Morocco - Chapter One

My fascination with Morocco started when I was about eleven. Although I grew up in an isolated area, in a forest on the West Coast of Canada, we had a family friend who would sometimes bring me little souvenirs from her travels. My favourite was a heavy, richly woven piece of red and gold fabric. It was something I treasured because it inspired me to dream. 

 

Many years later I had the courage to let someone cut into it - my friend Michele's mother made me a beautiful jacket, which I wore for my first CD release concert. I still hadn’t been to Morocco, but I had written songs about my fantasies of exploring the desert and discovering the people there. 

 

The dream came true in 2001. I had just arrived in Malaga, Spain, for the first time, on my own with nothing but a small suitcase and a mind full of wonder. As if by some divine design, I met a Spanish family - Isabel and Manolo - who had a long history of traveling though Morocco, living alongside the Berber tribespeople, sharing meals and stories. They invited me to travel with them and a few friends from Tangiers to Merzouga. 

 

We set out, traveling together in an old van. It was a long drive of navigating steep cliffs, long dusty roads, and through towns and cities, where I was astounded by the organized chaos of moving parts - donkey carts, cars, bikes and motos, mothers and children, zestful teenagers, sellers, buyers, dogs, goats and birds. A kind of relaxed urgency. Intensity. Life. 

During that first trip we traveled through the Rif Mountains and the Moroccan Sahara, close to the Algerian border. The complete disconnection I had from my ‘other world’ opened a new creative pathway for me, even though I couldn’t describe it at the time. This was all before I had a cell phone or internet, so my connection to this new world was all that much more potent. 

The project I’m embarking on now is a full circle moment for me - after 18 years in Spain, and many travels to Morocco, I’ve written a piece of music that I feel will bring these worlds and experiences together. In the next chapter I’ll introduce you to my collaborators, and invite you to join the process of adventure.

6 comments

  • Alan Walters

    Alan Walters South Wales

    Blown Away yet again by your Amazing Musical Stories of Discovery, Reaching out to all genres & peoples. The connection you have & the passion for what you do! No Surprise that the Magical Sonospheric Miracles you produce touch so many peoples hearts! Thank You for all you do & so wonderful to hear of your Journey! The Colours Visually & musically are so inspirational! Enjoy the Serendipity of your Sublime Success! I think the way you communicate with other musicians is So Special!!

    Blown Away yet again by your Amazing Musical Stories of Discovery, Reaching out to all genres & peoples. The connection you have & the passion for what you do! No Surprise that the Magical Sonospheric Miracles you produce touch so many peoples hearts! Thank You for all you do & so wonderful to hear of your Journey! The Colours Visually & musically are so inspirational! Enjoy the Serendipity of your Sublime Success! I think the way you communicate with other musicians is So Special!!

  • T. W. Tobin

    T. W. Tobin Canada

    I think Alan Walters said it all very eloquently. So I will just say that I continue to be fascinated by your musical adventures. I am living vicariously through you, as I would be so excited to have the opportunity to work with musicians from the exotic lands you visit. My interest is Middle Eastern and North African music, and my love of your music, is making me very eager to hear the results of this great collaboration and fusion of worlds. By the way, your travelogues are always beautifully written!

    I think Alan Walters said it all very eloquently. So I will just say that I continue to be fascinated by your musical adventures. I am living vicariously through you, as I would be so excited to have the opportunity to work with musicians from the exotic lands you visit. My interest is Middle Eastern and North African music, and my love of your music, is making me very eager to hear the results of this great collaboration and fusion of worlds. By the way, your travelogues are always beautifully written!

  • marlla and steve

    marlla and steve sidney bc

    we are so glad to here from you again, you are living in a wonderful place, steve want to know if you got married, well take care and your music is fantastic. hope to hear from you soon from sunny sidney

    we are so glad to here from you again, you are living in a wonderful place, steve want to know if you got married, well take care and your music is fantastic. hope to hear from you soon from sunny sidney

  • Geoff

    Geoff Ab.

    Super great stuff Nancy! I've been telling your story to my friends for years, but some of the finer details may have eluded me. Till now! Morocco was one of the most interesting and memorable places for my family and having you as our guide was magic. You sure took care of us! Can't wait to here more of your adventures.

    Super great stuff Nancy! I've been telling your story to my friends for years, but some of the finer details may have eluded me. Till now! Morocco was one of the most interesting and memorable places for my family and having you as our guide was magic. You sure took care of us! Can't wait to here more of your adventures.

  • Phil Rossner

    Phil Rossner Sooke, BC, Canada

    Now that you mention it, I remember that red and gold jacket so well as you wore it to most of the gigs we did to promote your first album. Even though I do remember your fascination with Morocco at the time, I didn't know about the connection with the fabric. So interesting to now read about this and to get a bit of an understanding of the 'big picture' that was unravelling in your mind at the time and that would eventually manifest into all your subsequent trips to this part or the world. And now this amazing new project you have undertaken! So interesting and inspiring! Bravo!

    Now that you mention it, I remember that red and gold jacket so well as you wore it to most of the gigs we did to promote your first album. Even though I do remember your fascination with Morocco at the time, I didn't know about the connection with the fabric. So interesting to now read about this and to get a bit of an understanding of the 'big picture' that was unravelling in your mind at the time and that would eventually manifest into all your subsequent trips to this part or the world. And now this amazing new project you have undertaken! So interesting and inspiring! Bravo!

  • Eileen

    Eileen Victoria BC Canada

    Your life, your music, rolled into one. You are the epitome of integrity as you stay so very true to who you are. You are extremely creative and to make such incredible music and to live such a creative life is a great human feat. I have deep respect and admiration for you my dear daughter. You are a very bright light in my life. I send you love and encouragement to continue your life in your love for adventure. Sing sing sing. xoxo

    Your life, your music, rolled into one. You are the epitome of integrity as you stay so very true to who you are. You are extremely creative and to make such incredible music and to live such a creative life is a great human feat. I have deep respect and admiration for you my dear daughter. You are a very bright light in my life. I send you love and encouragement to continue your life in your love for adventure. Sing sing sing. xoxo

Add comment