I picked up a mesmerizingly good Mohamed Rouicha CD (for 1 euro) in Madrid (Lavapies, c/ Tribulete 9) last month and listened to it nonstop for days. Then it disappeared. A few days later my laptop died (not a light death – very dead). Soonafter that, my MP3 player was stolen.
I’m obliquely reminded of a phrase I read in Richard Skelton’s excellent Landings book yesterday: “All that mattered was without weight or consequence. Nothing lingered or resonated beyond the instance of its own making. Everything listened.”
There is a word for words who have lost their meaning and remain as sound, most commonly preserved in traditional songs. I can’t remember the name of this word.
Here are two Rouicha tracks. I don’t know any of these words – Berber words, Tamazight – but I wish I did, especially in the first one which is essentially a long poem kissed by outar flourishes. The outar is Rouicha’s instrument of choice, a gentle, rustic thing that looks as if it were dug up from the earth.