(2016/Dust To Digital) 30 tracks. 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. 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.
Medium 1 Ahmeilou El Baz Ouichen Third Sqel Second Aqlal Ou...
Folk Music - General
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is FANTASTIC. First, the recording quality is superb. Yeah, it's in mono, but the recording is so well done you barely notice, and you only notice when you're right between the two speakers and hear the music emanating from a single point.
Second, the music itself is excellent. Unlike other field recordings from the earlier part of the 20th century, these folks knew what modern recording equipment did but they still have retained a really authentic sound largely untouched by modern or "world beat" influences. And the specific performances on here all sound...urgent, almost, as if the performers somehow felt the importance of what they were doing.
Finally, I don't know how many vinyl records the original had, but there are many long-form performances here, not shortened and dumbed-down in any way. Yeah, like a lot of North African music there's a very repetitive element, but it does actually evolve albeit slowly. But this makes it better insofar as...
I'm a musical tourist, not a million miles in mindsets from Paul Bowles, who recorded this traditional music. This collection, from the late 50's, sponsored by a Smithsonian grant, recorded with enthusiasm by Bowles, deals with music from the highlands and lowlands of Morocco, is recorded on tape, was originally released on two LPs and now extended and edited on four cds.
In terms of exploring this music, this absolutely beautiful box-set - again, bravo Dust-to-Digital - will give you the overview and track by track context via Paul Bowles words and photographs, plus the editors' notes on things like track selection, and additional context.
Which sounds pretty dry, I know, but boy does this open a door to a time and a place. Listening to music in unfamiliar languages from unfamiliar cultures is a joy in itself - discovering what raises responses in oneself even without understanding the depth of what we're hearing. Here, we're given a few clues, and that...
A truly remarkable sound archive. This is not easy listening or "Morocco-lite" dinner background music. It is a significant series of recordings of a culture that was already being overwhelmed in the late 1950s. The recording quality is excellent considering the conditions in which it was recorded.
Not for everyone, or even for most people, but worth the effort for anyone interested in an important aspect of North African culture.
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