Blogtrotters

Showing posts with label [krar]. Show all posts
Showing posts with label [krar]. Show all posts

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fantahun Shewankochew - Shegneches Semeles [ethiopia]












       Fantahun Shewankochew is a Toronto-based musician (vocalist, song writer, instrumentalist, arranger and composer). His new release Adera (An Undertaking) is a rediscovery of Ethio-jazz, traditional and popular Ethiopian music with a modern twist. Fantahun Shewankochew has crafted an album that harkens back to the golden era of Ethiopian music. 

        Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Fantahun hails from a country with a diverse mix of rich culture, tradition and music. Affectionately called “Fantish” by his friends and fans, Fantahun discovered his talent for music at a very young age when he participated in school performances as a singer, often imitating famous Ethiopian vocalists like Muluken Melese and his idol the late Tilahun Gessesse, undoubtedly the most revered and iconic figure who dominated Ethiopia’s modern music for almost half-a-century. To develop his talent, Fantahun joined the Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa, where he studied for four years and graduated in the early 80’s with a diploma in trumpet and the Ethiopian traditional instrument called krar, a harp-like five-or six-string lyre played using the fingers or in combination with a pick. His stint in the school not only provided him with the necessary academic credential and a better understanding of what underlies his music, but also created the historic opportunity of producing the Amharic hit song “Kiraren Biqagnew”, his signature song that introduced him to the public. Fresh from school, he was hired by the renowned Ethiopian National Theatre as a trumpet player and worked as a vocalist on the side with the Mahiran Band that he co-founded. 






Fantahun Shewankochew - Yeberetuma




       He released his first album - Kiraren in 1986 with the Mahiran band. He released three more albums: “Min Yelelesh Ale”, “Shegnichesh Semeles”, and “BeYikirta”. Besides his artistic and administrative responsibilities at the Ethiopian National theatre where he worked for over 20 years in various capacities including Coordinator of the music department, Fantahun formed one more music band –the Medina Band, collaborated with famous musicians and also went on international music tours in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, China and the Middle East.





Fantahun Shewankochew - Kiraren Bikagnew




           While in tour in Paris, France, Fantahun collaborated with the famous and now US-based Ejigayehu Shibabaw, a.k.a. Gigi., and released the “Ethiopian Love Songs” album. His tour with a group of musicians that included four German instrumentalists (Jochen Engel, Patrick Langer, Jörg Pfeil and Michael Ehret) and four Ethiopian vocalists (Abonesh Adnew, Tigist Bekele, Wondwossen Kassa and Binyam Kindya), organized under a band called “Sounds of Saba” offered Fantahun the opportunity to fulfill his dream of introducing Ethiopian music to the rest of the world and also to participate in the group’s 1998 “Tizita” album in which he participated as a vocalist, kirar player and percussionist. Representing Ethiopia with the Cultural Orchestra of the ENT, Fantahun has participated at some of the biggest international musical events including the Ravera festival in Italy and the Houston International festival in Texas, USA. 











         Fantahun made Toronto his new home in 2011 and he has since collaborated with fellow Ethiopian and other Canadian musicians and performed at such venues as the Glenn Gould Studio, Lula Lounge, Harbourfront Centre, the Music Gallery, the Gladstone Hotel and the Luminato Festival. No less important is his contribution to the Ethiopian Community in Toronto. In the same year he arrived in Toronto, for example, he got himself busy serving as artistic director of a spiritual concert & drama organized by fellow artists in collaboration with the choir of the Toronto Membere Birhan Saint Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral to raise fund for the construction of the Church’s new cathedral. The show was a complete sell-out and a phenomenal success.

      Regarding his plans in music, Fantahun has a keen interest to introduce Ethiopian traditional music, which he says has gained more and more popularity in many European countries but not so much here in Canada. In addition to his many personal projects in the pipeline, he plans to introduce to Canadians Ethiopia’s distinct modal system that is pentatonic called qenet, of which there are four main modes: tezeta, bati, ambassel, and anchihoye and other additional modes which are basically variants of the four modes.





