Bio: Morocco


1969 Richard first traveled to Morocco while studying music, eastern philosophy and film in Paris. He returned to Morocco in 1972 to study,
compose, and perform music. Here he created one of the earliest fusion bands in Morocco called Ibis Mummy with the young Gnaoua Maalem Brahim El Belkani, Anello Capuano (percussion/ oud), Abdelatif Kartuma (violin), and the brilliant multi-instrumentalist Louis Soret. All were professors at The Moulay Abdellah Wazani Andalusian Music Conservatory in Marrakech. The band toured Morocco with grants from the Jeunesse Musicales.

1975 Richard returned to Morocco from Paris to continue work with Ibis Mummy until 1980. In 1978 his daughter, Tamara Alexa, was born by candle light with two midwives in a Riad in the Medina of Marrakech.

1974 Richard met Paul Bowles, who later became his mentor. In 1982, Bowles recommended Richard to the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the Goddard Leiberson composition award. In 1989, he recommended Richard to Bernardo Bertolucci as composer for the music for The Sheltering Sky.

1974 Richard and Loy Erlich invited Brahim el Belkani to perform with them at the French Radio and Television in Paris.

1974 Richard was asked by Channel 4 in London to advise Jimmy Page and Robert Plant during their first trip to Morocco, and later Led Zeppelin hired Brahim el Belkani to record with them in their ground breaking video City Don’t Cry, shot in Marrakech. During this period, Richard met the great American jazz pianist Randy Weston, whose work was a great influence on Richard.

1978 Richard recorded his solo ney LP Oblique Sequences at the Boulez IRCAM Studios in Paris. It was released by Shandar Records and La Foundation Maeght.

1982 – 1987 Desert Equations with Sussan Deyhim

1984 Richard and Sussan Deyhim were invited by Mohamed Melehi and Mohamed Benaissa to perform Desert Equations at the Azilah Festival. There was a night performance and a second performance in the Raissouni Palace. They based the music and dance performance on the zellige tile patterns on the floor of the palace. This later influenced their 1985 performance at Carnigie Recital Hall in New York.

1990 Richard invited Brahim El Belkani back to Paris to perform a piece from his film score for The Sheltering Sky on the Frederick Mitterrand television show Etoile Palace for the French film opening.

1992 Richard music directed the Expo 92 Concert Ritmos Del Futuro for the Moroccan Pavilion in Seville, where he invited Brahim and Loy to perform with 250 Moroccan musicians – the large mount of musicians later became the model for The Gnaoua Festival. The musicians that played with RH in Seville included Brahim El Belkani and the Gnaoua of Marrakech, The Haouz, Zaynes de Khenifra, Rwais Akalal de Zagora, Issawa de Meknes, the Dakka de Marrakech, and many more. The concert featured Jon Hassell on trumpet, Loy Erlich on keyboards, Steve Shehan with drums/percussion, Dave Fuze on guitar, Jamie Haddad with percussion, and Richard Horowitz on keyboards/ney.’92

1990 Bill Laswell contacted Richard wanting to make a CD in Morocco.
Since he had never been to Morocco, he asked what music Richard thought would be interesting to work with. Because he know Bill was a bass player, he advised him to record the Gnaoua (Gnawa) since their cello range sintir is one of the origins of the bass. Together they co-produced Night Spirit Masters in Marrakech for Axiom, a label founded by Chris Blackwell of Island Records fame. Many of the most important Gnawa musicians played together in a Riad in Marrakech, including Maalem Sam, Mustapha Baqbou, Said Oughassal, Abdelqader Oughassai, and Brahim El Belkani. Richard asked Paul Bowles to write the liner notes. The CD received four stars in Rolling Stone magazine and helped put Gnawa music on the map in the United States.

