April 29, 2008 D’jma Fnaa Noise
one day in marrakesh, i was sitting on a rooftop drinking coffee. the city was just waking up. i had this amazing view of the entire djma fnaa (city square/market place) from our vantage point. so lovely.
all these amazing sounds started building/roiling from the ground. cars. people’s voices. goats and braying donkeys arguing with their burdens.
there were two opposing sound systems set up on opposite sides of the fnaa; record sellers attempting to grab some attention. playing the same song at the same time, but not having started the track at the same time, they delivered the craziest, most wonderful cacophany for coffee drinking.
the song they were playing was one i’d been hearing everywhere in morocco. some crazy berber electro. always in 3 just like most everything heard during my stay in that magical country. it was definitely one of the highlights for me.
one night i sat on the windowsill of my apartment because the craziest music was coming across the rooftops. transfixed, my body extended through the window, i ignored the catcalls (inevitable in morocco) from kids playing some strange game involving hitting playing cards with a shoe to make them fly through the air and the curses from the drunk i’d threatend to kill if he ever attempted to harm my travelling companion or myself ever again. all i wanted was to hear this sound. and i wondered how could i ever produce a sound like that. how could anyone ever catch the vague echoes and pulses that only ancient clay, low clouds and cheap speakers can reconstruct music, calls to prayer, arguing animals and oblivious cars into.
the next day on the rooftop i heard this song again. i hadn’t realized it was the same music i’d been hearing on every radio for weeks because the echoes were twisting it in ways that no trance production team could hope to emulate. i ran downstairs to the closer of the two sound systems and bought it immediately. such a perfect purchase. perhaps the most exciting and fun music i’ve ever gotten in all my travels around the world.
this is just a short sample of the sound from the rooftop. maybe it will sway you to go to morocco. it’s definitely a shock to travel 600 years into the past while living in the present. who knows what the world will hold for us if we finally all catch all the improvements everyone is clamoring for.
i’m all in favor of free housing, education, food, and clothing for everyone everywhere. and the dissolution of borders and nations and government as we know/understand it. i just hope with the inevitable rise out of poverty (it BETTER happen or i suggest we all leave the fucking elites to their own grotesque devices…) on a global scale that music and art and theater don’t suffer the ravages of a pop smear, i.e. a top 40-ization of everything to fit a more homogenized populace. a global audience. please god don’t let the individuation of culture be wiped out.
i value mine. do you value yours?