Fantahun Shewankochew - 01 - Shegneches Semeles (5:15)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 02 - Zelalemaw neshe (4:33)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 03 - Abete setawekebet (4:51)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 04 - Ezawe betebelesh (4:20)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 05 - Legenet abeba (5:27)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 06 - Menezewa kezeba (4:23)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 07 - Menoeren senoru (5:28)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 08 - Yedemek cewatachen (5:26)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 09 - Yedemekelesh cewatachen (5:34)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 10 - Yeete new (5:31)
Fantahun Shewankochew - 11 - Yefa enawetaw (4:50)




Friday, April 14, 2017

Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari [ethiopia]














Martha Ashagari and Weshenfer Aragaw - Ere Damay






Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 01 - Eroman Neh (5:41)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 02 - Zemedea (4:59)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 03 - Metsahu Beleni [Tegrigna] (6:05)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 04 - Tadu (4:31)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 05 - Anchi Bir Albo (4:19)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 06 - Tolo Neylign (4:48)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 07 - Tey Deresh (7:05)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 08 - Sewnete Akale (6:13)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 09 - Eyew Mela Mela (6:17)
Weshenfer Argaw & Martha Ashagari - 10 - Memekyea (5:03)





Monday, January 16, 2017

v.a. - Krar & Masinko [ethiopia]











Krar Collective




       The krar or kraar is a five- or six-stringed bowl-shaped lyre from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The instrument is tuned to a pentatonic scale. A modern krar may be amplified, much in the same way as an electric guitar or violin.


        A chordophone, the krar is usually decorated with wood, cloth and beads. Its five or six strings determine the available pitches. The instrument's tone depends on the musician's playing technique: bowing, strumming or plucking. If plucked, the instrument will produce a soft tone. Strumming, on the other hand, will yield a harmonious pulsation. The instrument is often played by musician-singers called azmari. It usually accompanies love songs and secular songs.











Masinko tutorial




        The masinko (also spelled mesenqo, mesenko, mesenko, mesinko, or mesinqo) is a single-stringed bowed lute commonly found in the musical traditions of Ethiopia and Eritrea. As with the krar, this instrument is used by Ethiopian minstrels called azmaris ("singer" in Amharic) . Although it functions in a purely accompaniment capacity in songs, the masinko requires considerable virtuosity, as azmaris accompany themselves while singing.


     The square- or diamond-shaped resonator is made of four small wooden boards glued together, then covered with a stretched parchment or rawhide. The single string is typically made of horse hair, and passes over a bridge. The instrument is tuned by means of a large tuning peg to fit the range of the singer's voice. It may be bowed by either the right or left hand, and the non-bow hand sits lightly on top of the upper part of the string.






01 - Derbe Zenebe - Esti leguaz (5:18)
02 - Maritu Legesse - Akale Webe (4:50)
03 - Gash Abera Mola - Yameral Agere (5:17)
04 - Samuel Kassa - Techno Be'Masinko (3:27)
05 - Gigi & Yeshi Demelash - Bati [Reggaetopia - single] (5:59)
06 - Mahmoud Ahmed & Gossaye Tesfaye - Adera (5:52)
07 - Eskedar Amsalu - Bayeshelegn (7:15)
08 - Rasselas - Tizita (ft. Bezuayehu Demissie) (4:11)
09 - Gigi - Tew Maneh (4:54)
10 - Gigi - Kiraren Bikagnew (5:37)
11 - Asnaketch Worku - Arada (3:01)
12 - Mary Armeday - Enem Lefelefkugn Melageruw Sema (3:39)
13 - Mahmoud Ahmed - Anchiye Hodiye (4:36)
14 - Endris - Masinko (2:36)





Friday, September 30, 2016

Orchestra Ethiopia - The Blue Nile Group [1969] [ethiopia]










