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Music of Morocco| Recorded by Paul Bowles, 1959 Box Set Out April 2016


Paul Bowles is an American expatriate composer, author, and translator. In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Tangier was Bowles’ home for the remainder of his life. He came to symbolize American expatriates in the city.


Original 1972 EP

Paul Bowles “Music of Morocco” originally printed by the US Library of Congress in 1972, is one of the more rare LPs record collectors have sought over the years.  I have been collecting records for over 12 years now and still have not come across an original copy.

Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles

On April 1st 2016 Dust to Digital Records is releasing  a box set featuring that original double album plus unreleased music from Bowles’ 1959 recordings.

The four CD set features over four hours of music. It also includes a 120-page leatherette book featuring an introduction from Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Bowles’ original field notes, and annotations by Philip Schuyler.  Packaged in a silk screen cigar box this will be a special addition to any music connoisseur’s collection.


From July to December 1959, Paul Bowles crisscrossed Morocco making recordings of traditional music under the auspices of the Library of Congress. Although the trip occupied less than six months in a long and busy career, it was the culmination of Bowles’s longstanding interest in North African music. The resulting collection remained a musical touchstone for the rest of his life and an important part of his mythology.

“The pieces with the greatest, and those with the smallest amount, of Arabic influence, are both to be found, strangely enough, in the same country: Morocco. This region’s contact with Europe has been that of conqueror: in its decline it has been comparatively unmolested by industrial Europe. By virtue of this, also because it once had colonies in Mauritania and Senegal, and thus has a fair amount of admixture of Negro culture, it is richer in musical variety and interest than Algeria and Tunisia. In the latter countries there is plenty of music, but in Morocco music is inescapable.” — Paul Bowles

Boxset can be pre-ordered HERE

Disc 1: Highlands — The Berbers Part 1
1. Maallem Ahmed and ensemble – Ahmeilou (Tafraout)
2. Rais Ahmed ben Bakrim – El Baz Ouichen Song for Male Voice (Tiznit)
3. Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem and ensemble – Third Sqel (Zagora)
4. Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem and ensemble – Second Aqlal (Zagora)
5. Chikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble – Ouakha dial Kheir Women’s Chorus (Tahala)
6. Chikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble – Aili ya Mali Mixed Chorus (Tahala)
7. Maallem Ahmed and ensemble – Aouache Men’s Chorus (Tafraout)
Disc 2: Highlands — The Berbers Part 2
1. Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble – Aouada Trio (Tamanar)
2. Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble – Chorus and Dance (Tamanar)
3. Chikh Hamed bel Hadj Hamadi ben Allal and ensemble – Reh dial Beni Bouhiya Qsbah Solo (Segangan)
4. Various – Sounds of General Rejoicing (Ait Ourir)
5. Maallem Ahmed Gacha and ensemble – Albazaoua Women’s Chorus (Ait Ourir)
6. Chikha Fatoma bent Kaddour – Mouwal and Izlan (Ain Diab)
7. Cheikha Haddouj bent Fatma Rohou and ensemble – Qim Rhori (Khenifra)
8. Mohammed bel Hassan and ensemble – Qsida dial Malik (Ait Mohammed)
Disc 3: Lowlands — Influent Strains Part 1
1. El Ferqa dial Guedra (Bechara) – Ounalou Biha Rajao Male Solo with Women’s Chorus (Goulimine)
2. Maalem Abdeslam Sarsi el Mahet – Aiyowa d’Moulay Abdeslam Rhaita Solo (Arcila)
3. Sadiq ben Mohammed Laghzaoui Morsan and ensemble – Rhaitas and Tbola (Einzoren)
4. Embarek ben Mohammed – Mellaliya Song for Male Voice (Marrakech)
5. Maalem Mohammed Rhiata and ensemble, from the region of Taounate – Taqtoqa Jabaliya (Fez)
6. An unidentified ensemble – Gnaoua Chorus (Essaouira)
7. Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani – Gnaoui Solo Song (Marrakech)
8. Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani – Fulani Iresa (Marrakech)
9. Maallem Taieb ben Mbarek and chikhats – Hadouk Khail (Marrakech)
Disc 4: Lowlands — Influent Strains Part 2
1. Hazan Isaac Ouanounou and members of the Hevrat Gezekel – Ya Souki hakim Secular Sephardic Song (Meknes)
2. Hazan Semtob Knafo and Amram Castiel. Hevrat David Hamelekh – Chalom Lakha Chébii “Peace on the Seventh Day” (Essaouira)
3. Maalem el Hocein and ensemble – Qsida Midh (Meknes)
4. Abdelkrim Rais and ensemble – El hgaz el Mcharqi Andaluz Chorus (Fez)
5. Members of the Family of the Chorfa of Ouezzane – Andaluz Music of Ouezzane (Ouezzane)
6. Early Morning Calls to Prayer – El Fjer (Tangier)
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The Tangier Lifestyle | Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco - photo Pierre Berge

Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco – photo Pierre Berge

“We must never confuse elegance with snobbery” – Yves Saint Laurent.

