Morocco On My Mind

Monday, 2 July 2018

Malika Zarra is an artist I befriended during the marvellous FESMAN festival in Dakar in 2010. Moroccan born Malika has lived in Paris and New York where she was signed to the label Motema (along with Gregory Porter among others). Her music is inspired by the rhythms of her native land but her collaborations have taken her in new and exciting directions.

I am looking forward to a visit here in Ireland from my good friend Izza Genini who produced a series of important films entitled Maroc Corps et Ame in the 1980s. One of them, Transes Marocaines,which features Nass El Ghiwane, a group of musicians from Casablanca, was chosen by Martin Scorsese for inclusion in his World Cinema Project. He writes, "In 1981, I was working at night to edit The King of Comedy. The television was always playing. One evening about 2 or 3 in the morning, a film entitled Transes came on. I was immediately fascinated by the music and by the way the documentary was made.The mix of poetry, music and theatre goes right back to the origins of Moroccan culture. The musicians sing about their country, its people, their suffering. Since then, I have been obsessed by this film."

Photo credit Hosea Johnson

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Publication date: August 2019
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