       Orchestra Ethiopia was an Ethiopian performing group formed in 1963 by the Egyptian-born American composer and ethnomusicologist Halim El-Dabh (born 1921). The group, which was founded in Addis Ababa, comprised up to 30 traditional instrumentalists, vocalists, and dancers from many different Ethiopian regions and ethnic groups (including Amhara, Tigray-Tigrinia, Oromo, Welayta, and Gimira). It was the first ensemble of its type, as these diverse instruments and ethnic groups previously had never played together. For a time, due to El-Dabh's efforts, the Orchestra was in residence at the Creative Arts Centre of Haile Selassie I University (now Addis Ababa University).





Orchestra Ethiopia ‎– The Blue Nile Group [full album]




           Its main instruments included krar (medium lyre), masenqo (one-string fiddle), begena (large lyre), washint (end-blown flute with finger holes), embilta (end-blown flute without finger holes), malakat (straight trumpet), kabaro (drum), and other percussion instruments. On occasion, it also used the tom, an mbira-like instrument.

           Many of Orchestra Ethiopia's performances were theatrical in nature, such as the drama The Potter, which was arranged by El-Dabh.








             Following El-Dabh's departure from Ethiopia in 1964, subsequent directors included John G. Coe, an American Peace Corps volunteer (1964-1966); and Tesfaye Lemma (1966-1975), both of whom composed and arranged for the group. During Lemma's tenure as director, in 1968, another American Peace Corps volunteer, the Harvard-educated Charles Sutton, Jr., was assigned by the Peace Corps to assist the Orchestra as Administrator, a position in which he continued until 1970. Sutton had arrived in Ethiopia in 1966 and, immediately attracted to Ethiopia's traditional music, actually mastered the masenqo, studying with Orchestra member Getamesay Abebe. He began performing with the Orchestra in March 1967 (playing masenqo and singing in Amharic), at Lemma's invitation. The group performed frequently in hotels and at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, and appeared on national radio (including Radio Voice of the Gospel) and television. The group also had an audience with Emperor Haile Selassie I.










              In the spring of 1969, due to the efforts of Sutton and the Peace Corps, Orchestra Ethiopia toured the Midwest and East Coast of the United States, under the name "The Blue Nile Group". The group performed in twenty cities, including Manhattans Town Hall and The Ed Sullivan Show (in early March).

                The group released two LP recordings, both entitled Orchestra Ethiopia. The first, subtitled "The Blue Nile Group", was released on Tempo Records c. 1969; and the second was released on Blue Nile Records, in 1973 or 1974. The Orchestra was also featured in a National Geographic documentary film entitled Ethiopia: The Hidden Empire (1970). By 1975, due to the upheavals caused by the Derg revolution, the group finally disbanded, although many of its musicians continued to perform with other groups, and as soloists. The group's washint player, Melaku Gelaw, lives and continues to perform and record in Washington, D.C.; Tesfaye Lemma, now retired, lives in Washington, D.C. Masenqo player Getamesay Abebe and drummer, vocalist, and star dancer Zerihun Bekkele, both retired, continue to live in Ethiopia. Washint player Yohannes Afework, who had replaced Gelaw, lives in Addis Ababa and is retired from the Mazegajabet (Municipality) Orchestra. Coe, the former Executive Director of the Wyoming Arts Council, is now retired and living in Wyoming; and Sutton performs today as a jazz pianist in Connecticut (and continues to play masenqo for special occasions). Several other of the Orchestra's members have died in Ethiopia.

                  A selection of the Orchestra's archival recordings transferred from reel to reel audiotape to audio CDs by the Ethiopian-American engineer Andrew Laurence was released in Europe in late 2007, and was released in the United States in February 2008, as the 23rd volume in Buda Musique's Ethiopiques CD series, with the liner notes having been prepared by Sutton and Lemma.











