Boomkat Product Review:
Sean McCann’s Recital paint an engaging, 60 year-wide portrait of composer Charlie Morrow on his 80th birthday, purely depicted thru his vocal works ranging from haunting laments to Native American-styled drum chants and two new works produced in 2021 especially for the occasion.
Where Recital’s previous pair of Morrow LPs surveyed his chamber and electronic works, ‘Chanter’ scrolls back over 60 years of US artist’s vocal tekkerz with a dozen tracks spanning his first ever tape recording, the barely-there ‘Ella’ (1960), thru to a pair of contemporary examples variously speaking in ‘Tongues’ and ‘Humming’ like he’s the last man in a lone oceanic archipelago attempting to keep himself entertained. Notably Charlie’s contemporary of the NYC experimental scene, Annea Lockwood appears playing a glass water jar, dialled in over the telephone at a 1984 concert on ‘Phoning Annea’, and the album’s most substantial, durational work ’Spirit Voices’ (1987) sees his circles bleed with a captivating performance of possessed glossolalia, whistles and sputter set to sferic electronic backdrops and chattering bleeps in a more theatrical sense.
“"In these chants, Charlie Morrow moves over new ground into the oldest habitation of man’s breath and voice. The exploration is very intense, very expended. He is teaching us a language that predates language, that grows as language itself must have grown in the music of the first shamans and poets. For this is very much a poet’s music: attentive to voice and to syllable, projecting them out where they can enter the process of healing and of waking in our own lives…. I admire Charlie Morrow’s concerns and his accomplishments, I rejoice to see him stalking his own voice as it leads him to what must be some of the most remarkable music of our time."
- Jerome Rothenberg”