Realm” is where the inner and outer worlds meet and its energy can change the course of events in the world – it is “perhaps the dream of peace in the universe.” Flutes, piano, and ambient pads take us to a quiet, soothing place where anything is possible. “Follow the Sun” is an ode to the sunflower, a symbol of peace, and expresses how enjoying life is one of the results of a peaceful world. Guitar, dulcimer, flutes and ambient pads create a light-hearted warmth to breathe in and savor. The title track expresses that “peace is a choice, an intention, an action” and that “we can be just as dramatic in our peace as we are in our struggles.” A combination of flutes and ambient pad paint a shimmering picture of beauty and tranquility. “Be the Flame” mixes cello, flute, harp and jazz guitar and is an invitation to act toward generating peace in our world. A profound sadness seems to run through this haunting piece, urging us to move forward and be our best selves. “Mystery in the Mist” was released as a single in late 2021 and was named the “Best Flute Single” in the One World Music Radio awards for that year. Quoting my review of the single: “…atmospheric keyboard washes and ambient pads behind the Native American style flute combine to give the feeling of a chilly, foggy night on the beach where no shapes are defined and a profound feeling of solitude envelops you in much the same way the fog and mist do – an experience that is both beautiful and a little bit unsettling.” I love this very evocative piece! The album comes to quiet close with “Pause for Peace,” played with flutes, grand piano and ambient pads and leaving the listener gently refreshed and relaxed.
Peace in Our Hearts is a heartfelt gift in this very difficult time for our world and its creatures. It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites such as Spotify. Very beautifully done!
Artist: Diane Wheeler Dunn
Title: Peace In Our Hearts
Genre: Instrumental World-New Age
Release Date: August 31, 2022
“The native American flute is very simple, earthy, and spiritual. That is one thing that never changes. I am grateful for that and talented artists such as Diane Wheeler Dunn. Peace In Our Hearts is her second album release.
I think Diane’s story is inspiring. She is a retired transportation worker turned musical artist with something to say. And she does so quite elegantly throughout this ten-track release.
The addition of additional instruments makes this music so complete and beautiful. There is a steel guitar, dulcimer, upright bass, harp, Cajon drums, etc. The flute leads the way like a spiritual guide taking the other instruments along to accentuate an already sacred path to enlightenment.
What an incredible healing the Native American Flute can be. It takes me to a different place than other music. I think of the importance of the Native Americans and how they lived. They treated mother earth with respect and took only what they needed. If only we had followed their way, we would not be in the situation we are in now with pollution of all sorts and the devastation of forests. I have a deep respect for them and always will. I cannot help but have these thoughts whenever I hear this music. While that carries a weight of sadness, I can still move forward and let this music work its wonders on my soul.
“Kaia Malu” has a hint of sadness about it. It is very placid, and it relaxed me. I suppose it depends on who you are and what frame of mind you are in when you listen. That is with any music; however, for me, there is a bit more thought and reflection that goes into instrumental music. And particularly music so earthy and sacred as this.
“Imaginal Realm” had a different feel and atmosphere. It was more of a methodical piece, particularly with the Grand piano. The flute is divine, and the keys were there to enhance the importance of the main instrument. The keys make their presence known, but the flute is out front, as it should be.
Those are only two examples of the diversity of this music and how the flute can encompass so many realms and invite the other instruments to partner cohesively.
Diane Wheeler Dunn keeps your interest from start to finish rather than lulls you to sleep. I am sure it can be used for meditation or general relaxing listening. For my ears, it engaged so many thoughts and feelings. I am grateful for the artistry that makes me feel so good and gives me hope. Every track is so different, and I think that is a significant accomplishment utilizing the Native American Flute.”
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
November 11, 2022