Famous Places marks the third full-length release by composer Goldmund (aka Keith Kenniff/Helios) and the second release for Texas-based record label Western Vinyl. A graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in percussion, Kenniff focuses his Goldmund project instead on solo piano, mixing the delicate composition of composers such as Erik Satie and Harold Budd with a quiet and elegant simplicity.
While Famous Places continues similar themes heard in his previous releases, this collection of songs calls to mind certain nostalgia for the composer. The track titles are reflective of landmarks in Kenniff’s life that he uses as a theme to base his compositions on, punctuating memories of childhood, love, and loss with his signature sound of modestly beautiful piano vignettes. Although the album consists mostly of solo piano, from time to time the listener can hear understated ambient drones, distant keyboard melodies and other instruments far off in the background highlighting his hazily recollected portraits of years gone by. Kenniff’s almost reluctance to defy a dynamic marking of pianissimo and his close-mic’d upright piano makes the exploration a quietly reflective journey that invites the listener to sit beside the composer and pay attention to the space between the notes just as much as when he gently taps the piano hammer to the strings.