1987 – 1998 Richard was also instrumental in the career of Gnaoua musician Hassan Hakmoun.
Richard and his daughter Tamara taught Hassan English, helped book his concerts, took his press photos, encouraged Jon Perelas of the New York Times to come and review Hassan’s first concert, and stood by Hassan keeping him afloat during hard times. Richard and Hassan composed the first Arabic rap song for the film La Thune in 1992. Richard performed and recorded with Hassan on many CDs, including Gift of the Gnawa. Hassan Hakmoun has performed and recorded with Randy Weston, Don Cherry, Richard Horowitz, Adam Rudolph, Paula Cole, Bob Telson, and Peter Gabriel.

1992 The Kronos Quartet asked Richard to arrange and produce Hassan Hakmoun’s piece Saade, which was recorded at Richard’s studio in New York for the CD Pieces of Africa (Nonesuch Records).

1992 Richard was invited by Andre Azoulay to direct the music for the Orson Welles’ Othello 40th Anniversary of the Palm D’Or in Essaouira. Guests included Welle’s daughter Virginia Nicoloson, Denis Hopper, Gina Lollobrigida, Prince Mohammed (the future king of Morocco M6) and all the major European cinema press.

1997 Richard co-founded The Gnaoua Festival in Mogador (Essaouira), Morocco with Neila Tazi and Andre Azoulay. He was the artistic director for the two first (and most difficult) years. He then passed the job to his friend Loy Erlich. During the first years of the festival, Richard invited international jazz and rock stars Reggie Workman (John Coltrane’s bass player), Doug Wimbish (bass), and Will Calhoun (drums, from the band Living Color), Persian vocalist Sussan Deyhim, percussionist Steve Shehan, Adam Roudloph, his old friend Hassan Hakmoun, and many other internationally reknown musicians and vocalists. The festival attracts over five hundred thousand people a year and has helped raised the appreciation for Gnaoua both in and outside of Morocco.

1993 – 1997 Richard and Sussan Deyhim recorded Majoun for Sony Classical.

Mondo 2000 Interview:

After the success of The Sheltering Sky, Richard traveled frequently to Los Angeles to work on film scores in the early 90s. He eventually moved to London with Deyhim in 1993 to work on a CD for Sony Classical. The result was Majoun. “Deyhim’s molten melismas focused by Horowitz’s undulating and resonant instrumentation…” (The Wire). Majoun was recorded in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, and Morocco. The string section and oud parts were recorded in Morocco with players from the Moroccan National Radio and Television Orchestra, which included Abdelatif El Miry (violin) Abdelwahed Azizi (oud/violin), Said Azizi (violin), Mohamed Zaghmari (violin), and Mustapha Adalal (cello). The CD featured violin solos by Abdellah El Miry and the great Indian violinist Chandru. The CD also featured Doug Wimbish and Jaron Lanier, Byron Wallen, Steve Shehan, Reza Derakshani and Keith Le Blanc. The Majoun band toured both in the US and in Europe.

2005 Cheb I Sabbah – La Kahena – Les Voix Du Maghreb. more images …. Bill Laswell, Karsh Kale and Richard Horowitz recorded at Orange Studio, NJ. I – Alkher Illa Doffor: Peace Is Found Behind Wounds; II – Ad Izayanugass: What Will Happen Will Happen Drums – Baly Othmani, Brahim Naima Drums [Tinde], Voice – Khadija Othmani Keyboards, Engineer, Programmed By – Gaurav Raina Ney [Nay], Keyboards – Richard Horowitz Voice – Dassin Nori, Malika Ali Chali, Zhora Thameur Cello – Rufus Cappadocia Keyboards – Gaurav Raina Ney [Nay], Keyboards – Richard Horowitz Voice – Michal Cohen…/2821459_

2007 Richard and Sussan Deyhim were invited by Vanessa Branson and Abel Damoussi to perform at the Arts in Marrakech Biennale.