            In 2007, a recording entitled Zoro Gettem (Reunion) was released on the Nahom Records label; the CD, recorded in Washington, D.C. in September 2006, features four of the Orchestra's former members (Charles Sutton, Getamesay Abbebe, Melaku Gelaw, and Tesfaye Lemma) performing repertoire they had performed together in the late 1960s.





A1 Gonderinna Gojjam (Vocals: Zerihun Bekkele) (3:43)
A2 Yesergey Ilet (Vocals: Tsehay Indale) (4:06)
A3 Himem, Himemey (Vocals: Kebbede Weldemariam) (3:44)
A4 Hodey Lahodey (Vocals: Almaz Getachew) (2:18)
A5 Ambassel (Washint: Yohannes Afework, Krar: Kebbede                                                                                                         Weldemariam) (2:36)



B1 Mesenko (Vocals: Charles Sutton) (3:16)
B2 Muzikachin (Vocals: Tsehay Indale, Yeshi Mebratey) (3:36)
B3 Mikir Fellega (Vocals: Charles Sutton, Kebbede Weldemariam, Areru                                                                                                Shegen) (3:20)
B4 Imbilta (Imbiltas: Areru Shegen, Ishete Gebremeskel, Nadew Kassa)                                                                                                             (2:03)
B5 Wichinna Beyt (Vocals: Kebbede Weldemariam, Tsehay Indale,                                                               Zerihun Bekkele, Yeshi Mebratey) (4:25)


The Orchestra Ethiopia is directed by Tesfaye Lemma.



Monday, September 5, 2016

Mesele Asmamaw - Ethiopian Traditional Songs (vol. 2) [ethiopia]








Mesele Asmamaw is one of the best ethiopian krar players. He has been playing in the Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed Trio touring Europe since 2004.  He is also member of Qwanqwa band.






Mesele Asmamaw - Minew ene, Sekota




Mesele Asmamaw - 01 - Minew ene, Sekota (8:29)
Mesele Asmamaw - 02 - Yehager fikir, Zeraf (7:27)
Mesele Asmamaw - 03 - Lele (4:53)
Mesele Asmamaw - 04 - Woin abeba, Tiz alegn (7:37)
Mesele Asmamaw - 05 - Damaye (4:49)
Mesele Asmamaw - 06 - Shegeye, Kemekem (11:02)
Mesele Asmamaw - 07 - Hailaloye (5:30)
Mesele Asmamaw - 08 - Yagere lij (6:43)
Mesele Asmamaw - 09 - Yashirishire (5:17)
Mesele Asmamaw - 10 - Yalew gelel (4:39)



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohanes Afework ‎– Traditionelle Musik Aus Äthiopien [1994] [ethiopia]










One of the best album of traditional ethiopian music.






Alemayehu Fanta, Aklilu Gebretsadik and Yohannes Afework @ Fendika






Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 01 - Selamta (4:18)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 02 - Sengo Megin - Zerafewa (5:14)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 03 - Ambassel (3:53)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 04 - Fanno Fanno (3:39)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 05 - Medina Zelesenya (5:28)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 06 - Bati (5:18)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 07 - Ethiopia Hagere (3:56)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 08 - Keto Aikerim Motu (3:48)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 09 - Gojam Gonder (5:43)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 10 - Abebayehoi (3:57)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 11 - Bati Bati (4:40)
Alemayehu Fantaye & Yohannes Afework - 12 - Shemonmwane (4:56)



Monday, July 25, 2016

Temesgen - Ethio-banjo [2007] [ethiopia]




   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   







       Temesgen was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has studied with Alemayehu Fanta and Teshome Shenkute at the Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa. It is Temesgen's dream to keep alive the ancient musical traditions of Ethiopia. He is in the process of setting up a school to teach the Begena and the Krar.






