Dances and Trances: Sufi Rites and Berber Music

WA 2002CD WA 2002CD

2015 repress expected soon? ...from Taroudannt, Morocco. 2000 release. Recordings from Taroudannt, Morocco, 1994-1995; a series of Moroccan Sufis practicing trance rites which outsiders are rarely able to witness. The city of Taroudannt, Morocco, is surrounded by perfectly-preserved red-ochre mud walls dating back, in part, to the 16th century Saadien dynasty, which chose Taroudannt as its capital before moving to the larger and more accessible Marrakesh. While the walls and their ramparts are impressive, the real attraction of Taroudannt lies in its purely Moroccan character, which has remained essentially unchanged for centuries. Situated in the Souss River valley and cut off by the snow-capped peaks of the Haut-Atlas mountains to the North, and the semi-desert Anti-Atlas range to the South, the French occupiers never created a modern ville-nouvelle here, with the typical unimaginative grid of streets one finds in many cities, large and small, throughout Morocco. The feeling of Taroudannt is timeless and traditional. A note about the recordings: the Guerreras and the Hadra were recorded with a hand-held stereo microphone, allowing free movement through the musicians and capturing the performances from a variety of vantage points. Sometimes particular instruments or voices were targeted, allowing the listener to hear the role they played. As a result, the sound is not static, the balance of elements shifting with the motion of the microphone. The performances were not the result of pre-arranged sessions. All were "encounters," recorded at public events held during the course of daily life in Morocco. Particularly in the large Guerrera, you will hear a throng of participants, surrounded by their expressions of enthusiasm and excitement, along with their casual socializing. Vocal drones, hypnotic percussion, chants, stringed instrumental accompaniment and winds, all captured live and in the moment for a sonic travelogue experience.