2007 RH collaborates with DJ Van, Abel Damoussi and Fnaire, performing and coproducing on tracks for the first Fnaire CD. The music combines the Moroccan authentic Tribal/trance music with DJ Van’s crafted beats and Damoussi’s socially conscious lyrics. Fnaire – _____ – HibaMusic, Moroccan Rap music band, lines up four artists Marrakchis : 2 MC
(Khalifa and Achraf aged 23 and 24 years), DJ Van ( 23 years-old) and Tizaf …

2009 Richard was invited to perform music from The Sheltering Sky and speak at Paul Bowles Centennial events in Seville, Lisbon, Malaga and Tangier. The Seville event was also the opening night of the Seville Film festival at the Lupe de Vega Opera House. This event received major coverage because Ben Kingsley, John Hurt, NIckolas Roeg, Colin Farrell, Vittorio Storaro, and Jeremy Thomas were all in the audience. Richard was invited to the Malaga Bowles Centennial to play his ney flute at the dedication of the new tombstone of Jane Bowles. At the Lisbon event, Richard was invited to perform at the Orient Museum and to give a lecture on Paul Bowels’ work. In Tangier, Richard spoke at the American school and performed at the French consulate.

2009 Richard and Sussan Deyhim were invited to play a concert for the opening night of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Richard gave a master class where he traced the origin of Moroccan and Arab modal music and quarter tones all the way to The Big Bang.

Richard has appeared at numerous charity events in The UK and the US organized to help Moroccan Artists. He continues to work to help promote a vibrant and positive image of Morocco and the Maghreb to the world. He has also performed his Moroccan ney flutes and his Moroccan influenced keyboards with a circular breathing wind controller on many other CDs and film scores, including the film Kajarya directed by Madhureeta Anand.

David Byrne, Brian Eno, The Catherine Wheel – The Complete Score From The Broadway Production … by Twyla Tharp.…/2122893_ Piano – David Byrne, 2:40. 17, The Blue Flame. Flute [Ney] – Richard Horowitz Percussion – David Byrne Synthesizer [Prophet Scream] – Brian Eno, 3:25.

Suzanne Vega – Days Of Open Hand (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs Synthesizer [Sequential V.s., Dx711, Voyetra 8, Fairlight] – Anton Sanko, 3:22 … Vocals – Suzanne Vega Ney – Richard Horowitz Percussion [Frame Drum]
AZAX/ATTRA DESERT EQUATIONS Recording with Sussan Deyhim started in 1982 at Noise New York after Frank Eaton



ECM 1327

Jon Hassell – Surgeon of the Night Sky Restores Dead Things by the Power of Sound music CD album $12.59 at CD Universe, … Richard Horowitz – synthesizer

Hector Zazou – Taktic Music l’art séculaire du chant a capella aux interventions d’artistes contemporains (Jon Hassell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, John Cale, Richard Horowitz, Manu Dibango)

1988 Richard and Sussan Deyhim were invited to perform with The Grateful Dead at a special event for Joseph Campbell. Mickey Hart, drummer for The Grateful Dead, had heard their CD Desert Equations and wanted to play pieces off the CD for the event. They also worked with Hart, ghost writing for Max Headroom.

Carnegie Hall – Desert Equations

La Mama – The Ghost of Ibn Sabbah BAM Europe Tours: Town Hall, BAM, The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, Central Park Summer Stage, La Mama, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Hall, the Ravinia Festival, New Music America LA, Arts Electronica Austria, among others. Sussan Deyhim helped Richard compose Gift of Love for Deepak Chopra, a charity project for Mother Teresa that featured an unusual combination of movie stars, poets and activists reading Rumi. The readers included Jared Harris, Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Martin Sheen, Rosa Parks, Robert Thurman, Debra Winger, Blithe Danner, Colman Barks, and Sonja Sohn.

Another strong influence from that time was Jaron Lanier, who Richard met at a Harry Partch concert at Mills College in 1981, and have been collaborating ever since. Together they made The Chromataphors and other duo/ band projects.

