About the session: These varied songs and instrumentals were recorded in Marrakech’s Jama’ al-Fna, a large public square where a variety of professional musicians gather (as well as acrobats, snake-charmers, monkey-handlers, fortunetellers, etc.) in order to solicit the attention and donations of the assembled crowds. Though the musical styles on offer in Jama’ al-Fna are extremely diverse, Lomax focuses on the tradition of the itinerant Amazigh / Berber bard, or rais. The wandering rais serves as a roving mediator between village and metropolis in High Atlas Amazigh society, offering moral lessons, accounts of his travels, religious parables, or socio-political commentary. The rais' improvised poetry, usually sung in a call-and-response style, is known as amarg.
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