October 14th, 2011 3:00 pm | by ROBERT HAM Music | Posted In: Cut of the Day

Cut of the Day: Goldmund, "Shenandoah," All Will Prosper (Western Vinyl)

Keith Kenniff is better known to the world at large for his work as an ambient electronic artist that performs under the name Helios. Or as one half of the dreamy, dreamy pop duo called Mint Julep.

Kenniff, though, leads a triple musical life as Goldmund, a classically trained multi-instrumentalist who tackles expressionistic modern Classical music. It is with this moniker that Portland-based artist is gearing up to release a new album this December, entitled All Will Prosper. This new full-length finds him reinterpreting a collection of Civil War-era songs, tunes that are as deeply embedded in our culture as the National Anthem: "Dixie," "Amazing Grace," "The Yellow Rose of Texas," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." In every case, the songs are played in a funereal adagietto, with Kenniff gently plucking out notes on an acoustic guitar or a piano. The effect is haunting and absolutely beautiful.

Just take a listen to his take on the Southern standard "Shenandoah." Here Kenniff lays down a trilling bed of piano notes over which he ekes out the melody line on guitar. He apparently miked up all the instruments very closely so as to capture all the squeaks and creaks of each instrument. It helps add to the ghostly feeling that he is able to gently pull out of this song. Listen to it and enjoy it today, but I recommend using it as your wake up music on Sunday morning, with nothing more than a cup of coffee on your agenda. It's just the thing to ease into the chill of a fall day.
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