Dec 31, 2013

RhoDeo 1352 Roots

Hello, we still find ourselves in an environment that gave rise to the worlds monotheistic religions be that on the Arabian peninsula, here we stay in the Saharan/Sahel band stretching from the West-Atlantic coast to the highlands of Ethiopia in the east of the continent, a vast area where fresh water useally tends to come at a premium , where the sun is burning down during daytime and nighttime can be cold, where the moon is the sole light source apart from the warming campfires. Is it any surprise then that singing and making music together lifted the spirits of those gathering in these desolate landscapes. And the moon became their God.

Today we wander further East into Ethiopia, that ancient region where altitude keeps tempertures within bounds and defendable hence the fleeing Jews decided to bring the ark there.... Coptic christians find their origen there too. The Templers made it there too in search of the Ark Of The Covenant, whatever they found they did build an interesting complex there on an island in a lake, industrious fellows those Templars. Meanwhile the Ark is still paraded around once a year and it's guardian has to be replaced every 10/15 years which suggests some deadly radiation if you ask me. Alas nobody is alowed to go near it besides the guardian. Mysteries ......N'joy

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

Although Ethiopian culture and music have ancient roots (not to mention a tradition of Coptic liturgical music that dates back to the 4th century A.D.), the story of Ethiopian pop music doesn't begin until the 1930s, when the Emperor Haile Selassie introduced the first Western-style military brass bands. By the later half of the '40s—after the disruptions of the Italian occupation (1935–'41) and World War II—these bands had developed into full orchestras, playing American-inspired swing arrangements with Amharic lyrics and a distinctly Ethiopian modality.

But it wasn't until the late 1960s, toward the end of Selassie's long reign, that Ethiopian popular music—or "modern music," as it was called—really began to take off. The country was opening itself up to the swinging '60s, and a musical explosion fuelled by rapid urbanization and a short-lived economic prosperity was just beginning. Young singers and musicians were influenced by imported jazz, pop, R&B and soul music from the U.S. Artists like Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Esheteand and Mulatu Astatke combined these cool new imports with traditional Ethiopian sounds, while groups like the Wallias Band, the Roha Band and the Ethio Stars plugged in to newfangled Western instruments.

Unfortunately, this golden age didn't last. After Selassie was deposed in a military coup in 1974, a provisional administrative council of soldiers, known as the Derg ("committee") installed themselves as the governing junta. The Derg years were brutal and austere, and the dictatorship closed down the nightclubs and imposed censors on a thriving recording industry. The party was over.When the Derg dictatorship finally collapsed in 1991, the lid again came off Ethiopian musical creativity.

Traditional Ethiopian music instruments include the masingo, a one-stringed violin like instrument that is played with a bow; the krar, a six-stringed lyre, played with fingers or a plectrum; the washint, a flute made from bamboo; and various drums. There are three types of drums that are used in different occasions: the negarit (kettledrum), played with sticks, the kebero, played with hands, and the atamo, tapped with the fingers or palm. Other instruments include the begena, a huge, multi-stringed lyre often referred to as the Harp of David; the tsinatsil or sistrum, which is used in churches; the meleket, a long trumpet without fingerholes, and the embilta, a large, one-note flute used on ceremonial occasions.

In addition to the above traditional music instruments, Ethiopian music also includes various types of modern music instruments that are used by bands playing Ethiopian jazz, pop, and the like. Modern Ethiopian music instruments include the guitar, percussion, violin, saxophone, mandolin, clarinet, accordion, etc. The masinqo is one of the most popular traditional Ethiopian music instruments used throughout Ethiopia. It is one of the fixtures in Ethiopian culture. Although it looks simple, the masinqo can, in the hands of an expert musician, produces a wide variety of melodies. It is often played by wandering minstrels as well as professional musicians.

In the new millennium, Ethiopian pop continues to evolve and garner wider international attention, attracting Western artists as diverse as the avant-jazz ensemble Either/Orchestra to Jamaican sax virtuoso Cedric Brooks. In fact, the county still exerts a very real pull for Jamaican musicians, as exemplified by 2005's Africa Unite festival, which drew many members of Bob Marley's family (three of whom performed) .

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

Mekurya began his musical studies on traditional Ethiopian instruments such as the krar and the masenqo, and later moved on to the saxophone and clarinet. Upon reaching adolescence, he began his professional career in 1949 as a part of the Municipality Band in Addis Ababa. In 1955 he joined the house band at Addis' Haile Selassie I Theatre, and in 1965 joined the famous Police Orchestra. He was also one of the first musicians to record an instrumental version of shellela, a genre of traditional Ethiopian vocal music sung by warriors before going into battle. Mekurya took the shellela tradition seriously, often appearing onstage in a warrior's animal-skin tunic and lion's mane headdress. Mekurya's playing style has been compared to free jazz, but developed in isolation from it during the early 1950s. He continued to refine his instrumental shellela style, recording an entire album in 1970, Negus of Ethiopian Sax, released on Philips Ethiopia during the heyday of the Ethiojazz movement. Mekurya continued to work alongside many of the biggest orchestras in the Ethiopian capital, accompanying renowned singers Alemayehu Eshete, Hirut Beqele, and Ayalew Mesfin. Mekurya reached an international audience when his album Negus of Ethiopian Sax was re-released as part of the Ethiopiques CD series.



