Chris Morphitis

Where To Go

Village Green VGCD011
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Composer, guitarist and producer Chris Morphitis releases his debut album through British Label Village Green. Recorded at his suburban garden shed, the album merges Morphitis’s love of Zimbabwean and Greek music with his intuitive passion for experimentalism. Known for performing with and producing bands that reworks traditional folk music including MOBO nominated "Best African Act" The Owiny Sigoma Band (2011) and Greek Psyche band Mavrika (2012).
Commencing with a mixture of improvised and pre-written material, Morphitis built the album up from recorded takes of complete live performances, the idea being to retain any imperfections and sense of spontaneity. With this in mind he also chose to record with a combination of musicians who specialised in improvisation.
“Hassan Erraji, a Moroccan musician and a wild-card improviser, always shocks me with how he hears and interprets my music. I paired him up with a musician from a completely different background, the British classical cellist Ian Burdge, to form a string section. They share similar ground in the sense they produce a very high quality of tone, but their pitching (Hassan plays Arabic music with many microtonal differences to Western classical temperament) and tone is very different to each other. They are almost opposite ends of the spectrum, but together they created a beautiful string section, but not in the conventional sense.”
Composer Gustavo Santaolalla, who pioneered the fusion of his Argentinian roots with rock, soul, African rhythms and Latin American folk, was a big influence on the album. “He opened up the possibility that music made in a personal and intimate way can be just as moving and atmospheric as a full orchestral film-score,” explains Morphitis.
Morphitis was also drawn to Steve Reich’s ‘Electric Counterpoint’ a piece of music he recorded and performed for his final recital at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Reich's rhythms get in your blood just like the West-African music he is emulating. It’s familiar, but totally original. It can sound euphoric and melodic, but also like a very precise and cerebral experience. How he abstracts traditional music and creates something brand new is something I and wanted to revisit on this album.
Expanding on some of the albums tracks, Morphitis explains:
The Count: “Dedicated to my little baby Alexi nicknamed ‘The Count’. The piece starts from small vague sounding melodies, played on piano, cello and violin, double bass and classical and electric guitar. The idea is that these small fragments come together increasingly throughout the piece and a clearer picture emerges."
Chartwell: “This piece is an impression of the sound I would hear backstage before a Chartwell Dutiro gig. He would start the gig off with a solo mbira song. This song would set the tone for the rest of the night. Chartwell is my musical idol.”
Where To Go: “I tried to write something that worked in a different way to the other pieces on the album. I wanted it to develop in texture and harmony in a slow simple way but at the same time have thousands of miniature details that sounded fast- bit like how a time-lapse film looks. It is one of my favourite pieces on the album because, depending where I sit in front of my speakers I hear a different melody.”

Chris Morphitis: Where To Go

The Count Chris Morphitis 03:31
Claustro Chris Morphitis 05:16
Embrace Chris Morphitis 02:16
Yellow Lines Chris Morphitis 04:41
Timelapse Chris Morphitis 03:39
Peel Feel Chris Morphitis 04:02
If S2 Chris Morphitis 04:40
Where To Go Chris Morphitis 03:06
Coat Tails Chris Morphitis 04:09
Chartwell Chris Morphitis 03:06

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