Essaouira - Audiences stood shoulder-to-shoulder to enjoy the music of Maalem Said and Mohamed Khouyou for the first performance of Essaouira’s Music Festival on June 29.
Essaouira – Audiences stood shoulder-to-shoulder to enjoy the music of Maalem Said and Mohamed Khouyou for the first performance of Essaouira’s Music Festival on June 29.
As the seven colors of were brought onto stage, their spirits came too in order to give the audiences what they came for: music and madness.
The night began with music from The Disciples, who throughout the night played big, heavy qraqab [iron castanets] and performed ecstatic dances to pave the way for the ensuing performance of Maalam’s melodic and alluring voice.
The deeply hypnotic Gnaoua trance prevailed the stage in a moment. Music enthusiasts spared no time to start moving their bodies to the spiritual workings of the low-toned, rhythmic music, which rose and fell, guiding the audience on a journey of delight and marvel.
As the seven color flags weaved across the stage and the first song came to an end, Carlinhos Brown stepped into the stage.
Fusing tropicalia, reggae and traditional Brazilian percussion, Brown ensured that the audience would remember his name after his performance.
The Brazilian used percussion instruments to demonstrate his personal style that led him to be awarded Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album twice, as well as the lasting respect of Gnaoua lovers.
Working with a Gnaoua band, whose music features a blend of Berber, African and Arab religious songs, Brown introduced a rhythmic pattern of traditional Brazilian music, which like Gnaoua music has a spiritual dimension of spirit summoning.
The musical fusion gave rise to a session of grooves and loops, loaded with ancient African and Brazilian musical heritage, while Brown and Maalam’s ethereal vocals evoked the ancient ways of ancestors.
The fusion highlighted the instrumental compatibility between the two cultures and cast a binding spell, which brought the audiences, performers and spirits into one massive field of energy and ecstatic dance.