Gétatchèw Mèkurya - Negus Of Ethiopian Sax  (flac  384mb)

01 Yégènèt Muziqa 4:30
02 Shellèla 5:06
03 Aha Gèdawo 4:47
04 Antchi Hoyé 3:47
05 Ambassèl 5:41
06 Almaz Yèharèrwa 3:46
07 Yèné Hassab Gwadègna 5:32
08 Shèmonmwanayé 3:22
09 Gofèré / Antchi Hoyé 7:05
10 Aynotché Tèrabu 4:33
11 Akalé Wubé 4:05
12 Tezeta 4:39
13 Gèdamay 3:48
14 Muziqa Heywèté 3:06
15 Shellèla Bèsaxophone 2:43

Gétatchèw Mèkurya - Negus Of Ethiopian Sax  (ogg 106mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

Traditional Ethiopian music instruments include the masingo, a one-stringed violin like instrument that is played with a bow; the krar, a six-stringed lyre, played with fingers or a plectrum; the washint, a flute made from bamboo; and various drums. There are three types of drums that are used in different occasions: the negarit (kettledrum), played with sticks, the kebero, played with hands, and the atamo, tapped with the fingers or palm. Other instruments include the begena, a huge, multi-stringed lyre often referred to as the Harp of David; the tsinatsil or sistrum, which is used in churches; the meleket, a long trumpet without fingerholes, and the embilta, a large, one-note flute used on ceremonial occasions.

In addition to the above traditional music instruments, Ethiopian music also includes various types of modern music instruments that are used by bands playing Ethiopian jazz, pop, and the like. Modern Ethiopian music instruments include the guitar, percussion, violin, saxophone, mandolin, clarinet, accordion, etc. The masinqo is one of the most popular traditional Ethiopian music instruments used throughout Ethiopia. It is one of the fixtures in Ethiopian culture. Although it looks simple, the masinqo can, in the hands of an expert musician, produces a wide variety of melodies. It is often played by wandering minstrels as well as professional musicians.



VA - Music Of Ethiopia   (flac  357mb)

01 Lemma Gebre Hiwot - Medina - Zelesegna (4:51)
02 Abyssinia band - Yedejih abeba negn (6:47)
03 Yohannes Afework - Ambassel (4:33)
04 Abyssinia band - Mis men gidifkini (4:22)
05 Asnakech Wortu - Tizita (4:50)
06 Abyssinia band - Endenew yisemah (5:32)
07 Areru Shegane-Teka Tema-Yohannes Afework - Tigrigna (3:19)
08 Yared Orchestra - Alegntaye (5:33)
09 Alemayehu Fanta - Salamta (3:03)
10 Abyssinia band - Yiberral libbe (4:26)
11 Sne Bahel - Haya wolalome (2:31)
12 Alemayehu Fanta - Anchihoyelene -- Tizita (7:05)
13 Abyssinia band - Esketayew (4:37)
14 Sne Bahel - Dowa dowe (3:24)
15 Abyssinia band - Tizita (7:11)

VA - Music From Ethiopia ( 178mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

“Ethiopians believe that when Zion is mentioned in the bible they are speaking about Ethiopia,” Gigi explains. With that in mind, the album, Zion Roots, is exactly what the name implies: music rooted deep in Ethiopian culture. On this latest concept project, Gigi was able to realize her longstanding dream of melding elements of East and West African elements into the music of her home country. "This traditional project is something that I wanted to do to keep in touch with the music of Ehtiopia. This does not represent me as a solo artist but more me introducing Ethiopian traditional music in different settings, as a concept project.

Abyssinia Infinite chose the songs for this album to convey a traditional spirit. Though quite sparsely furnished, this music is deep and powerful - a state-of-the-art marriage of ancient (handclaps, flute, harp) and modern technology that aims to transcend both. They use traditional instruments such as the kirar—which is referred to as King David’s harp in the Bible and is perhaps one of the oldest surviving East African instruments—and the washint—a simple bamboo flute. The band is composed of prominent players in the world music community including the magical Senegalese percussionist Aiyb Dieng, the virtuoso tabla-player Karsh Kale, the guitarist/accordionist Tony Cedras (known for his work on Paul Simon's Graceland project), the Ethiopian saxophonist Moges Habte, and world music producer/musician Bill Laswell, with a rare performance on acoustic guitar.



Abyssinia Infinite - Zion Roots  (flac  299mb)

01 Bati Bati 3:45
02 Gela 6:08
03 Alesema 7:26
04 Monew Natana 5:12
05 Embe Ashafergne 4:27
06 Gole 6:03
07 Aba Alem Lemenea 4:15
08 Gedawo 4:42
09 Lebaye 4:47
10 Ethiopia 6:15

Abyssinia Infinite - Zion Roots  (ogg 116mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, Rho. Your Getatchew Mekurya post has caught my attention with it's reference to 'free jazz'. Unfortunately the Netkups FLAC link keeps giving me a '502 Bad Gateway' message. Any idea what that means? All other links in the post connect OK. I'm hoping it's something temporary, I'll try again later. I just thought I should let you know. Thanks.

-Brian

concorde said...

Rho...where have you gone? I miss you...