Corey McKnight, |
If you enjoy Gregorian chant or new age music, you owe it to yourself to check out My Solitude by Corey McKnight. According to his website, Corey describes his music as "incorporating the rich, medieval sounds of Gregorian chant with many layers of a cappella cascading vocals ranging from countertenor to bass." The majority of these 14 tracks have no instrumental accompaniment and are sung in Latin. Corey wrote and arranged most of the vocals. He also wrote the majority of the English language tracks.
The title track has English lyrics that describe a person who is lost and alone. This solitude is important in bringing them back to finding themselves. Peace, warmth and joy will all be found by embracing one's self. Corey's main vocals are at a point normally associated with pre-pubescent males such as you might hear from the Vienna Boys Choir. Seeing in his photo that Corey sports facial hair and knowing that castrati are a thing of the past, his vocal highs are quite impressive!
Corey can also reach the opposite end of the male vocal spectrum. With "Sanctus" he delivers a distinctive bass sound. Granted, most of the tracks on this CD are countertenor. This is one of the exceptions. When Corey's vocals do briefly move higher in this very short track, the move is seamless.
One of the more touching tracks on My Solitude is "The Gift." The singer addresses a young boy, telling him not to cry. The singer will essentially protect him and help him along life's path. I relate to this song in the sense that I have twin 2-year-old boys at home that need protection and guidance as they grow. I have often wondered while listening to the lyrics, however, if the singer is actually singing to his inner-child. Corey does not indicate his intentions in the liner notes. I imagine the interpretation is personal.
If you are familiar with the 12-member, a cappella vocal ensemble Chanticleer, then you are familiar with McKnight. He has performed with this San Francisco Bay Area-based group around the world. Currently, he lives in Boise, Idaho, where he worked for two years creating My Solitude. This CD really is a pleasure to listen to. Corey has a wonderful voice and the layering he does to accompany himself is enjoyable. I would easily rate this CD as one of the more accessible Gregorian chant/new age albums I have come across.
by Wil Owen