A WORLD IN TRANCE Returns for 5th Annual Performance
A World in Trance, now in its fifth edition, has been host to some of the world's most captivating music, bringing people together in search of enlightenment and spirituality. This year's festival continues with the intoxicating sounds of Bachir Attar and Mustapha Attar of the legendary Master Musicians of Jajouka in a riveting meeting with American musicians Ned Rothenberg, Arrington de Dionyso and Ben Bennett. Inspired by the electrifying sounds of the Master Musicians, this ensemble of musicians from both sides of the Atlantic - Morocco and the US - explore the potential for sound to trigger a state of ecstasy.
Bachir Attar is a multi-instrumentalist acknowledged for his mastery of the ghaita, a double reed oboe-like instrument that is fundamental to the sound of the Master Musicians of Jajouka, the group that he leads. His brother, Mustapha Attar, also a member of the group, plays drums as well as ghaita. Both musicians also play lira (flute) and guimbri (lute). Saxophonist and clarinetist Ned Rothenberg, acclaimed throughout the world for his solo concerts and collaborations with diverse musicians, is particularly noted for his virtuosity of multiphonics and circular breathing. Arrington de Dionyso, a saxophonist, vocalist and visual artist who collaborated recently with Bachir and Mustapha, draws on a variety of traditions, including Tuvan throat singing and Indonesian trance music, for inspiration. Innovative percussionist Ben Bennett has developed a commanding synthesis of extended and traditional techniques on the drums, and worked with cutting-edge improvisers around the world.
The Master Musicians of Jajouka, from a small village in the foothills of the Rif mountains of Morocco, are noted for their trance-inducing ceremony that predates Islam and is thought to evoke the ancient rites of Pan, the goat-legged fertility god of ancient Greece. Villagers and outsiders alike have attested to the magical and healing powers of the music. This ancient tradition has been preserved and passed down through generations by members of the Attar family, who have played a variety of folk, ancient and newly written musical pieces on traditional, locally made instruments. Many of the compositions in their extensive repertoire are unique to the Attar family and their traditions in Jajouka. Their music has been recognized by the Moroccan royal family for centuries, and by jazz masters, rock gods, respected writers and elite artists from all corners of the globe. Embraced in the 1950s by artist Brion Gysin and writers Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs (who described the Master Musicians as a "4,000-year-old rock band"), the village of Jajouka became a mecca in the 1960s & '70s for celebrities such as the Rolling Stones, Ornette Coleman, and Timothy Leary.