Tellus #23 ‘The Voices of Paul Bowles’


  1. Le Coran Cheikh ‘Sourat Yassine’, performed by Abdel Samad (01:15)
  2. Paul Bowles, narrator ‘Allal’ (26.38)
  3. Cheikh Hamed bel Hadj Hamadi ben Allal and ensemble ‘Reh Dial Beni Bouhiya’ (03:00)
  4. Paul Bowles ‘Music for a Farce I’, 1936, performed by Chicago Pro Musica (01:10)
  5. Paul Bowles, narrator ‘Points in Time IV’ (05:40)
  6. Cheikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble ‘Oukha Dial Kheir’ (03:10)
  7. Interlude: conversations at Hotel Rif and ‘Prelude #2’ from six preludes for piano performed by Bennett Lerner, Etcetera (02:00)
  8. Paul Bowles, narrator ‘The Garden’ (07:45)
  9. Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble ‘Aouda Trio’ (02:55)
  10. Paul Bowles ‘Secret Words’, 1943. William Sharp: baritone; Steven Blier: piano (02:30)
  11. Paul Bowles, narrator ‘Points in Time XI’ (01:20)

Total time: 56:30
Curated by Claudia Gould and Stephen Frailey
Released 1989

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Till the age of 40, Paul Bowles (1910-1999) was a composer and music critic, composing for Broadway musicals, Hollywood movie scores, incidental music for ballet. He once aknowledged to be a composer of ‘hotel music’, though his serious music calls to mind that of Copland, Virgil Thomson, Francis Poulenc or Satie. It is actually when he get tired of writing easy music that he turned to writing literature.

    Curated by Claudia Gould and Stephen Frailey, ‘The Voices of Paul Bowles’ is an audio portrait combining some of the composer’s music with readings from his own texts, morrocan traditional music and location recordings from Tangier and Morroco where he lived from 1947. The most striking device is the handsome and warm voice of Bowles reading through his writings. Also notable are the lively field recordings of folk local music Bowles made himself in 1959 (tracks #01, 03, 06 & 09). The simoon (my conjecture) heard at the end of ‘The Garden’, track #08, is a short but evocative recording of a North Africa typical wind. Bowles own compositions are exquisite vignettes full of humour and wit.

    A microcosm in itself, a day in the life of Paul Bowles, the tape starts with the muezzin’s morning call to prayer and ends with dogs barking at sunset, an amazing barking chorale recorded amid the rising desert wind. A poignant conclusion to an utterly beautiful tape.

    . . . . . . . . . .


    12 Responses to “Tellus #23 ‘The Voices of Paul Bowles’”

    1. 1 L. March 13, 2008 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks for this tape. Heard some of the recordings Bowles made in Morocco, together with others by Brion Gysin and Ira Cohen. Lovely and very exquisite shares – and rare as hell, I assume…

    2. 2 L. March 13, 2008 at 9:16 pm

      … hopefully Mediafire isn’t down for ages ;D

    3. 3 continuo March 14, 2008 at 7:15 am

      Thanks for visiting, L. The Media Server is now back and runnning.

    4. 4 nightlight March 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks for this one

    5. 5 L. March 15, 2008 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks Continuo – it’s loading right now. Cheers.

    6. 6 hind April 11, 2008 at 7:42 pm

      i love paul bowles , he is a good writer, he loves muslums so i should love him i love yooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuiiiiiii

    7. 7 continuo April 11, 2008 at 7:47 pm

      Uh… I love you too.

    8. 8 Josie Farmer July 13, 2008 at 4:27 am

      This is an excellent Paul Bowles tape which shows the many different dimensions of his work and interests. I am so glad that it is now easily accessible to everyone on the internet from your web site.

      Keep up the good work!

      Josie Farmer
      The International Paul Bowles Society

    9. 9 continuo July 13, 2008 at 8:14 am

      Thank you, Josie. This tape makes me want to read more of his books. Thanks for linking here on your comprehensive

    10. 10 Kenneth December 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm

      Thank you for noting that, is the official Paul Bowles site for his estate.

    11. 11 dmtls December 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      Hello there continuo,
      long time no see. Thank you for this interesting upload. I linked this to my new blog [] in a related entry. It is obvious judging by your recent posts that the quality of your work remains on a high level!
      See you around

    1. 1 Da Música - XV « S/a Pálpebra da Página Trackback on April 12, 2008 at 5:07 am

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