Event In Paris To Celebrate 60 Years Since Brion Gysin And William S. Burroughs Cut-Up Experiments At The Beat Hotel

It Is Impossible To Estimate The Damage, Paris, 1st October 2019

It Is Impossible To Estimate The Damage will mark the 60th anniversary since Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs’ experiments with the Cut-Up during their residence at the Beat Hotel in Paris.

The gathering will be held in Paris on 1st October 2019 at 9 Rue Gît-le-Cœur, the location of the old Beat Hotel, ahead of a series of events to celebrate the Cut-Ups@60 next year organised by the European Beat Studies Network.

The event will be hosted by Barry Miles, Oliver Harris and Frank Rynne.

Brion Gysin moved to the Beat Hotel in 1958 following the closure of The 1001 Nights restaurant he ran in Tangier, Morocco, working with Mohamed Hamri and where the Master Musicians of Joujouka had a residency.

William S. Burroughs returned from London to Paris in September 1959, where Gysin shared his new discovery of the Cut-Up technique.

‘The Cut-Ups’ by Brion Gysin article featured in Evergreen Review 1964

William S. Burroughs, The Cut Up Method (1963):

In the summer of 1959 Brion Gysin painter and writer cut newspaper articles into sections and rearranged the sections at random. Minutes To Go resulted from this initial cut up experiment. Minutes To Go contains unedited unchanged cut ups emerging as quite coherent and meaningful prose.

The cut up method brings to writers the collage which has been used by painters for fifty years. And used by the moving and still camera. In fact all street shots from movie or still cameras are by the unpredictable factors of passers by and juxtaposition cut ups. And photographers will tell you that often their best shots are accidents . . . writers will tell you the same. The best writing seems to be done almost by accident but writers until the cut up method was made explicit– (all writing is in fact cut ups. I will return to this point)–had no way to produce the accident of spontaneity. You can not will spontaneity. But you can introduce the unpredictable spontaneous factor with a pair of scissors.

Barry Miles was Burroughs’ friend and biographer and ran the Indica Bookshop and Gallery in the courtyard of the building in Duke Street, St James’s, where Burroughs, Gysin and filmmaker Anthony Balch lived. He has written extensively on the Beats and counterculture, including William S. Burroughs, A Life (2014), Call Me Burroughs, A Life (2014) and The Beat Hotel (2001). In addition, Miles engineered the 1972 Master Musicians of Jajouka LP – The Primal Energy That Is The Music And Ritual Of Jajouka, Morocco.

Oliver Harris is the editor of the first volume of William S. Burroughs’ letters, Letters, 1945-1959 (1993)and has edited several definitive editions of his works including Junky: the definitive text of Junk (2003), The Yage Letters Redux (2006), Queer (2010), and The Cut-Up Trilogy, The Soft MachineNova Express, and The Ticket That Exploded (2014). He is President of the European Beat Studies Network.

Frank Rynne has managed the Master Musicians of Joujouka since 1994 and organised the Here To Go Show in Dublin in 1992 – the first major exhibition to include the paintings of Burroughs and Gysin. He produced the album 10%: File Under Burroughs (1996) (featuring Burroughs, Gysin, Hamri and the Master Musicians of Joujouka) and researched Man From Nowhere: Storming The Citadels Of Enlightenment With William S. Burroughs And Brion Gysin (1992).

The event will be held at 9 Rue Gît-le-Cœur, the location of the old Beat Hotel, on Tuesday, 1st October 2019 from 6pm. All welcome.

Cut-Ups@60 events in Paris and London, September 2020

Cut-Ups@60

The European Beat Studies Network hosts the Cut-Ups@60 in 2020, with a series of events and happenings at The University of Chicago in Paris from 7-8 September and Student Central, University of London from 10-11 September.

The event will celebrate the 60th anniversary since the first publications using the cut-up method initiated by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin at the Beat Hotel in Paris and which they continued to develop during their subsequent time living in London throughout the 1960s.

