Cornell Kinderknecht, a member of the Heart of the Cedar flute circle
in Dallas, Texas, has recently released a new world flute CD entitled
, that is worthy of attention. Cornell is
classically trained in woodwinds, with a music degree from Kansas
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,
RETURNING HOME - CD Review
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
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
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
Track 1, Stages of Goodbye (Pat Partridge bamboo Native
American flute), is a nice solo piece, with just a touch of sadness to
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
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.