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American composer and producer Keith Kenniff records post-classical music under the name Goldmund, primarily played on solo piano with occasional touches of acoustic guitar, synthesizer, and effects. His recordings are typically sparse, intimate, and reflective, serving as the ideal accompaniment to contemplation and nostalgic remembrance. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kenniff's music lends itself well to soundtracks, and he has composed extensively for films, television programs, and advertisements. In addition to his work as Goldmund and under his own name, he is well known for his downtempo and ambient electronic music as Helios. Additionally, he makes shoegaze and indie pop with his wife, Hollie Kenniff, as Mint Julep.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Kenniff began playing drums, guitar, and bass as a youth. He started making ambient music as Helios in 2001, and his debut album, Unomia, was released by IDM label Merck in 2004. The following year, he debuted his Goldmund project with Corduroy Road, issued by John Twells' Type label. The label also released Goldmund's EP The Heart of High Places, as well as Helios' acclaimed Eingya, in 2006. Around this time, Kenniff graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a B.A. in percussion and composition. As Goldmund, he released the short album Two Point Discrimination, his first for Western Vinyl, in 2007. The project returned to Type (which had issued two additional Helios albums) for 2008's The Malady of Elegance. While most subsequent Helios work was released through Kenniff's own Unseen Records label, Goldmund remained with Western Vinyl. Famous Places, a slightly more atmospheric Goldmund outing, appeared on the label in 2010. This was followed by 2011's All Will Prosper, an album of Civil War-era folk songs played mainly on acoustic guitar and piano.
Kenniff took a bit of a hiatus while he and his wife raised their son, but he returned toward the end of 2015 with Helios' Yume as well as Goldmund's Sometimes, which featured a guest appearance from avowed fan Ryuichi Sakamoto. This was followed by Occasus, a slightly darker, more distorted Goldmund full-length, which was released in 2018. ~ Paul Simpson
- Oct 9, 1981
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