GOLDMUND: The Malady Of Elegance (Type Recordings)


Posted on Sep 28th 2008 10:09 pm

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Goldmund: The Malady Of Elegance

The Malady Of Elegance
Type Recordings 2008
15 Tracks.  55mins57secs

Keith Kenniff’s solo piano recordings show an unironic childlike wonder.  The Malady of Elegance, like Curduroy Road before it, is conservative in its tonal focus.  While its manner is reflective and studiedly neutral, the effect of these beautiful miniatures, performed with sublime delicacy, is oftentimes quietly haunting.

Pieces prove rather hypnotic in small doses.  Particularly during the first half of the recording, unfurling in an almost folk-like manner, tracks secrete tiny details at a meandering pace, fading in an out of earshot, and when they finally do well up and state their case, it’s a real event.

Making Keniff’s signature that much more distinguished and ferine is his concern for the mechanical dimension of his instrument of choice.  The piano is often close-miked so that one hears it less like an inert object and more as an aged body whose joints creek and moan from experience.  This dimension doesn’t protrude too much into the proceedings, but it’s there underneath the stately or muddy chords, like brief watermarks of past excursions.  At one point, during Mound Builders, Keniff even takes to draping a bow across the piano’s strings, accenting the fact that what often counts in his music is the ephemeral hues of the sound, as it passes, like an indistinct weather system.

With a life-span that carries it over some fifty-minutes, though, the almost obsessive monochrome dolefulness becomes a trifle drowsy and wearying.  A diminutive point, perhaps, but one which bears out the fact that Goldmund’s second effort embodies all of the signification’s of its rather aptly chosen title.


Goldmund (MySpace) | Type Recordings
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2 Responses to “GOLDMUND: The Malady Of Elegance (Type Recordings)”

  1. Headphone Commuteon 17 Oct 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Correction: Goldmund’s real name Keith Kenniff. Ken Keniff is a name you must have heard on Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP. ;)

  2. themilkmanon 17 Oct 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks for picking this up, it’s now corrected!