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Cornell Kinderknecht, Nightfall CD Review by: Rick McDaniel
Voice of the Wind, Volume 3, 2008
Heart of the Cedar, July 27, 2008

This week, we look at the newest release from Cornell Kinderknecht, Nightfall, on the Little Greyhound Music label.

Review excerpt by: Bill Binkelman
New Age Reporter,
March 8, 2009
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Cornell Kinderknecht's CD, Nightfall, is a tour through the magical musical world of flutes: Native American, Bansuri, Anasazi, bamboo, ocarina, and Irish whistle. Kinderknecht handles each of these with confident artistry, weaving a variety of both soothing low-key melodies and a few slightly uptempo tunes, accompanied by an assortment of keyboards… While the Native American flute dominates the affair… I wouldn't go so far as to label Nightfall a Native fusion release. It's much closer to classic new age music (one track brings to mind the Micahel Hoppe/Tim Wheater collaboration, The Yearning), at least to my ears. Part of this impression is influenced by how Kinderknecht incorporates his piano and arsenal of electronic keyboards. However, since the Native flute has such a distinctive sound, if Native fusion happens to be a subgenre you enjoy, you'll almost certainly like this album…

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Cornell's newest release brings you a synergistic work, in the new age style, that takes elements of sound from Western, Asian, and Native music, and interweaves them into a unique work, that has wonderful continuity, in terms of the title theme, bringing you a meditative, relaxing, chill out, magical trip, through that time between the shadows of twilight and dawn, when all things are possible.

Utilizing a mix of flutes, with keyboards / synth, piano, and percussion, at times blending 2 flutes into the mix, with effects of guitar, harp, crystals, bells, and more, Cornell adds the subtle touches of accompaniment that complement his compositions, but never taking away from, the beauty of his flutes.

Just when you think you feel the direction of a piece, it will take a turn, and lead you onto a new path, skillfully blending elements that leave you searching for description, as your senses find new discoveries within the pieces.

Perhaps more complex, and yet deceptively so, than his first release, these new songs are a little like fine wine, with subtle aromas and flavors, and surprises in the finish.

Review excerpt by: RJ Lannan
New Age Reporter,

February 6, 2009
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Music That Goes Lightly at Dark

I have never heard a Native American flute played as if it had classical and modern music wings before, but Cornell Kinderknect's new album, Nightfall, has just that feel. It is not so much formal sounding as it is structured…

Nightfall is a time of discovery for the creative mind. Poets, artists and writers seem to sense when the sun goes down and their creative juices begin flow like welcome April rain. For many it is also a time of peace. They take refuge in the night like crickets who sing louder when the stars, blazing like crystal diamonds, fill the darkness with their special magic. Cornell Kinderknecht's flute makes the night that much more secure, soothing and above all, satisfying. I enjoyed every cut.

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Emotions flow freely, and run from quiet peacefulness, to love, discovery, mysticism, and romance.

This is a wonderful work, that is a genuinely pleasing listening experience, yet, it can be allowed to flow in the background, without any conscious effort to listen, and its pleasing melodies still bring you comfort and tranquility, whether reading a book, sharing special moments of romance, or in meditative contemplation.

There are 13 tracks, of mostly medium to longer pieces, played in a mix of Native American flute, Bansuri (East Indian) flute, transverse bamboo flute, double wooden ocarina, low Irish whistle, and Anasazi flute.

In this work, Cornell plays his flutes in a distinctive, unexpected way, as the bansuris sound more like alto bamboo flutes, the Irish whistle sounds very non-Irish, with surprising warmth from the metal flute, and the use of 2 flutes on some tracks, create a delicate interplay, that has its own sound.

Track 1, Painted Sky, Genesis, is a bright melody with lots of "color", in a gentle tempo, that fades and then returns, joined with piano accompaniment, that reminds me of the phrase "the end of a perfect day".

Track 2, Nightfall, the title track, offers a moody, wistful sound that calls to the deepening shadows, as if a lover is absent and the heart is longing. Delicate synth accompaniments, add to the emotional qualities of the piece.

Cornell Kinderknecht

Pushing the Boundaries of World Flutes

Review by Amy Martin, Moonlady Media

Every ethnic tradition has its wind instruments: the spare and breathy Native American flute, the spare and tonal bansuri flute, the spare and enigmatic bamboo flute.

Do you get the idea that a lot of ethnic flute is spare to the point of emptiness? That's what makes Cornell Kinderknecht's flute and whistle artistry such a delight. His is a conversational approach to the flute, with dynamics reflecting of emotional interplay, a tasteful use of electronics and exquisite choice of instruments. Lesser flutists overuse breathiness to convey emotion. Kinderknecht does it with chops.

