Slow Meadow: Costero
While modern culture enjoys the distractions of its electric sideshow, Slow Meadow opens a rare space for peace, thought and warmth. The second release by multi-instrumentalist Matthew Kidd is titled Costero (43’01”), and provides ten tracks of reassuring Ambient Chamber Music. An album that flows with the solemn and blissful insistence of life itself, Costero brings fragrance into the listener’s solitude. Featuring mainly pianos and strings, as well as an imaginative assortment of samples, gentle distortion, and other detailed effects, Kidd’s key-centered pieces each move, by root progressions, to a perfect resolution. He makes the relationships of triadic tonality as interesting and understandable as possible, and so the character and quality of his ideas become richer in the process. The musical gestures encountered on Costero are straightforward and uncomplicated. By combining vague classical influences with weightless ambient music, Costero conjures up a safe zone – a realm where notes always stay the same, but meaning is ever changing. Presented in delicate scoring, the violin is explored in all of its registers and shadings, with the piano engaging in lovely melodic substance. When convincingly performed, contemporary music may project strong emotional content. Played with sensitivity, one might touch a flower without troubling a star. But, what world created this music? Surely not the 21st century – where mainstream consumers of music feel anxious, as the marketplace thrives on their exploitation. On the inside, the rest of us explore our music fully in thoughtful repose – where we might imagine but one thing more pleasurable than listening to this album, and that must have been the act of performing it.