Frue presents The Master Musicians of Joujouka, returning to Japan for the first time since 2017, on tour in collaboration with The Orb.
The Master Musicians of Joujouka continue their collaboration with The
Orb, debuted at last year’s Dior Cruise Show 2020 in Marrakesh, combining
ancient Sufi trance music from Morocco with electronic soundscapes created by
the UK-based architects of ambient house
At Festival De Frue the Master Musicians of Joujouka will perform three sets – including a headline show in collaboration with The Orb, and a late night acoustic show in a bespoke outdoor tent set to recreate the vibe of the Master Musicians’ annual summer festival at their village in Joujouka, in the Ahl Srif mountains of Morocco. In addition the Master Musicians will play an afternoon set on the main stage at the festival playing lira and tebel.
Watch: Master Musicians of Joujouka v The Orb live Dior Cruise Show 2020
Watch: Master Musicians of Joujouka Live Over Japan 2017
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Master Musician of Joujouka Abdeslam Boukhzar (1946-2019).
Abdeslam was an iconic force in Joujouka and the keeper of a repository of mountain folk songs that made him legendary in the Ahl Srif mountains.
He had a
long career in the music of the village and worked with numerous musicians over
his long tenure as a Master Musician.
Abdeslam participated in the 40th Anniversary of Brian Jones Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival in 2008 and toured with the Master Musicians of Joujouka playing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival, UK in 2011 and Japan in 2017 where he gave memorable performances.
he was part of the group that played at Centre Pompidou, Paris – recorded for
the forthcoming LP Live in Paris.
Among his recording credits include Jajouka Between The Mountains, with the Master Musicians of Jajouka (1995) and Into The Ahl Srif, released on Ergot Records in 2015 with the Master Musicians of Joujouka.
Abdeslam had suffered ill health over the last couple of years and died peacefully at home in Joujouka on 5th December, aged 73.
His passing is mourned by all in Joujouka and the wider Joujouka family.
Artist, poet and activist for LGBTQ+ rights John Giorno has died, aged 82.
visited Joujouka and spent time with the Master Musicians of Joujouka in the
in New York City in 1936, John Giorno was an American poet and performance
appeared in Andy Warhol film Sleep in
1963, Giorno went on to found the not-for-profit production company Giorno
Poetry Systems and masterminded a number of original multimedia poetry
experiments and events, including Dial-A-Poem.
met William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in 1964 and spent time with Gysin in
Morocco in 1966 when they visited Joujouka.
“In 1966, I lived with Brion in Tangiers for six months, and he showed me the music and magical powers of Morocco. Then for the rest of my life, I remained devoted to Brion.”
From The Great Demon King by John Giorno, from Brion Gysion: Tuning In To The Multimedia Age, edited by José Férez Kuri (2003, Thames & Hudson Ltd)
wrote about his experiences seeing the Master Musicians of Joujouka in Man From Nowhere: Storming the Citadels of
Enlightenment with William Burroughs and Brion Gysin by Joe Ambrose, Terry
Wilson, Frank Rynne (1992, Subliminal Books)
Master Musicians of Joujouka and John Giorno met again at the Poetica festival
organised by Festimad in Madrid in 1996. Master Musicians of Joujouka Manager
Frank Rynne, Mohamed Hamri and drummer El Khalil Radi appeared at the festival
also featuring Lydia Lunch, Richard Hell, Tav Falco and John Cale.
at the event, Giorno, reported in El País, said: “Poetry is experiencing a renaissance. I have been living as a poet for
35 years and I have seen how in recent years young people claim it again as
their language. I think it is because poetry has always been on the sidelines
of the market, unlike the novel or other arts.”
Frank Rynne said: “I met John at Festimad Poetica in 1996. It was the first time that he and Hamri had met in years. John entered the room where we were to have dinner and I said to Hamri, “That’s John Giorno,” and he ran to him and they embraced in tears. It was very moving to see them both reunited. John was always a super cooperative man and a great presence. May he rest in peace.”
Giorno died on 11 October 2019, aged 82. He is survived by
his partner Ugo Rondinone.
The following text by John Giorno documented his experiences with the Master Musicians of Joujouka and Brion Gysin. Extract from Man From Nowhere: Storming the Citadels of Enlightenment with William Burroughs and Brion Gysin by Joe Ambrose, Terry Wilson, Frank Rynne (1992, Subliminal Books)
Joujouka by John Giorno
master musicians play the raita, a Moroccan oboe, that sounds like Scottish
bagpipes, but without the bag. They play sustained notes of endless periods of
time, a continuous repeated line of music, unfolding and changing, and really
loud. From when they are boys they learn difficult breathing techniques on the
raita. I thought it was like a cross between a Tantric yogi using deep
breathing air from the lower part of the chest, and Frank Sinatra who sips air
as he sings.
