The Sorrow Songs : Folk Songs of Black British Experience (Topic Records, 2022)
The Sorrow Songs: Folk Songs of Black British Experience is produced by Eliza Carthy and features some of her beautiful, soaring string arrangements. The Sorrow Songs was recorded in Cornwall at Cube Studios and is a work of ‘re-storying’.
“The traditional songs of the UK are rich with storytelling, and you can find songs with examples of almost any kind of situation or person you can think of. But whilst people of the African diaspora have been present in these islands since at least Roman times, their histories are little known – and these histories don’t tend to appear in the folk songs of these islands.”
Angeline Morrison began to wonder if she could discover more about the lives of these ordinary and extraordinary Black ancestors, and create an album of songs in the sonic style of UK folk and traditional music, in the hope that this silent space could then begin to be filled with stories. With the help of Arts Council National Lottery funding, Angeline began what became a year of research into this neglected area of Black British history. The Sorrow Songs: Folk Songs of Black British Experience is the result.
The Brown Girl and Other Folk Songs
(Independent release, 2022)
A collection of 10 traditional songs, chosen with love and care. The title track has
been a talisman to me… it allowed me to dream people of colour into the songs of
these islands, long before I knew about the fact of our historic presence here. The
arrangements include multiple vocals, some drones, and as much space and light as
Ophelia single (Independent release, 2021)
These are the fragments of thought, sensation and musing of Shakespeare's Ophelia
as she drifts downstream to her watery grave. She is aware of the sights and sounds
of life that continue on all around her (don't they know it's the end of the world?),
and she muses on these, too. As she floats, looking upwards at the sun and the
treetops from below, pieces of the songs and stories she has heard since her
childhood dance in and out of her drifting consciousness. She wonders if she will be
made into a magical harp or fiddle that will sing out her fate, just like the drowned
girl in Bows of London… How eloquently Ophelia communicates the darkest depths
of sorrow, grief and loss, the places from which so many humans shrink.
He Comes in the Night single (Independent release, 2021)
Thinking about haunting and ghosts in general has led me to some compelling
stories. It's easy to find out about them, so there's no need for me to name here the
particular stories that seem reluctant to leave my imagination. You can even listen to
audio recordings of ghostly activity online, or read written accounts. It was one of
the many audios, in this case of a suburban haunting where pre-teen girls were
involved, that inspired this song. I used it as a starting point and then imagined many
possible story twists. Perhaps what is being expressed here is less of a love poem,
more an account of the gradual hollowing-out of someone's sense of self.
"Dark, unsettling folk that verges on the hymnal" - BBC Music Introducing,
Bright Blessings single (Independent release, 2021)
Bright Blessings is a blessing in the form of a song. It honours someone who shines
very brightly, a radiant light, a wandering star on the earth. But also, this is someone
whose chosen path differs from yours so absolutely that you find you must turn and
walk in quite another direction. Your blessings follow them as they go, though,
wherever they go.
Circular Waltz single (Independent release, 2021)
This song came to me as I was pacing around in the rain, in the dark, waiting for
someone who never came. Circular Waltz is a meditation on the passage of time, in
particular those moments when time drags its heels. When waiting for an hour to
pass feels like a punishment from a faerie villain, as though you had failed to separate the peas from the beans in the enormous mound before the sun rose, and are now turned to stone until every last leaf to falls from the rowan tree... Seconds falter, far too slow.
The Charcoal Pool by We Are Muffy (Tapete Records, 2018)
From somewhere wild and strange in Cornwall come the idiosyncratic acoustic sounds of We Are Muffy, the happy alliance of Nick Duffy (The Lilac Time, Bait) and Angeline Morrison (The Mighty Sceptres, The Ambassadors of Sorrow). With influences including the Incredible String Band, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Sam Cooke, Max Romeo and Shirley & Dolly Collins weaving through their music, We Are Muffy spin poetic narratives of remembered and imagined tales set in Birmingham. Their distinctive strain of folk music combines vocal harmonies with unexpected instrumentation (lyre, music box, cutlery, bottle tops, broken china), in amongst the expected (autoharp, banjo, double bass). Uncut Magazine awarded the album 8 stars, writing that "They summon the dust, stillness and daydreams of Sunday afternoons in 1972."
Bride of the Wintertide by Rowan : Morrison (Millersounds, 2021)
The third album in the trilogy of winter themed albums (following on from Silent
Night Songs for a Cold Winter's Evening and Fields of Frost).
A collection of songs ranging from carols, new and traditional folksong, a Christmas
pop song, a song for Plough Monday, and more beside.