Twelve months ago I was very pleased to have been invited to Rabat by film maker Marouane Bahrar after meeting up with him whilst I was on holiday in Marrakech. Marouane is a friend of the artist Said Afifi who I was showing with in a touring video exhibition called ‘Time is Love’ (7) 2013. TIME is love screening is an annual international video art program on the theme of love in hard times. We became Facebook friends and I knew he lived in Casablanca approximately 3 hours by car from Marrakech, but chanced my arm in contacting him to meet up. Luckily both he and Marouane were having a few days break in Marrakech. From this original contact Marouane and I talked about the future as his English is very good.

Rabat is very different to Marrakech its easy to walk about on foot and hassle free. I mentioned before that it is like Manchester in the sun and with a beach. I first visited Rabat in November last year to specifically meet artists, network and check out the art scene there. I have made friends and numerous contacts to help me and advise me for future development and collaborations. For the travel bursary my aim was to complete a Video I had previously recorded adding sound because my target audience would be the partially blind/blind audience. The trip this time was to collect sound and work on audio ideas. I had plenty of inspiration in Rabat visiting numerous sites to record sound. After meeting with Toufik Elbouchiti to discuss sound (because he is a musician and song writer) I anticipated that he would respond to the song ‘Amazing Grace’ in his own way using the song as a catalyst and as inspiration. After a few weeks we met again and he told me he had written the music and lyrics and that the song was distributed by a director , a lobby a system controller for the role of being blind and your luck, like a flower in rubbish. Your choice has been taken away from you, but then the flower grows and pushes through and the blind start fighting for their cause and rights.

GML PICTURES a Film, Photography and Sound Studio in Rabat

Toufik does not speak English and so I had a translator to help interpret. We booked into the studio and spent the day recording different layers of sound. First Toufik sang Acapella, then with classical guitar followed by an electric guitar. We were working until late in the evening and for the final layer of sound recording we invited the people who were at the studio to sing. It was exciting and fun watching the process of recording.

The next day I was back in the studio editing the sound with Marouane who is exceptionally skilled in using an application called Adobe Premier CC2015 Pro.

The final film will be available on Vimeo in the future (Inshallah) as I don’t want to release it just yet as I will be submitting it to the ‘International Film Festival’ where the blind apparently have a venue allocated to them each year. I was clear in communication to Toufik that I did not want the video to be a music video and for Toufik to respond to the world famous song ‘Amazing grace’ in his own manner – in a none Christian way – in order to connect with the audience.

I am very pleased with the final outcome of the film and the sound. The rhythm is very catchy and who knows where this work will lead myself and the other people involved?

Hatim Gueddari, an Exhausting day and night Interpreting.

For the time I spent in Rabat I would like to thank Marouane Bahrar and GML studios, Hatim Gueddari, Rachid El Alaoui and Er Rafik Aboubaker and of course the amazing Toufik Elbouchiti  without whose help and guidance the film would be incomplete.