Yves Saint Laurent spent his final years residing in Tangier, Morocco, at Villa Mabrouka (house of luck).  He purchased the Villa in 1992 and worked with interior designer Jacques Grange on its decoration.

According to Grange: “It was based on the house of an eccentric Englishman who moved to Tangier in the 1950s. Yves wanted chintz, with each room a single colour – a blue room, a yellow room. It was like decorating a house for people out of a play by Tennessee Williams.”

Yves Saint Laurent’s bedroom at Villa Mabrouka with Jean-Michel Frank-style furniture designed by Jacques Grange, a 19th-century French wood and beaded glass chandelier and a raw-silk bed cover. Credit François Halard

Yves Saint Laurent’s bedroom at Villa Mabrouka with Jean-Michel Frank-style furniture designed by Jacques Grange, a 19th-century French wood and beaded glass chandelier and a raw-silk bed cover. Credit François Halard

With no art on the walls, or expensive items to show off, Villa Mabrouka, shows it’s elegance through Moroccan style archways and simplicity with a touch of style.  This gave a boundless open feel, much like the feeling of Tangier.

Tangier can be described as a city with excessive elegance, but little snobbery. It is the opposite of snobby: gritty, but elegant at the same time. For this reason, many people seeking peace and inspiration have flocked here over the years. A lot ended up staying.

I experience the feeling every time I visit.  For example, we spend a fair amount of the time sitting at cafes, over looking Europe from Africa.  It’s not at an exclusive country club, but a simple cafe on the street. There will be a man from Europe, a man with no money, and the table next to him will be a millionaire. We all share the same space in Tangier, unlike Marrakech or Rabat.  Nobody is too important, or acts like they are always busy.  We all take time to absorb the peacefulness.

Islamic mosaic within Tangier's medina

Islamic mosaic within Tangier’s medina

Within the city, one will feel the influence of Islamic art and architecture, with a touch of European style. This is unique to Tangier, due to it’s proximity to Europe. Islamic art is based upon balance, color, geometric and floral patterns. Subliminally this has a affect on the mood, bringing one to peace. This can be found in the poorest parts of the medina, or  at the nicest luxury hotels. It is the best of both worlds, present at all levels of society.

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

Local women may not have the latest designer labels, but dress in an elegant local style that fits the lifestyle. Because of the Islamic and European influence on dress, most younger women focus on color and flow, rather than showing skin and labels. Coming from Los Angeles, where labels and celebrity trends rule, Tangier gave me faith there is still elegance in style.  I can imagine why Yves Saint Laurent decided to settle here.  The best dressed across the world, dress according to lifestyle, not the latest fashions.  Tangier lifestyle, is a unique style which “never confuses elegance with snobbery”.

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Villa Josephine | The Villa of the real “Indiana Jones”

Pool for guests of Villa Jospehine

Pool for guests of Villa Josephine

Villa Josephine was built in the 1920s by Walter Burton Harris, the famous columnist for the London Times, who’s life inspired the character “Indiana Jones”. In 1887 he accompanied a British diplomatic mission to Morocco and settled in Tangier at the age of 19.  Fluent in French, Spanish, and Moroccan Arabic, along with looking Moroccan, Harris was able to travel to areas of Morocco unknown to Europeans at the time.  Harris played a large role in the diplomacy of Morocco throughout his life.  Harris also helped promote the modernization of Morocco at the beginning of the 20th century.  He died in 1933 and his body was buried at the Church of Saint Andrews in Tangier.

View of the Strait of Gibraltar

View of the Strait of Gibraltar

Neither Dar or Riad, Villa Josephine’s Mauritian appearance offers balcony views of the Strait of Gibraltar.  With a taste the French Rivera Villa Josephine is a unique guesthouse in Morocco.

Walter Burton Harris

Walter Burton Harris

Following Harris’s residence, it was home to the Duke of Tovar, a Spanish grandee, who after having led a lavish lifestyle, lost all his money in conditions remaining mysterious to this day. Next it was the last summer residence of Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakech. Villa Josephine remains one of the most spectacular and prestigious properties in Tangier.

