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

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]




Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mary Armeday / Mary Armede - Satenaw [ethiopia]



   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   










        Mary Armeday's love-folk songs and her unique krar playing style have become a classic in the history of ethiopian music and she will forever be remembered for her talent and her love for entertaining.




01. Mary Armede - Track 01 (5:28)
02. Mary Armede - Track 02 (5:51)
03. Mary Armede - Track 03 (4:24)
04. Mary Armede - Track 04 (2:19)
05. Mary Armede - Track 05 (6:14)
06. Mary Armede - Track 06 (5:48)
  07. Mary Armede - Track 07 (10:53)
08. Mary Armede - Track 08 (6:27)
09. Mary Armede - Track 09 (5:42)
10. Mary Armede - Track 10 (3:06)


Sileshi Demissie [aka Gash Abera Molla] [erhiopia]



   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   



Sileshi Demissie (aka Gash Abera Molla) - The Master of Kirar



      Seleshe Damessae (also known as Sileshi Demissie and Gashe Abera Molla) is an extraordinary singer and musician from Ethiopia. He uses a complex vocal styling, sung in Amharic, his native language. He accompanies himself on the krar, a 6-string lyre which dates back to the ancient civilizations of the Nile.






     Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Seleshe Damessae began studying the krar at an early age with his father, and later attended the Yared School of Music. He spent nearly four years studying traditional Ethiopian culture in northern rural areas, and today is highly respected for his knowledge of the vocal and instrumental music of his native land. 

     Seleshe is also a skilled instrument maker who builds and plays a variety of folk instruments such as krars, fiddles, harps and drums. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Africa.

       Seleshe Damessae founded the Gash Abera Molla Association, upon returning to Addis Ababa after 20 years as a successful singer in the United States and decided to address the social and environmental problems that plagued his home city. He set up the new organization and named it after a character in his songs - Gashe Abera, the old man who takes care of his local community. 






       Sileshi Demisse is a master of his craft. He is a legend. What actually sets Sileshi apart from other artists is what is mainly lacking in the industry these days... An authenticity! 

       He is nothing like any artist you know. You can't compare his works to no one or say I've heard that somewhere. He is totally in a league of his own. Often accompanied by his kirar (a traditional string instrument), Sileshi plays melodious songs with lyrics that leave you astonished. In his live sets, he incorporates folk tales and stories that inspired the specific song. And as he start strumming his self made custom kirar, the audience is already all on board to take the journey with him and get lost in his music. This special way of interaction he has with his audience often leads to a sing along. You can't help it but to chant, clap or snap along even if you don't know the words. 

      Gash Abera is also one of the very rare artists who made an album for kids. 'Dankira', one of his children's song.




       Sileshi is not only known for his outstandingly unmatchable creativity but also for the positive impact he made in everyday lives of Ethiopians around the country. He does a phenomenal job in motivating the youth to keep their environment clean and helping tackle related health issues. In Ethiopia, the name 'Gash Abera Molla' is a synonym for 'Clean your neighborhood'. He has done almost the unthinkable in helping change the image of cities around Ethiopia. He inspired the youth around the country not only by teaching them the importance of a clean environment but also by participating in action. 

    Sileshi and his army of young Ethiopians were out picking up trash, cleaning up streets and setting up public parks where children and adults enjoy themselves. Places where people use as dumpster were turned into a green zone. Eventually, the mission grew from  being 'Gash Abera and the youth' to inspiring the entire community get involved. He had accomplished what the city municipals around the country couldn't even attempt. His mission of creating a cleaner and healthier environment is still an ongoing effort that every Ethiopian should support.  

   Although it has been a minute since he has released a new album, Sileshi has recorded several albums and collaborated with the big names in African music scene. Currently, he resides in Addis Abeba  where he performs and does features  occasionally.



  Sileshi Demissie / Gash Abera Molla - 16 tracks (69 minutes)