The double alto ocarina is one such example. Ocarinas, which originate from South America and Mesoamerica, are usually simple clay flutes with a few holes, often made in the shape of animals. Kinderknecht's ocarina has two chambers with separate scales, making a one-person duet possible. It's made of wood, enabling greater precision in the sound. The six-inch long instrument holds its own against a full piano in the bright and expansive duet "Alaska Highway."

Several songs on the CD are flute or whistle with piano accompaniment. I understand the impulse to pair them. Piano easily fills in the spaces that arise in flute compositions. People with short attention spans, and that's most of us folks, tend to wander off in those spaces. Yet there are times I just want to slap the piano silly, particularly in the first half of the CD.

But hang in there, it gets better, lots better. The two instruments balance perfectly in "Santa Fe Sunset" and "Southwest Prelude." At their best keyboards can provide an essential complement, giving shade and tone to the flute melody. Some of the best flute combos on the CD utilize an electronic keyboard, like in "Water" when it evokes water dripping to the depths. It complements the low tone and languid melody of Kinderknecht's unusual Native American flute, almost a yard long and three inches in diameter.

Electronic keyboards come to the fore again paired with an Anazazi flute in "Mystic Heart," providing a perfect texture of light moving across immense mesas and canyons. Keyboards add mystery to the melancholy longing sound of the bansuri flute in "Nightfall" and sound like chimes and harp in "Nocturne," an excellent evocation of falling night with its deepening unknown.

The CD contains outright flute solos like "At the Divide," a standout track that showcases a bamboo flute, often electronically overlaid in an elegant counterpoint. The song evokes the contemplation of choices and the reflective optimism of a new path. "Heart Crossing," with its variety of Native American flutes, showcases Kinderknecht's exceptionally refined and versatile technique.

But it's a selection like "Day's End" with a full band that truly shows Kinderknecht best. He uses a Native American flute in a Latin-flavored song, accented with perfect touches of sandpaper blocks by Frank Lunsford. The slow tango of Kinderknecht's flute with Cynthia Stuart's creative keyboards, modified to sound more like a guitar, is flirted with by Billy Bucher's artful percussion. An imaginative CD of tunes like this could seriously nudge world flutes up there with the saxophone as a pop instrument with a following in New Age and beyond.

~ Amy Martin

Track 3, Mother's Hands, creates the feelings of tenderness, for the memories of a mother's love and special tender care, in times past, with piano accompaniment.

Track 4, Water, shimmering ripples play on the water's surface, as the warmth of a low flute, and the gentleness of harp strings, takes you dreaming.

Track 5, Southwest Prelude, is a gentle prelude to track 6, that transitions into a brighter melody, quickly in track 6, utilizing various synth effects in accompaniment.

Track 6, Santa Fe Sunset, jumps quickly into a brighter melody that offers homage to the colors of the sunset, in the hills of Santa Fe, with piano accompaniment.

Track 7, Mystic Heart, brings the haunting sounds of the Anasazi flute, taking you on a journey, into the mysticism of the ancients, with elements of Eastern mysticism blended in by the siruti box, and gamelan like sounds, interwoven with crystals and chimes. Perhaps a little bit of east meets west.

Track 8, At the Divide, is one of the brightest tracks, on transverse bamboo flute, w/ synth guitar effects, piano, and siruti box, conveying optimism and hope.

Track 9, Alaska Highway, brings the bright uplift of the double wooden ocarina, blended with piano, in a feel good, "on the road" kind of piece, which is the one piece that seemed less night-like…until I remembered that Alaska is the land of the midnight sun. You can feel the discovery, of the journey.

Track 10, Nocturne, is a quiet piece, blending Native flute, gamelan sounds, and piano, with a touch of a hush, while a second flute adds quiet highlights to the gentle melody.

Track 11, Gratitude, employs the low D Irish whistle, and piano, in a piece that is very non-Irish, in sound, offering a warm melody, conveying grace and beauty.

Track 12, Heart Crossing, begins as the most native sounding piece in this work, utilizing 2 flutes with complimentary tonalities, beginning as a mostly solo flute piece, which then transcends into an almost renaissance kind of sound, in the second part of the piece. Certainly, unexpected, and one wonders about the elements of time, represented in this song.

Track 13, Day's End, has an almost latin rhythm, with synth guitar, djembe, and sandblock percussion, and the Native flute dances around and about the rhythm in a complimentary, but distinctive way, with a touch of romance, and I found myself thinking of this as a "movie" kind of piece.

The subtleties are the thing in this work, as the little twists and turns open your eyes to the unexpected, all the while, hearing the beautiful flute sounds, in a plethora of emotional appeals, for that quiet time of day.

Visit Cornell Kinderknecht's web site, for more information, bio, and performance schedule, as well as ordering of this new CD.

Find your sound bytes and purchase here: http://www.cornellk.com

Happy Listening,
Rick McDaniel

Copyright © 2020 Cornell Kinderknecht. All rights reserved. Little Greyhound Music / Artesound Music.