Music remains the one universal language that every human inhabits. It requires no interpretation, and yet its simplicity of spirit and importance to the soul is often overlooked by its definition as genre: Pop... World... Classical... Jazz. At its essence, music is the first and most precious act of nature. For man, it is the path to the divine.
Sawt-e-Sarmad or the sound that intoxicates man, according to Sufi tradition, is abstract by nature. Its vibrations exist on another level - too fine to be seen or heard. In Morocco, The Fès Festival Of World Sacred Music gathers musicians and thinkers from many faiths and traditions in an attempt to seek out this cosmic symphony... both on stage, and in forums for dialogue on pressing global issues.
This work is a visual and aural interpretation of the space that for many remains undefined. Like the medieval medina of Fès, it is a journey through a labyrinth of color and texture, with winding paths that abruptly end with the sudden and miraculous opening of the beginning.
This project began as a question: How does one capture the spirit of Fès - in particular the Fès Festival of World Sacred Music? The festival is an intensive week filled with morning and evening concerts, followed by smaller, intimate musical gatherings that sometimes last until dawn... Not to mention the early morning dialogue in the festival's colloquium and film screenings and, of course, food.
It is a certain kind of high that one takes back - and ultimately that is exactly the feeling this music evokes. The feeling of transport... of propulsion, upward into some other world. This feeling led me to the Sufi concept of Sawt-e-Sarmad or The Sound That Intoxicates Man.
There is no better way to capture an abstract moment as a filmmaker than to approach your subject from the same plateau from which it stands. This film is an attempt to re-establish the connection between artist and audience (musician and listener) in order to transport the viewer, not necessarily back to Morocco, but to that three dimensional space of light, sound and texture that exists between the screen and the audience.
The film was first presented as part of the first annual "Spirit Of Fès" music tour spawned from the Fès Festival Of World Sacred Music.
A film by: Terrance Grace
Produced by: Terrance Grace and Zeyba Rahman
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