R 090CD R 090CD

February 9th 2021 was the 80th birthday of composer Charlie Morrow. To celebrate the occasion, Recital announce Chanter, a new album collecting his voice works over the past 60+ years. Chanter features guests such as Annea Lockwood, The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble (who worked with Philip Glass), Carole Weber, etc. 80 minutes of voice for 80 years of Charlie's life. While Morrow's previous two albums on Recital Toot! Too (2017) and America Lament (R 081LP, 2020) focused on chamber and electronic compositions, Chanter covers over 60 years of vocal explorations. Spanning from Charlie's first ever tape recording Ella (1960) to two intimate chanting improvisations made in 2021 for this CD. Curated by Sean McCann, the dozen tracks which comprise the album include pieces like "Drum Chant" (1971), a roaring percussive crescendo with chanter hyperventilation; "A Chant With Watches" (1974), a spatial work of watches placed on top of microphones across the stereo field, oscillating in octaves. Composer Annea Lockwood appears on the album playing a glass water jar over the telephone at a 1984 New York concert where Charlie dialed in performers from around the world to collaborate with him on stage. A central portion of the album is the large-scale shamanic opera "Spirit Voices" (1971), based on concepts from Siberian shamanism. With tape playback of Charlie's handmade electronics and amplified chanting voices, the 1987 staging also included fire artists, metal sculptors, brass ensemble, saw player, and dance troupe. Elements of sound poetry are fused with minimalist drone and sometimes violent electronics. Two beautiful choral works are included: "Hymn Transformations" (1983), a style of composition that mutates Sacred Harp music with numerical repetitions based on geographical coordinates, here sung by The Western Wind vocal ensemble who famously performed works by Philip Glass. A euphonious passage from "Genesis Song" (1968), a Māori poem translated by Jerome Rothenberg, taken from Morrow's The Light Opera (1982), which included Min Tanaka's Butoh dancers and a trio of jack hammers. Silver-leaf foil printed CD, with 16-page booklet.