Credits for films shot in Morocco include:

The Sheltering Sky

Director – Bernardo Bertolucci
Writers (screenplay) – Bernardo Bertolucci and Mark Peploe
Writer (Book) – Paul Bowles
Executive Producer – William Aldrich
Producer – Jeremy Thomas
Cinematographer – Vittorio Storaro
Composers – Richard Horowitz and Ryûichi Sakamoto
Production Designers – Ferdinando Scarfiotti and Gianni Silvestri
Editor – Gabriella Cristiani
Starring – Debra Winger, John Malkovich, Campbell Scott, Timothy Spall, Jill Bennett

Richard composed the music on the set in Morocco and performed the film music live on Frederick Mitterrand’s television special Etoile Palace in Paris.


Director – Bob Swaim
Writer (novel “L’Atlantide”) – Pierre Benoît
Writers – Nicola Badalucco, Franco Bernini, Christopher Frank, Jonathan Meades, Angelo Pasquini, Bob Swaim
Cinematographer – Ennio Guarnieri
Composer – Richard Horowitz
Production Designer – Luciano Ricceri
Editor – Marie-Sophie Dubus
Starring – Tchéky Karyo, Christopher Thompson, Anna Galiena, Jean Rochefort, Günther Maria Halmer, Claudia Gerini, Fernando Rey, Aziz El Fatihi

Mapas dy Auga Y Arana Las Vidas de Jane and Paul Bowles
(Traces of Sand and Water The lives of Jane and Paul Bowles)

Directed by Havier Martin-Dominguez
Music by Paul Bowles, Richard Horowitz and Sussan Deyhim

L’Ombre de Pharon

Director – Souheil Ben-Barka
Writers – Souheil Ben-Barka and Adriano Bolzoni
Cinematographer – Girolamo La Rosa
Composer – Richard Horowitz
Starring – Helmut Berger, Florinda Bolkan, Orso Maria Guerrini


Director – Nour Eddine Lakhmari
Writers – Nour Eddine Lakhmari, Youssef Fadel, and Haitham Idrissi
Cinematographer – Luca Coassin
Composers – Richard Horowitz and Amine Snoop
Production Designer – Badria Soud Elhassani
Editor – Sarah Mouta
Starring – Anas Elbaz, Omar Lotfi, Mohamed Benbrahim, Ghita Tazi

Death For Sale

Director – Faouzi Bensaïdi
Writer – Faouzi Bensaïdi
Producers – Bénédicte Bellocq, Sébastien Delloye, and Souad Lamriki
Cinematographer – Marc-André Batigne
Composer – Richard Horowitz
Production Designer – Itaf Benjelloune
Editor – Danielle Anezin
Starring – Fehd Benchemsi, Fouad Labied, Imane Elmechrafi, Nezha Rahile, Faouzi Bensaïdi

This film was a Moroccan submission to the Oscars in 2012.

Love in the Medina

Director – Abdelhai Laraki
Writers (screenplay) – Violaine Bellet and Abdelhai Laraki
Producers – Zaineb Laraki and Caroline Locardi
Cinematographer – Roberta Allegrini
Composer – Richard Horowitz
Editor – Marie Castro
Starring – Omar Lofti, Ouidad Elma, Driss Roukhe


Director – Nour Eddine Lakhmari
Writers – Jarnes Angelique and Nour Eddine Lakhmari
Producer – Redouan Bayed
Cinematographer – Luca Coassin
Composer – Richard Horowitz
Starring – Younes Bouab, Sonia Chraibi, Mohamed Majd

This film was a Moroccan submission to the Oscars in 2011.

Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open
Director – Daniel Young
Writer (concept) – Daniel Young
Producer – Valentin Greutert
Cinematographer – Imre Juhasz
Composers – Richard Horowitz and Csaba Kalot‡s
Editor – Kaya Inan
Starring – Richard Horowitz, Bernardo Bertolucci, Gore Vidal, Ira Cohen, Karim Debbagh, John Giorno, Cherie Nutting, John Waters, Mohammed Mrabet