Silkscreened cigar box with foil stamping details throughout, 120-page leatherette book, and four CDs containing 4 hours and 30 minutes of audio. Includes introduction by Lee Ranaldo, field notes by Paul Bowles, and annotations by Philip Schuyler.
From July to December 1959, Paul Bowles crisscrossed Morocco making recordings of traditional music under the auspices of the Library of Congress. Although the trip occupied less than six months in a long and busy career, it was the culmination of Bowles’s longstanding interest in North African music. The resulting collection remained a musical touchstone for the rest of his life and an important part of his mythology.
“The pieces with the greatest, and those with the smallest amount, of Arabic influence, are both to be found, strangely enough, in the same country: Morocco. This region’s contact with Europe has been that of conqueror: in its decline it has been comparatively unmolested by industrial Europe. By virtue of this, also because it once had colonies in Mauritania and Senegal, and thus has a fair amount of admixture of Negro culture, it is richer in musical variety and interest than Algeria and Tunisia. In the latter countries there is plenty of music, but in Morocco music is inescapable.” — Paul Bowles
Paul Bowles (1910-1999) was an American expatriate composer and author. He became associated with Tangier, Morocco, where he settled in 1947 and lived for 52 years to the end of his life. While living in Morocco, Bowles became a magnet for those envisioning the artist's life away from the mainstream. He was idolized by writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom visited Bowles and his wife Jane in Tangier - a city Burroughs would later reimagine as the "Interzone" in his 1959 novel Naked Lunch. Over four months in 1959, Bowles traveled an estimated 25,000 miles around Morocco, capturing vocal and instrumental (including dance) music of various tribes and other indigenous populations at 23 locations throughout the country. In 1972, the Library of Congress issued a double LP titled Music of Morocco, containing selections from the collection. This four-CD set contains the recordings included on that double LP in addition to a wealth of never-before-heard music from this rich collection.
Disc 1: Highlands — The Berbers Part 1
1. Maallem Ahmed and ensemble – Ahmeilou (Tafraout)
2. Rais Ahmed ben Bakrim – El Baz Ouichen Song for Male Voice (Tiznit)
3. Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem and ensemble – Third Sqel (Zagora)
4. Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem and ensemble – Second Aqlal (Zagora)
5. Chikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble – Ouakha dial Kheir Women’s Chorus (Tahala)
6. Chikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble – Aili ya Mali Mixed Chorus (Tahala)
7. Maallem Ahmed and ensemble – Aouache Men’s Chorus (Tafraout)
Disc 2: Highlands — The Berbers Part 2
1. Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble – Aouada Trio (Tamanar)
2. Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble – Chorus and Dance (Tamanar)
3. Chikh Hamed bel Hadj Hamadi ben Allal and ensemble – Reh dial Beni Bouhiya Qsbah Solo (Segangan)
4. Various – Sounds of General Rejoicing (Ait Ourir)
5. Maallem Ahmed Gacha and ensemble – Albazaoua Women’s Chorus (Ait Ourir)
6. Chikha Fatoma bent Kaddour – Mouwal and Izlan (Ain Diab)
7. Cheikha Haddouj bent Fatma Rohou and ensemble – Qim Rhori (Khenifra)
8. Mohammed bel Hassan and ensemble – Qsida dial Malik (Ait Mohammed)
Disc 3: Lowlands — Influent Strains Part 1
1. El Ferqa dial Guedra (Bechara) – Ounalou Biha Rajao Male Solo with Women’s Chorus (Goulimine)
2. Maalem Abdeslam Sarsi el Mahet – Aiyowa d’Moulay Abdeslam Rhaita Solo (Arcila)
3. Sadiq ben Mohammed Laghzaoui Morsan and ensemble – Rhaitas and Tbola (Einzoren)
4. Embarek ben Mohammed – Mellaliya Song for Male Voice (Marrakech)
5. Maalem Mohammed Rhiata and ensemble, from the region of Taounate – Taqtoqa Jabaliya (Fez)
6. An unidentified ensemble – Gnaoua Chorus (Essaouira)
7. Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani – Gnaoui Solo Song (Marrakech)
8. Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani – Fulani Iresa (Marrakech)
9. Maallem Taieb ben Mbarek and chikhats – Hadouk Khail (Marrakech)
Disc 4: Lowlands — Influent Strains Part 2
1. Hazan Isaac Ouanounou and members of the Hevrat Gezekel – Ya Souki hakim Secular Sephardic Song (Meknes)
2. Hazan Semtob Knafo and Amram Castiel. Hevrat David Hamelekh – Chalom Lakha Chébii “Peace on the Seventh Day” (Essaouira)
3. Maalem el Hocein and ensemble – Qsida Midh (Meknes)
4. Abdelkrim Rais and ensemble – El hgaz el Mcharqi Andaluz Chorus (Fez)
5. Members of the Family of the Chorfa of Ouezzane – Andaluz Music of Ouezzane (Ouezzane)
6. Early Morning Calls to Prayer – El Fjer (Tangier)
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