Showing posts with label religious. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religious. Show all posts

Monday, March 5, 2018

Petites Planètes - NOW ETHIOPIA • - Église Debreé Berhan Selassié [ethiopia] - [2014] [ethiopia]

Eglise Debré Berhan Sélassié - Misgananewu Siraye [Gondar, Ethiopie]

Petites Planètes - 01 - Introduction, cloches, récitations (3:25)
Petites Planètes - 02 - Choeurs et lamentations (2:38)
Petites Planètes - 03 - Le tour de l'église (7:32)
Petites Planètes - 04 - Nocturnes (transe) (18:36)
Petites Planètes - 05 - Vieux micro pour vieilles complaintes (4:23)
Petites Planètes - 06 - Foules (variation numéro 4) (6:48)
Petites Planètes - 07 - Pour les derniers debouts (3:20)
Petites Planètes - 08 - Duo, fin de nuit (4:29)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mohammed Awel - Menzuma Nasheed [ethiopia]

             In general, Islamic anasheed do not contain lamellaphone instruments, string instruments, or wind and brass instruments, although digital remastering – either to mimic percussion instruments or create overtones – is permitted. This is because many Muslim scholars state that Islam prohibits the use of musical instruments except for some basic percussion.

         Nasheed are popular throughout the Islamic world. The material and lyrics of a nasheed usually make reference to Islamic beliefs, history, and religion, as well as current events.

Mohammed Awel [Menzuma] - Engurguro

        Nasheed (Arabic: singular نشيد nashīd, plural أناشيد anāshīd, also nashwad (pl.), meaning: "chants"; also nasyid in Malaysia and Indonesia) is a work of vocal music that is either sung acappella or accompanied by percussion instruments such as the daf. 

Mohammed Awel - 01 - Menzuma (14:57)
Mohammed Awel - 02 - Unknown (5:33)
Mohammed Awel - 03 - Ramadan Ramadan (6:04)
Mohammed Awel - 04 - Nasheeda (12:07)
Mohammed Awel - 05 - New Nasheeda (4:53)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Petites Planètes - Now Ethiopia • GABRA MUDEN'S ZAR • trance ritual from Gondar [2012] [ethiopia]

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1.  opening act   11:04

2.  trance act   06:46

3.  fire and coffee   19:54

4.  zar or the other   11:08

recorded by Vincent Moon 
in Gondar, Ethiopia 
april 2012

Petites Planètes - Now Ethiopia • TILAHUN • lalibela songs from Addis Ababa [2012] [ethiopia]

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originaly posted HERE :

          Lalibela, a small town in northern Ethiopia, home to 11 spectacular churches that were carved both inside and out from 
a single rock some 900 years ago. 

           Their building is attributed to King Lalibela who set out to construct in the 12th century a 'New Jerusalem', after Muslim conquests halted Christian pilgrimages, even today it is believed that Lalibela pilgrims share the same blessings as pilgrims to Jerusalem. 

      The Jerusalem theme is important. The rock churches, although connected to one another by maze-like tunnels, are physically separated by a small river which the Ethiopians named the Jordan.

1. blessings     15:12

2. offerings     04:23

 film _

recorded by Jacob Kirkegaard 
in Taitu Hotel 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

june 2012 

produced by Vincent Moon & Jacob Kirkegaard

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Asnakech Worku & Alemu Aga - Ende Jerusalem [1996] [ethiopia]


     R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

Asnakech Worku or Asnaqètch Wèrqu: Krar player and poet

       Asnaqetch Werqu was born an orphan who went on to become the first actress to appear on the Ethiopian stage. However, her musical talent garnered her attention that outshone her acting career in the National Theatre. Reportedly, she initially worked as an actress and dancer in the Haile Sellassie I theatre troupe and was actually the first woman to be part of this troupe. At an early age Asnaqetch taught herself to play the krar and eventually went on to become famous as a master of the krar (lyre) and a singer who was considered to be the last great storyteller to engage in the tradition of poetic jousting, following in the traditions of the Azmaris or artist caste.

       A five (sometimes six) stringed lyre with a gut resonator, the krar was an ancient Ethiopian instrument frequently used by the Azmari or musician class. It has been said the the Japanese koto has a sound similar to that the krar. Azmari, can be male or female, and are skilled at singing spontaneous verses while playing the krar or masenqo (one-stringed fiddle). They play in drinking establishments known as 'tejbeit' that serve 'tej' (honey mead). They are also often invited to perform at private parties where they would improvise lyrics based on a theme suggested by the host. This poetic jousting not only relies improvisation but the art of poignant verses, wit, imagery and sarcastic puns.

       Following Haile Selaissie's removal from office by the Derg in 1974, artists in Ethiopia were often forced underground to perform or had to attempt to create their music in a very hostile environment. This repressive regime slaughtered hundreds of thousands and fuelled subsequent unrest. Nevertheless a brief period of artistic freedom existed in the 70's between Selaissie's imperial rule and the military junta of the Derg.

Asnakech Worku

       The French label Buda Musique, was able to select 22 songs to compile an album for Volume 16 of the acclaimed Ethiopiques series - named The Lady With The Krar. These songs were chosen from two LPs recorded in 1974 and 1976. Buda Musique acquired them from their previously-acquired Kaifa Records archive (1973-77). Apparently, the first 12 songs on this album were released during the beginning of the revolutionary disorder and were banned almost immediately afterwards, as many records were simply taken off of store shelves. It didn't help that the krar was often regarded as a 'devil's instrument' by certain segments of the population.

