Danny Paul Grody’s Fountain is the first full-length solo recording by one of the founding members of San Francisco’s Tarentel and the Drift. For those familiar with these music/art based acts, Fountain is a sweet reminder of Grody’s subtle guitar work — a cornerstone of both projects that often doesn’t get center stage in the ambitious mix of instrumentation, field recordings, and sound-scapes that make up the bulk of these bands’ output. Not that Fountain doesn’t use employ these techniques. There is no shortage of organ and feedback drones, recorded environments, modulated delay and ambience, but the album’s core is Grody’s evocative finger picking style — a style he says is an attempt to integrate something of psychedelic folk masters of the ’60s, contemporary minimalist composers, and African thumb piano music structures. The result is pattern heavy music that achieves depth through very little surface movement. Repetition is the key to Grody’s compositions and a patient, quiet, even half dreaming approach to listening yields the best results.
Grody once went under the moniker of Furniture — a name copped from Eno’s idea that music should become furniture in the room. Like many of Eno’s concepts, this one is not quite as ephemeral as it seems. Furniture after all is integral to a room’s atmosphere as well as its functionality. The deceptive stillness of Fountain achieves both aspects of this concept quite nicely, creating an almost marginal backdrop while at same time giving us solid, haunting melodies that are perfect for resting our thoughts and memories upon. While some of these pieces are certainly stronger than others, hopefully Fountain is just the beginning of a wellspring that Grody will continue to draw from.
Fountain is available at Root Strata. Grody’s award wining soundtrack collaboration for the documentary feature October Country will be available soon and can be heard at the film’s New York release Feb 12 -18th at the IFC Center in NYC.
Danny Paul Grody
“Well Wisher” [MP3]