Interview about the Sound of Silence with Hmad Laarossi: travel guide and operator of besttravelmorocco.com, musician of the band Imodda and a child of Morocco’s Sahara Desert.
Hmad, what does silence mean to you?
Hmad: Silence is that warm hug that no one can give, except an empty space that brings you far away from everything but closer to yourself, away from any cause of “interruption connection inner self“. I mean here that silence for me is like an abstract space around me where nothing external destructs me from connecting back to myself, my inner peace, which provides enough time for brain and heart to clearly hear the tone of your inner voice.
You earn your money as a tour guide. What do you – as someone who grew up with the natural sound of silence – think about Marrakech?
Hmad: Marrakech is a lively city and to be honest: it’s much too noisy to stay there longer than a day. And life there is materialistic. So I’m always happy to just pick up my guests and travel towards my desert to show them the sound of silence: the peace of nature and the nature of peace. Because all the random stuff, the noise and the hectic cities disconnects people from eachother, then from nature, and then from their inner-selves, then it leads them to losing the peace of being out in the nature, because they create this civilized life that’s somehow faked and artificial to me. So, they end losing both of peace of nature and the nature of peace.
What does music mean to you?
Hmad: Music for me is something spiritual, like a prayer, you might play against pain or for being happy. The good thing is that playing music is more effective than a pray, it always has more realistic effects, it’s healing actually.
You are a musician in the band Imodda. How would you describe the music you play?
With my band, through our music, we are trying to speak on behalf of our people and any other people around the world that are having a hard time. It’s communicating a message, the message of oppressed people, through music, this international language that can transmit and handle their stories in a wise way, it’s like a peaceful weapon. I admire music, it’s my spirituality.
What instruments do you mainly play there?
Hmad: I guess I can play any instrument (smiling), but mainly I play the guitar, violin, flute and traditional drums. And I am using my voice.
The Yogis sing OM as it is meant to be the sound of the universe. How does that sound to you?
Hmad: Hm, my sound of the universe is the sound of the desert, the sound of silence. My way of meditating is just being in the desert, my habit for meditation is to take my guitar and go up to a high dune to watch the sunset, and play my guitar for desert spirit.
You know, if you grow up in the desert, the desert will hold your roots, like me: I simply belong to the desert, like any other desert living.
How often you really go out into the desert, into the dunes?
Hmad: When I’m at home I usually go out twice a week, at least. Otherwise I don’t feel that connected, firstly to myself, to my inner peace, then to the earth.
But as we are on our way to the desert while doing this interview I just can tell you: The desert will impact you, and you will see what I mean.
So your favorite sound is the sound of silence. Besides this: What is your current favorite song?
Hmad: Cler Achel, by Tinariwen
© Katrin Witt für NOSADE 2016
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