Past Event

Documenting the Sound of an Era: “Trances” and the Music of Nass el Ghiwane

April 17, 2024
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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2960 Broadway, 701C Dodge Hall, New York, NY 10027

Documenting the Sound of an Era: “Trances” and the Music of Nass el Ghiwane

Date: Wednesday April 17, 2024
Time: 4:00-6:00
Location: 701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)

Please email [email protected] for more information or to arrange required accommodations.

Ahmed El Maanouni will present and discuss excerpts from his celebrated documentary film Trances in conversation with Alessandra Ciucci and Benjamin Steege. Described by Martin Scorsese as “a mix of the poetry, the music and the theater that goes way back to the roots of Moroccan culture,” Trances inaugurated Scorsese’s Film Foundation World Cinema Project. The discussion will focus on the way in which el Maanouni effectively interweaves concert footage, interviews, and archival footage to capture the excitement and the socio-political relevance of the music of the legendary Moroccan group Nass el Ghiwane.

Ahmed el Maanouni. A writer, director, cinematographer, and producer whose work includes some of the most emblematic titles of Moroccan cinema, Ahmed El Maanouni is the first Moroccan director to have caught international attention with films such as Alyam Alyam (1978) and Trances (1981). Praised for his ability to take a close, perceptive, and realistic look at everyday life in Moroccan culture and society with no traces of folklore and exoticism, El Maanouni’s films, shorts, and documentary works also include The Eyes of the Gulf (1984), The Moroccan Goumiers (1993), Morocco-France: A Common History (2006), Burned Hearts (2007), Conversation with Driss Chraibi (2008), and Fadma (2017).

Alessandra Ciucci is Associate Professor of Music, Ethnomusicology. Her publications include The Voice of the Rural: Music, Poetry and Masculinity among Migrant Moroccan Men in Umbria (Chicago University Press, 2022). Ciucci is currently working on a new book project titled Nass el Ghiwane and Moroccan Popular Music during the Years of Lead (1970s-1990s).

Benjamin Steege is Associate Professor of Music, Historical Musicology, Music Theory. His publications include Helmholtz and the Modern Listener (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and An Unnatural Attitude: Phenomenology in Weimar Musical Thought (Chicago Universtity Press, 2021). Steege is currently working on three new projects: a translation of musical writings by the philosopher Günther Anders; The Oxford Handbook of the Phenomenology of Music, which he is co-editing with Jonathan De Souza and Jessica Wiskus; and a new book exploring the history and the very idea of “musical value.”