The line between us is so thin


Paul Bowles traveled throughout Morocco in 1959 making field recordings of the traditional music he found throughout the country, in the beyond and the back of beyond.

The music is incredible. It is hypnotic, for starters, and the voices of men and women throughout are haunting. It reminds me—with my scant knowledge of most international music—of the ghazals of Pakistan, and there is, surely, some relation between the forms (though ghazals, I think, are usually intended as romantic songs, and the music on Music of Morocco has widely varying purposes).

This collection represents the sounds of another world. It's one far removed—in time and place—from most of us. This music is so rich in detail, so vibrant and so social, too, that it can make you long for the chance to go back to that time and place to hear it and see it in person.

[BUY Music of Morocco]

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  1. I’m reading his wife’s novel right now. Crazy as hell. I’ll be giving this one a good spin to go with it.

    • I’d totally forgotten that Paul Bowles was that Paul Bowles. I’m looking forward to hearing how you like the book–someone (maybe Prof. Hof?) referenced it in a book I read not too long ago and it sounded interesting.

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