For more information visit: ebsn.eu/2020-special-conference

Early Bird Tickets For Master Musicians Of Joujouka Festival 2020 Booking Now

Master Musicians of Joujouka at the 2019 Festival – photo by Syd Howells

Tickets for the 2020 edition of the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival are available now at 2019 prices.

The three-day festival in Joujouka, Morocco, will be held from Friday, 5th to Sunday, 7th June 2020 and is limited to 50 full ticket holders.

Guests will be collected at Ksar El Kebir train station on Friday, 5th June and dropped off after the festival on Monday, 8th June before 12 noon.

Places include accommodation and full board.

The 13th annual festival in the village follows the 2019 edition that marked 50 years since the death of Brian Jones. As founder and lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones, Brian was musical icon and in the world of Joujouka, Brian is a mythical figure and remains real in song and memory.

Live In Paris, a live recording of the Master Musicians of Joujouka 2016 performance to coincide with the Beat Generation exhibition at Centre Pompidou is set for release later this year via Unlistenable Recordings.

For more information and to book tickets click here to pay for a deposit (non-refundable) or a full ticket which is refundable minus deposit until 26th April 2020. After this date places are forfeit. Tickets are non-exchangeable and may not be resold.

For any other enquiries regarding your trip email Master Musicians of Joujouka Manager Frank Rynne at: joujouka@gmail.com

The Wire report and recordings from Master Musicians of Joujouka festival

Boujeloud at the Master Musicians of Joujouka festival – photo by Syd Howells

A report on the Master Musicians of Joujouka festival in June is featured in the September 2019 issue of The Wire magazine.

Wire contributor Daniel Spicer attended the festival (the first of two festivals held in the village this summer) and wrote an On Location report.

Read an extract here:

“Visiting the village of Joujouka in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco feels like entering a mythic zone, a locus outside of time. The Sufi trance musicians who have made the village famous have been a living tradition here, playing a music handed down from one generation to the next, for thousands of years.”

“Time is suspended. Drums and rhaita penetrate the endless night. Forget about notions of authenticity. Witnessing these musical mystics locked in eternal struggle with capricious Boujeloud is a chance to transcend the ephemeral and connect with deep human truths. It’s as real as it gets.”

The Wire website has also published a mix of live music recorded at the festival by Daniel Spicer.

Listen to Live recordings: Joujouka special

“I recorded this music in the village of Joujouka, in the Rif mountains of Northern Morocco, using a hand-held Zoom recorder,” explains Spicer. “The first part features drummers and flute players and was recorded on Sunday 26 June 2019 possibly some time in the late morning or early afternoon (time has less of a definite meaning in Joujouka). This gently undulating music is how the Masters Musicians Of Joujouka prefer to begin a day of music making. The second part captures the last 40 minutes of a high-energy, hour-and-a-half performance by drummers and players of a double-reed horn called a rhaita. It was recorded in the early hours of Saturday 25 June 2019, ending some time around 2:30am. Once the performance reaches its crescendo, the village settles into silence and the music is over for another day.”

Master Musicians of Joujouka on this recording: rhaita players Mohamed El Attar, Abdellah Ziyat, Abdeslam Rrtoubi , Mustapha Selmouni, El Touhami Talha, Mohamed Mokhchan, Ali Ezouglali and Abdeslam Bata; tebel players Ahmed El Attar, Ahmed Talha, El Khalil Radi, El Ayachi Guennouni, Mefedel Chlouchi and Mohamed Majdobi, and Mohamed El Hatmi performing as Boujeloud.

Recording copyright Master Musicians of Joujouka/Schut Productions all rights reserved

The September 2019 issue of The Wire magazine is available now from all good newsagents. More information on The Wire website

Early bird tickets are available now for next year’s festival in Joujouka, Morocco to be held from 5-7 June 2020. For booking and more information visit here