Friday, December 30

Paul Bowles & the Music of Morocco

Paul Bowles on the roof of the Palais Jamai in Fes, Morocco, 1947
"In the late 1950s, the last remaining muezzin in Tangier who delivered the Muslim call to prayer with strength of voice alone decided to begin using a modern amplifier. His final call to prayer before doing so would be the last unplugged recitation in Tangier’s history, a milestone not lost on the American writer and resident of the city, Paul Bowles. According to Josh Shoemake’s literary history of Tangier, Bowles stationed himself at a cafĂ© near the muezzin’s mosque and set up a tape recorder to capture the event. ... Tape recorders were not widely available at the time, but Bowles had one for a much larger sonic project that coalesced almost thirty years of interest in Moroccan music. He first visited the country in 1931 while studying music theory and composition with Aaron Copland, and was bowled over by the Arabic music he heard. ..."

2007 November: The Authorized Paul Bowles Web Site, 2010 February: Paul Bowles (1910-1999), 2011: January: Halfmoon (1996), 2013 July: Tellus #23 - The Voices of Paul Bowles, 2014 January: Let It Come Down: the Life of Paul Bowles (1998), 2014 March: The Sheltering Sky (1949), 2015 January: Things Gone & Things Still Here, 2015 October: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – a cautionary tale for tourists, 2015 November: The Rolling Stone Interview (May 23, 1974), 2016 June: Let It Come Down (1952).