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