//www.cornellk.com - Cornell Kinderknecht

Cornell Kinderknecht, Returning Home Review by: Rick McDaniel
Heart of the Cedar, July 17, 2005.
Voice of the Wind, Volume 3, 2005

Cornell Kinderknecht, a member of the Heart of the Cedar flute circle in Dallas, Texas, has recently released a new world flute CD entitled Returning Home, that is worthy of attention. Cornell is classically trained in woodwinds, with a music degree from Kansas State University.

Cornell is a rather quiet and unassuming person. So, even though members of the Heart of the Cedar knew he was an excellent flutist, we were pleasantly surprised by just how good a flutist he really is when this CD came to fruition.

Usually, we think of a "first-effort CD" as being nice, but seldom do we get an initial effort of this caliber, from any artist. The compositions and playing on this work are more what you might expect to hear from a much more "seasoned" artist with several CDs already under his or her belt. We are very fortunate to have talent of this caliber in our little flute circle!

The flute playing on this CD is absolutely wonderful, and the variety of musical sounds on this work is rather amazing, with influences of Native America, the orient, and even classical Baroque music as part of the mix. Yet, even with all of the sound variety, the pieces flow well from one to another, with both gentle meditative tracks, and lively, upbeat, tracks in the mix. If anyone wonders about the differences between a five-hole flute and a six-hole flute, the way Cornell uses the six-hole flute, with regard to modes, should aurally clear up that issue for you very quickly! He garners sound from the Native American Flute, that sounds like another instrument, altogether.


Review by: Lucky Boyd
My Texas Music, August 2005

Cornell Kinderknecht's 2005 release is Returning Home, an album of original instrumental music featuring flutes from multiple cultures. Kinderknecht features Native American flute through much of the album but also plays recorder, ocarina, bamboo flute, and the lovely Bansuri flute of India. You'll be comforted by Kinderknecht's songs as the entire disc is perfect for leaving in the player for soothing sounds of Native America and worldly rhythms that add percussion and even keyboards to the tracks. Wonderfully mixed and produced, the disc features fellow My Texas Music member Shelly Niebuhr on "April Soliloquy" and My Texas Music friend Billy Bucher on percussion on "My People" and "Roundabout." This disc is a perfect addition to your instrumental collection. Kinderknecht also appears on Shelly Niebuhr's album Believe.
The flutes used by Cornell on this CD include Native American flutes, bansuri, double wooden ocarina, transverse bamboo flute, and recorders (alto and bass). Some pieces are solo while others have accompaniment from a keyboard/synthesizer, drums, and miscellaneous percussion. Flute makers represented on this recording include Butch Hall, Pat Partridge, Russ Wolf, Michael Graham Allen, Helio Portales, and Chris Maddux. (Notice that all but one of those is/was from the Dallas or Texas area.) Other instruments are made by Romy Benton, Jean-Luc Boudreau, and the North Country Workshop, among others. Bansuris are provided by Kirti Shah of One World Flutes.

Contributing artists include Shelly Niebuhr (keyboards track 6), Billy Bucher (drums and percussion tracks 2 and 7), and Frank Lunsford (hang drum track 2, percussion track 6).

While I received a wonderful preview of this CD at the Armadillo Flute Retreat in the Dallas area last November in a live concert from Cornell, the recent release concert was just as wonderful, if not more so. I find the music refreshingly different, engaging, and the style of playing simply mesmerizing. I am so impressed, I have already suggested we need more!

There are 12 tracks on Returning Home, varying in length from just under 3 minutes, to about 6.5 minutes in length. The atmosphere varies from very moody meditative pieces to almost childlike, playful pieces.

Track 1, Stages of Goodbye (Pat Partridge bamboo Native American flute), is a nice solo piece, with just a touch of sadness to it.

Track 2, My People, is an unexpected piece, as it has an oriental/Nepalese/East Indian kind of influence, or possibly even Japanese, with the synthesizer offering some simulated shamisen-like string sounds. What makes this even more interesting, it that it is played with an Helio Portales Native American small flute, with accents from a bamboo transverse flute. Wonderful percussion on the Hang, with bells and other percussion, round out the oriental flavor of this piece. This is one of my favorite tracks on this work. It is just outstanding.

Track 3, Expectation brings us the first of the bansuri flute pieces, a quite meditative piece, with a lot of feeling to it. (Cornell has really taken to the bansuri flutes of late. Good thing ... because he plays them beautifully.)

Track 4, Generations is simply a wonderful piece, played on the double wooden ocarina, with an almost "folk music" kind of feeling to it. This song soars and surrounds you with sound. I never tire of this piece, with its bright and appealing melody. Also a favorite track from this work.

Track 5, Timeless Soul has a more traditional solo flute sound, with a gentle flow to the melody and a touch of poignancy in the music.

Track 6, April Soliloquy is the prime piece played on the transverse bamboo flute and has an air of mystery, with subtle touches of oriental percussion. This is a very meditative kind of piece, in which to lose your self.

Track 7, Roundabout is a playful piece, which has childlike appeal. It is played on a Russ Wolf flute), accompanied by keyboards and percussion. It is a bright, lively piece, that just makes you feel good. It is that "unexpected" piece on this work, that provides the listener with a delightful experience.

Track 8, Winter Blue is played on bass recorder with keyboard accompaniment. This is a surprising, moody piece with a rich flute sound from the recorder. This song proves that surprises can be very wonderful. This is a pretty piece, with much feeling, and will for some of you, be the most pleasing low flute piece.

Track 9, Recitative, Looking Forward, played on alto recorder, is a nice solo piece, with a "reflecting on the future" kind of feeling to it.

Track 10, Estampie, Looking back", is an unexpected piece, taking you into a New-Age version of what might be a Baroque kind of sound, with synthesized harpsichord accompaniment and performed on the alto recorder. It is a relatively bright and lively piece, and makes you think of renaissance minstrels at a faere. Absolutely one of the outstanding, and good feeling, pieces on this work. (Yes, I had to go to the dictionary, for "estampie".)

Track 11, Horizon is perhaps my favorite of the Bansuri pieces. The piece has wonderful range. It has Native American flute accompaniment, with at least 3 flutes used in the piece. It is a musical tapestry, with a lot of things going on. Yet it is a soft and gentle piece which is delicately played.

Track 12, Returning Home is a special piece for Cornell, with lots of emotional memories. He selected one of Michael Allen's (Coyote Oldman) high flutes to play, in this poignant piece with piano accompaniment. Isn't it amazing at how wonderful the high flutes can play a piece of music, in skilled hands?

Since the CD release concert in Dallas, I have listened to this CD for a total of about 20 listenings, and I have not tired of any of this music. If you haven't gotten this CD yet, you are sure going to want to get it!

Cornell, all I can say is ... what took you so long? (smile)

Visit Cornell Kinderknecht's web site, http://www.cornellk.com for more information, biography, and performance schedule, as well as ordering of this wonderful new CD.

Cornell's Recordings:
Cornell Kinderknecht and Martin McCall, Dreamtime CD
Cornell Kinderknecht, Nightfall CD
Cornell Kinderknecht, Returning Home CD
Returning Home
Sound Oasis Trio, Overture to the Ethers CD, Cornell Kinderknecht, Martin McCall, Cynthia Stuart
Overture to the Ethers
Listen to audio samples or purchase here.
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