On April 25th, 2014, we recorded Mourad Belouadi in his ancestral town of M'hamid El Ghizlane, at the southeastern edge between Morocco and Algeria. This is the first of 10 songs we recorded, and it is a traditional Gnawa song.
Gnawa music has its roots in the slave trade, which displaced many Central and West Africans (mostly the Fulani people) to North Africa. Over the years it has mixed pre-Islamic African traditions with classical Islamic Sufism, and today can be found mostly in Morocco and some parts of Algeria.
"Mawama" is both a song of displacement, and one of spiritual transcendence.
Mourad is a brilliant multi-instrumentalist and photographer who was born blind. At the age of 11 (after a few unsuccessful attempts) he finally underwent an operation which allowed him to see the world for the first time.
We called Mourad "Magic Fingers" because of his incredible ability to turn any object he laid his hands on into amazing music.
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Recorded on April 25th, 2014 by Tyler Wood in M'hamid El Ghizlane, Morocco
Cameras by Hatim Belyamani, Hassan Houari, Khalid Agli
Mixed and mastered by Tyler Wood at Sauce Farm Studio, Catskill, NY
Directed, Produced, Edited by Hatim Belyamani
Assistant Editors: Souki Mehdaoui, Michelle Chen
With deep gratitude for our generous hosts
• M'hammed Elyadini
• Kawtar Houari
• Hassan Ait Ifraden
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This album was recorded as part of a larger project seeking to create new links between traditional music and digital remix art. Go to...
...where you can check out remixes of this music, and - if you want to make your own remix of this music - download samples and stems for free with a Creative Commons license.