From Shore to Shore
From Shore to Shore - Words, Music and Song from 17th Century England and Morocco
Alison Atkinson's play "Entertaining Morocco" tells how a group of English people, brought to Morocco as slaves, react to the strange new world they encounter.
This recording aims to complement this by mingling seventeenth century English music with traditional music from Morocco to to give a picture of the two cultures, showing their differences but also on occasion combining to show how the two worlds can meet and the elements that they have in common.
Perhaps the strongest link between the early English and Moroccan music may be seen in the musical instruments used. Of these, the lute is the most obvious example. Its very name shows its origin - the English word "lute" being taken directly from the Arabic "el ud". It was introduced to Europe by the Moors who occupied Spain, and remained popular for centuries.
The programme contains a number of devotional songs from both the Christian and Moslem religions with prayers in English, Latin and Arabic. A reading from the mystic poet Rumi is reflected to some extent in the words of Peter Philips' motet "O si quando videbo". Both show how the soul longs for God. Two of the songs (The Lord's Prayer/Call to Prayer and Never Weather-beaten Sail) are used in the play "Entertaining Morocco".
We have also included some dance music which European musicians of the time associated with the Moroccan people: "the Moor's dance", la morisque or la moresca, and a piece named "Argeers" (for Algeria). This is followed by an Andalusian dance played by both groups of musicians.