The "Harris" Bar

The “Harris” Bar

Today Villa Josephine serves as a luxury guest house, with a bar and fine dining restaurant.  It continues it’s tradition of A-list clientele in the 21st century. Villa Josephine’s perfectly manicured gardens and  spectacular swimming pool, offer unparalleled privacy, beauty, and tranquility. The Villa offers 10 rooms, all with a terrace or balcony, and some with a sea view.   Rooms range from about $300-$800 a night. Rooms and dinner reservations can be booked at

Room 105

Room 105

Gardens at Villa Jospehine

Gardens at Villa Josephine

Villa Josephine is located  in Tangier’s most prestigious neighborhood “Vielle Montagne” 10 minutes from Place du Grand Socco and the Kasbah.

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Tangier Colors | 18 Hours in Tangier

This video was produced while traveling through Tangier by Team SHOT & MAKE .

They spent 2 days exploring this Tangier, and this is how they chose to document it.

Equipment used:
Cameras: Canon 5D, 7D
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L ,Canon 50mm 1.4
Glidecam HD 2000
Tracked with Mocha
Motion Graphics & Coloring: After Effects
Music by :
Shanewinslade : Moroccan blonde mirage

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Moad Mzaoeg (Da0m Photography) | Tangier from a local’s eye

Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg

Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg

Moad Mzaoeg is a photographer from Tangier Morocco, who has been documenting Tangier’s local culture for the past 5 years.  His focus has been on Moroccan music events and the hidden charms that make Tangier what it is.  He will be releasing his first book “Heart of Morocco” in Spring of 2016.

Below is some Tangier local musicians Moad Mzaoeg photographed in 2014.

Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg

Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg

Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg

Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg


Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg

Photo Credit: Moad Mzaoeg

For more photos and information please see:



Please click ->HERE<- to view his prints for sale catalog.

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Tangier is Morocco | Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdian chats with ex-pat Jonathan Dawson at Cafe Tingis

Anthony Bourdian chats with ex-pat Jonathan Dawson at Cafe Tingis- Photo Courtesy of CNN

“Tangier is Morocco, Always was Morocco. And recently the country’s leadership seems to have embraced it in all its ill-reputed glory. The days of predatory poets in search of literary inspiration and young flesh are probably over for good. Hippies can just as easily get their bong riffs in Portland or Peoria. But the good stuff, the real good stuff, the sounds and smells and the look of Tangier — what you see and hear when you lean out the window and take it all in — that’s here to stay.” – Anthony Bourdian

Looking at rug in the Medina

Looking at rug in the Medina – Photo Courtesy of CNN

In 2013 Anthony Bourdain dedicated an entire show of his series “Parts Unknown” to Tangier.  Typically Bourdain’s shows are dedicated to a country or region.  This time he focused on a city.   Bourdain is unlike most travel writers, which visit a destination with a pretense of what their experience will be, then find disappointment when it doesn’t manifest.  Bourdain embraced Tangier and discovered a lot of what really makes Tangier. “Tangier is one of the few places left in the world where, so long as you don’t proceed to robbery, violence, or some form of crude, antisocial behavior, you can do exactly what you want.”  read more here.

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Malcolm Forbes 70th Birthday in Tangier


One must not forget Tangier’s fame internationally went far beyond the beatnick generation.  It caters to glamorous today as it did in 1959 and 1989.

*Pictures and descriptions below from


In late August of 1989, on a weekend, from the 18th to the 20th, Malcolm Forbes gave himself a 70th birthday party in Tangier, Morocco where he owned a palace, the Palais Mendoub. 800 guests were flown in on a chartered Boeing 747, a DC-8 and a Concorde. Friends and associates from the world’s rich and famous, from the US and Europe, as well as half dozen US governors, scores of CEOs of mulinational corporations and the highest of the mucky mucks like Gianni Agnelli, Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters, Robert Maxwell, and the birthday boy’s “date” for the event: Elizabeth Taylor.


Malcolm Forbes and Liz Taylor


Guests Arriving from Private Yachts


Guest Arriving Via Concord


Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, and Jane Wenner


Setting up for the party


Cutting the cake.

Read and see more here

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Cafe’s at Hercules Cave

Cafes at Hercules Cave

Cafes at Hercules Cave

It’s places like this, that have kept me coming back to Tangier every year for the past 10 years.  Europe is now just a place to transfer airplanes.

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Land of a thousand priceless rooftop views!

Tangier Roof

Tangier Roof

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Rolling Stone’s Keith Richards in a classic Tangier photo

Keith Richards in Tangier

Keith Richards in Tangier

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Content is the opinion of TangierTourism ©2017