master musicians are a secret society or spiritual brotherhood. They play for
themselves, seldom allowing in outsiders, and almost never white people. They
are the hereditary pipers of every Sultan in Moroccan history, except the
present king, to wake him in the morning, pipe him down from his throne, and to
the Mosque on Friday. They still have their tithes and patents, and are excempt
from doing farm work. They do nothing but play their music from when they are
born until they die. The feast of Bou Jeloud goes on for a week. On the first
night, a goat is slaughtered in a cave and the hot bloody skin is sewn like
clothes onto the body of a boy, who is to dance Bou Jeloud all night and day
for one week of one year, and is slightly taboo for the rest of life. Hamri
danced Bou Jeloud when he was a boy.
and I sat near fifty pipers and drummers playing in the center of the village,
in a line on one side of a rough rock and dirt square. The musicians all wore
long white wool djellabahs and brown wool turbans. Bou Jeloud, in his pungent
black skins with a straw hat covering his face, dances flaying the air with
green switches, spinning and quivering and whirling. There is a large bonfire
and Bou Jeloud leaps over the flames, dancing with bare feet on the red hot
coals. The music is an unbroken blast of pipes and drums, Aisha Kandisha, a
young boy veiled and dressed as a woman, does the dance of the Great White
Goddess, luring the Goat God into the body of Bou Jeloud, acting out an ancient
fertility rite, luring Pan to the village to make them fertile.
Jeloud is sexuality, the union of male and female forces. The women of the
village sit in the side, and one or two at a time run screaming across the
clearing trying not to get whipped. Bou Jeloud jumping in the air, chases after
the women, flailing at them with switches. If they get hit across the stomach,
they’ll be pregnant. The concept being by letting the women run wild with Bou
Jeloud for one night, they won’t be adulterous for the rest of the year. The
women run for safety outside the edge. Bou Jeloud is the Master of Skins,
making them jump out of their skin. Bou Jeloud is the Master of Fear. Aisha Kandhisha
also has her secret wrathful aspect being cross-eyed and humpbacked. A man
seeing Crazy Aisha at night in a full moon is struck dead or made mad. Among
other things, it is the dance of Faunus, the Pipes of Pan, catharsis, and as
Julius Caesar says in Shakespeare on the night of the Roman Lupercakia, “And in
thy haste Antonio, do not forget to strike Calpurnia…”
ritual has its origins in pre-historic times. We know the god Pan first
appeared 40,000 years ago in upper Paleolithic times, when there was the first
explosion of art, cave painting, and sculpture. The god Pan, who we recognize
through clay images and whose name we don’t know, went through Paleolithic
times, 25,000 to 5,000 BC: he was an important go to Old Europe, 6,500 to 3,500
BC; the Greeks called him Pan and the Romans called him Sylvanus; straight to
here and now in Joujouka in all its primordial purity.
was formed by the fleeting inhabitants of the Roman city of Volubilis, which
was founded by Cleopatra Celene, the daughter of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.
Volubilis fell to the Arab hordes in 800 AD, when they swept across North
Africa, conquering everyone and converting them to Islam. Their last stop was
Tangier, because of the Atlantic Ocean. When the population of Tangier got too
numerous, they sent out missionaries to convert the wild Berber tribes in the
mountains. Bou jeloud started at some uncertain date, when Sidi Hamid Sheikh,
an Arab missionary, came to Joujouka and was killed. When the men of the
village found out they had killed a holy man, they were very upset and
disturbed, so they built him a tomb, and danced their pagan dance to him.
and I would stay up all night with the Master Musicians. I was again being
introduced to the magical universe of Brion. The men are always stoned on the
amazing mountain keef ( now illegal in Morocco ). Bou Jeloud stayed in his goat
skins for a week, and as the skin and blood dried, he got a bit raunchy.
Hamri’s brother gave me a tan djellabah, because it was very cold.
one special night before dawn, Brion and I went with the musicians to a field
on the top of a cliff. We sat in a circle in the freezing cold night. The play
the reed pipes as the sun rises. Brion and I have taken some nibbles of
blotter-paper LSD, which I had brought from New York. Brion is this great guide
for me on these amazing acid trips. The music in the early morning transforms
us beyond the heaven worlds, to Alamut; and Brion is Hassan-I-Sabbah, a wisdom
deity manifesting in an empowerment. We are all wisdom deities. The musicians
honor Brion as his old friends and attendants. It is very powerful.
another night, we crowd in Hamri’s cousin’s house, sitting on the mud floor
with candles, and six musicians play reed flutes…..Late one afternoon Brion and
I go with a tape recorder, and sit with the young boys under a fig tree in the
middle of the village. They start screaming and laughing. Their screams with
the pipes and drums sound so beautiful. Brion tells them in Arabic to scream
more. Bou Jeloud dances around us, telling them to scream more. We are sitting
on the ground with several dozen divinely beautiful screaming children closing
in over us. It’s a little scary, like a cross between a hundred fearless angles
trying to scare you away with their wings, and the end of “Suddenly Last
Summer” when they eat you alive. I found out afterwards they are screaming
because we are sitting in the place which for a thousand years has been
reserved for children.