     

        "Listen to the stark, haunting sounds of traditional Ethiopian music and you will be elevated to a place free from worries and strife. The wisdom and knowledge of centuries of culture are communicated by the nimble fingers and resonant voice of Temesgen. Temesgen sings songs of life, of love and of devotion. Deeply spiritual, with the simple truth of folk music, sanded and distilled by generations of musicians, these songs have evolved over the ages to shine with the pristine beauty of the very roots " 

- liner notes from Begena Bedtimes (2006).



 A versatile singer-songwriter, Temesgen has begun to explore the frontiers of ethio-fusion. His non-traditional work is a soulful stew of reggae, ethiopian, and jazz. He is currently working on Begena Fusion, an album that features the begena in a modern milieu. And, Krarization a collection of popular contemporary songs re-interpreted with the help of the krar. Temesgen has also created instructional DVDs on how to play the krar and the begena.










Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mahmoud Ahmed - Classical Kirar [Traditional Tunes] [ethiopia]








        In recent months I got some interesting albums from my Ethiopian friends.  This Mahmoud Ahmed release is one of almost forgotten treasures. As usual, this came to me without any info, besides the names of the tracks. 

      Mahmoud's voice accompanied by the krar, a really unique album of the great Ethiopian singer.  Enjoy it!




Mahmoud Ahmed - 01 - Konjitiye (5:11)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 02 - Wogeney (3:52)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 03 - Tizita (8:13)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 04 - Ere Mela Mela (3:40)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 05 - Birtukaney (4:38)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 06 - Ambassel (6:00)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 07 - Gubiliye or Iyew Dimamu (5:24)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 08 - Fikir Indegena (5:07)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 09 - Bakish Tarekign (3:47)
Mahmoud Ahmed - 10 - Anchiye Hodiye (4:30)




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ketema Makonnen - Ketema Makonnen [PH131] [1972] [ethiopia]



originally posted here : A Tertiary Source










           An incredibly skilled player of the Kirar, or the 6-string bowled lyre, Ketema Makonnen's style is comparable to that of Kassa Tessema (who was recently documented on Buda's Ethiopiques). Deeply sorrowful and forlorn, these strings kick up a dusty trail of longing, intuitively navigated by his warm, rustic voice. I find his style much more penetrating than that of Kassa's, where Tessema has a gentler pluck of his krar and a softer vocal leverage, Ketema has a higher degree of ferocity.





Ketema Makonnen - Tizita 1974-5



            Although digging up information on Mekonnen has proven to be difficult, partially due to the varied spellings of his last name (Amharic to English translations are, indeed, fickle), he does have at least one other album recorded for Phillips documented from 1974.







       On this album, many recognizable Tizita classics are heard, including Tizita itself, as well as a personal favorite, Mela Mela (any Ethiopian artist who sings this heart-wrenching ballad tends to leave an impression on me). Mekonnen's rendition is gorgeous, and some of the more obscure titles on the B side match the quality of it. Whirling with delirious melodic shifts, Mekonnen's style is unique and compelling. While basic details of his life are difficult to extract from the labyrinthine depths of the internet, his mark is made on the traditional side of 1970s Ethiopia with this deeply emotional recording.




Ketema Makonnen - 01 - Tizita (5:23)
Ketema Makonnen - 02 - Fano-Che Belew (4:23)
Ketema Makonnen - 03 - Bati (4:25)
Ketema Makonnen - 04 - Mela Mela (6:26)
Ketema Makonnen - 05 - Antchi Hoye (6:07)
Ketema Makonnen - 06 - Gele Beyi (2:47)
Ketema Makonnen - 07 - Endegena (4:29)
Ketema Makonnen - 08 - Ainama Konjo (4:14)
Ketema Makonnen - 09 - Negireshalehu (3:51)
Ketema Makonnen - 10 - Kibret Alem (2:52)
Ketema Makonnen - 11 - Gussumaye (4:17)
Ketema Makonnen - 12 - Amognegn (4:19)




Saturday, January 2, 2016

Qwanqwa - Qwanqwa Demo [2013] [ethiopia]







   Qwanqwa - ቋንቋ   


          Qwanqwa, from the Amharic word for language, plays beloved and rare Ethiopian tunes with a unique twist. The band, based in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, is named for this concept. The members vary in age and background, but have come together for a unique and powerful sound with an equally meaningful message. At it’s core, this band is instrumental, since they believe that to reach the widest audience, a single singer can limit the effect. 

