Unexpected Concert

Sometimes life in Morocco can be frustrating. If I need to fill out paperwork at the police station, send a package, or have the plumbing fixed, for instance. And sometimes it is just lovely.

8:45pm on a Tuesday. A lone trumpet echoes across the street outside. Soon a drum joins in. I wander over to the window, and there–in the street–is a full brass band. As they launch into a  traditional wedding song, children gather around them and begin to dance. Neighbors lean out of their windows and stand in doorways. I spot one dancing alone in his courtyard, bouncing from foot to foot, arms in the air. The music intensifies. Cars drive past slowly, windows rolled down. Some pull over and the passengers step out to lean on their doors and listen. The song ends. There is a sudden silence, and then timid applause rings out from down the street, across the courtyard, a neighboring window, my balcony. The concert wasn’t for us, and we’re not sure if we should reveal that we were listening. But then, maybe it was for us.1

The children joke with each other, watching the musicians, who pack up their instruments and load them into a van. The musicians leave. The children leave. I leave the recorder running, and the sounds of the street fill the air, until they are gradually drowned out by the call to prayer from three separate mosques nearby. Neighbors turn off their lights and get ready for bed.

Audio recording:

  1. I assumed that this was for a wedding, but I didn’t see the bride, groom, or wedding party. It could have been a rehearsal, any one of the other various wedding-related ceremonies particular to Moroccan culture, or even a group of guys in a band, practicing. []

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