The Book of Numbers & Spells

R 061BK R 061BK

"The Book of Numbers and Spells is multi-hatted composer and inventor Charlie Morrow's first book. Number and letter games bejewel the pages of this anthology (pulling pieces and writings from 1974 to 2019). These works are largely text scores. It wasn't until I saw Charlie perform 'Ten the Long Way' with a room full of participants that the performative power became clear to me. Chanting numbers: the meditative, transparent, and unifying joy that swept across the room was beautiful. Charlie, a born networker of people and ideas, has naturally included two close friends in the book. Jerome Rothenberg provides a poetic essay, 'A Gematria Sampler', along with a compelling article written by composer Tom Johnson. These supplements embolden the scope and richness of Morrow's transparent systems." --Sean McCann, June 2019

"The range of Charlie Morrow's work if laid out end to end would show him clearly -- though never completely -- as a protean and transformational composer and performer. He is, from where I see him, both the leading proponent of an active ethnopoetics in avant-garde musical performance and a master of new technologies as they come into contemporary practice. It's this dynamic of old and new that a gathering like this again makes plain. The effect, all in all, is cumulative, the power in the ensemble, the full range of his explorations: shamanic-inspired dream chants, animal language events, performance pieces based on modern signal codes and ancient numerologies, soundscapes derived from the new wilderness of urban spaces and the old wilderness of arctic tundras, recompositions of familiar repertory works and of long neglected or forgotten chants and hymns, works for multiple massed single instruments (ocarinas, tubas, cellos, harps), international radio events in celebration of winter and summer solstices, and an extraordinary range of massive public spectacles. Now after fifty years of active engagement, the work, as serious and deeply rooted as it gets, is conceived and played out with a boundless energy and good humor -- in a style as distinctive as his familiar and ever present bowler hat." Jerome Rothenberg, 2019

130 pages; 6x9" perfect bound. Limited edition of 100; hand numbered in red ink.