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Ouled Bambara - Portraits Of Gnawa

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Ouled Bambara - Portraits Of Gnawa

Drag City
CD+DVD $17.25

10/20/2009 781484040323 

DC 403 CD 


***In the first release of its kind, Twos & Fews and Drag City present OULED BAMBARA: PORTRAITS OF GNAWA — a presentation in sound and moving pictures of several of Marrakech’s most experienced Gnawa practitioners and their individual interpretations of the deep, esoteric, and powerful tagnawit tradition. Gnawa music has been considered a kind of Ur-blues, and has also been linked to the music of voodoo and santeria. It’s often described with words like “hypnotic,” which it is. The Gnawa have long signified (at least to the small portion of the public that’s bothered to think of them) all that is mysterious and phenomenal about Morocco: mystical Sufism, trance rituals, possession rites, ecstatic music and dance. Brought north most likely from the West and Central Sahel region of Africa over several hundred years, the original Gnawa were black slaves who synthesized animist African religious ritual with classical Sufi practice. But nothing sounds quite like the music of the Gnawa, and their music and their practice have usually elided definition, if not description. They are healers who intercede with the fiercest of the djinn spirits — the mluk (whom other Sufi orders avoid) — on behalf of their suffering clients. Their rituals invite possession by these mluk, with the deep thump of the guinbri lute and ever-rattling, clacking percussive accompaniment whipping the dancers into states of trance in which they struggle with the powerful spirits. OULED BAMBARA means literally, “children of Bambara,” and the name of the musical suite that begins the nocturnal portion of the Gnawa ritual. The Gnawa are considered an underclass in Moroccan society, but they nonetheless play a vital role in its spiritual life. OULED BAMBARA: PORTRAITS OF GNAWA is an exploration of that role and some of its most talented actors. (STREET DATE - 10/20/2009)

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