           However, the list of guests and collaborations is long, including both beloved and famous singers such as Fikraddis, Habte Michael, Amelmal Abate, as well as beloved Azmari singers Selamnesh Zemene and Etenesh Wassie. Not limited to only singers, Qwanqwa also has invited the virtuoso masinqo player Endris Hassen, the father of washint Johannes AferworkEthiopia’s foremost clarinetist Dawit Frew, and many other treasures of traditional instrumentalists to join them.

         The vision of Qwanqwa is to reach as many people as possible with their music. Where many groups play at clubs, Qwanqwa strives to organize concerts in remote places and unique situations. They know that there are many people who would enjoy their music but would not be able to attend a concert at a club because they can’t afford a taxi, that can’t get a babysitter, they are too young, they don’t drink, or other infinite limiting factors. But music is for all, Qwanqwa seeks opportunities to play to as many demographics as possible. Oftentimes, the members have found, the outreach concerts are even more memorable and rewarding than regular club shows.




Qwanqwa are : 

Mesele Asmamaw - lead krar 
Elias Wolde Mikael - kebero/percussion 
Dawit Seyoum - bass krar 
Kaethe Hostetter - 5 string violin 





Qwanqwa -  Gubliye at Selam Fetival
Qwanqwa's homage to Asnaketch Werqu




Mesele Asmamaw is Qwanqwa’s lead electric krar player. (Krar is a traditional harp, relative to the lyre). Mesele is known as a composer and arranger, active in Ethiopia for over twenty years. He has released many albums of his compositions as well as traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa performing the traditional music of Ethiopia. Since the mid-2000s, Mesele has been a favorite guest of the extremely influential punk and “The EX”, has recorded several albums with the experimental Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, and has toured and recorded with his experimental rock group Trio Kazanches. He uses several interesting techniques in Qwanqwa, including a wah pedal, a distortion pedal, a coke bottle and a plastic tube!


Dawit Seyoum, master of the bass krar, plays extensively in traditional groups around Addis, including Ethiocolor and Hager Fikr. He also is a member of the Nile Project, a much-acclaimed American based project which tours internationally with traditional musicians from all Nile countries.


Elias Wolde Mikael is Qwanqwa’s percussionist. He uses the traditional kebero, goat skin drums played with sticks, as well as a variety of other homemade percussion instruments. He can be seen regularly in several groups around Addis Ababa as well as on popular TV music programs in Ethiopia, including Ethiopian Idol and Balageru.


Kaethe Hostetter, 5-string electric violin, has been playing Ethiopian music for many years now. A founding member of the critically acclaimed Debo Band (signed to Sub Pop), the first Ethiopian band in the US to top many charts including iTunes and CMJ, and who has played many stages from Lincoln Center to Kennedy Center, from Chicago World Music Festival and GlobalFest to Bumbershoot and Bonarroo. She also has had an active performing life in the experimental scene, including tours with Fred Frith, Butch Morris and Jim Hobbs.




Qwanqwa - 01 - Rhumba / Ethiopia Hagere (8:01)
Qwanqwa - 02 - Gubliye (10:55)
Qwanqwa - 03 - Yayne Abeba (12:24)
Qwanqwa - 04 - Hamalele (8:00)
Qwanqwa - 05 - Mejemmeria Fikray (6:35)
Qwanqwa - 06 - Nanu Nanu Nay (8:11)






follow link to  Qwanqwa - Volume One [2014]






follow link to  Qwanqwa - Volume Two [2015]