       Werqu's verses evoke epic tales and her love ballads are tinged with longing and melancholy. Surprisingly, during her time as an musician and actress, artists in general were frowned upon, and this was especially true for female ones. This contributed to many hardships and suffering in Werqu's life, which she often expressed in her music, as she recorded her struggles against the conventions of established society. Ironically enough, it is from the depths of this emotional angst that we see the emergence of a profound spiritual beauty that resonates with her 'serenely-emotional' vocals as they meld with the hypnotic melodies of the krar.

Alemu Aga

       (born 1950) is an Ethiopian musician and singer, a master of the bèguèna.
Born in Entotta, near Addis Ababa, Alemu became interested in the begena (a ten-stringed member of the lute family, also known as "King David's Harp") at the age of twelve, when a master of the instrument moved in next door to his family, the Aleqa Tessema Welde-Emmanuel. Aleqa Tessema began teaching at Ras Desta school, where Alemu was a pupil. As well as studying the begena at school, Alemu carried his master's instrument to and from school, and thus benefited from more of Tessema's time.

       He went on to study geography at Addis Ababa University, and after graduation went to work as a geography teacher at the Yared Music School, where for seven years he also taught begena. Alemu went on to become an acknowledged master of the instrument, first recorded in 1972 by Cynthia Tse Kimberlin for a major UNESCO collection, and performing and broadcasting around the world. In 1974, however, the Derg military junta came to power in Ethiopia; their anti-religious policies also included the banning of the begena from radio broadcasts, and the closing down of the Yared School's teaching of the instrument. As a result, Alemu Aga decided to give up his teaching post in 1980, and opened a souvenir shop in Addis Ababa's Piazza district.
For a time he played only in private, but the collapse of the Derg's régime led eventually to a change in state policy, and Alemu again began to teach and perform in public.

01. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Tizita (7:40)
02. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Arada (5:27)
03. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Ende Jerusalem (6:59)
04. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Mela Mela (6:18)
05. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Wogene (4:31)
06. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Abet Abet (6:30)
07. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Besmeab (12:39)
08. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Wanen (3:52)
09. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Yibelahala (3:04)
10. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Alayenim Belu (3:49)
11. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Girf (0:56)
12. Asnakech Worku/Alemu Aga - Selamta (12:30)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Jossy Kassa - Teneshina Abrie, Vol. 2 [2010] [ethiopia]

Jossy Kassa - Athidibgn

Jossy Kassa - 01 - Teneshina Abrie (5:52)
Jossy Kassa - 02 - Alebegn Tezeta (7:03)
Jossy Kassa - 03 - Getea Kegna Gare (5:46)
Jossy Kassa - 04 - Tew Belew Enge (6:24)
Jossy Kassa - 05 - Menore Alchelem (6:06)
Jossy Kassa - 06 - Weletaw Alebegn (6:04)
Jossy Kassa - 07 - Geze Alew Lehulu (8:00)
Jossy Kassa - 08 - Fetognalena (6:12)
Jossy Kassa - 09 - Medehanialem (5:48)
Jossy Kassa - 10 - Altewem Mamesgen (5:48)
Jossy Kassa - 11 - Eyerusalem (5:49)
Jossy Kassa - 12 - Eyesus (5:46)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna [ethiopia]

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           Mezmur are the religious songs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Mezmur is the Amharic term for music, although it often has a religious connotation. Other religious groups also use the term, which is in contrast with zafan, or secular music.

             The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in Africa, and it dates to pre-colonial times. As of 2015, it has between 40 and 45 million members. It has also spread outside Ethiopia, with many branches in the United States and other countries where Ethiopian immigrants have settled.

Tewahedo orthodox mezmur

        It has a rich musical tradition, referred to as mezmur. Mezmur plays an important part in church services, including a detailed liturgy divided into two parts and 14 sub-parts known as anaphoras. These fixed songs undergo few changes.

           Mezmur can also refer to hymns, which are more innovative, and the church continues to accept and use new hymns. These are more free-form songs of praise. Many Ethiopians take great pride in their music and strive to create beautiful songs as a sign of devotion.

      Mezmur is not purely Ethiopian Orthodox. It can refer to any religious song. The P'ent'ay, or Ethiopian protestants, also use the term mezmur. The P'ent'ay can include Pentecostals, Baptists, Mennonites and many others.


                 O Goyta Selam

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Mezmur 

      The begena is an Ethiopian or Eritrean string instrument with ten strings belonging to the family of the lyre. According to oral tradition, Menelik I brought the instrument to the region from Israel, where David played on it to soothe King Saul's nerves and heal him of insomnia. Its actual origin remains in doubt, though local manuscripts depict the instrument at the beginning of the 15th century (Kimberlin 1978: 13).


   Known as the instrument of noblemen, monks and the upper class and performed by both men and women, the begena was used primarily as an accompaniment during meditation and prayer. Though commonly played in the home, it is sometimes played in the framework of festive occasions. During Lent, the instrument is often heard on the radio and around churches. Begena is accompanied by singing voice only. The singer may compose his or her own texts or they may be taken from the Bible, from the Book of Proverbs, or from the Book of Qine, an anthology of proverbs and love poems. Subject matter includes the futility of life, the inevitability of death, saints, mores, morality, prayer, and praises to God. The song's duration varies according to the text, the audience, and the persistence of the player. Though many texts are of a religious nature, the instrument is not used in the Ethiopian Orthodox church services, even if it is seen occasionally in religious processions outside the church.

      Because of the instrument's relatively intimate and sacred role in society, the begena is not common to find. Meditation and prayer are very private, personal endeavors, and hearsay suggests that the instrument is played by very few and is a dying art. However, in 1972, the Yared Music School in Addis Ababa began formal instruction in the begena. Since 2004, evening courses are organized and the begena is still played.

     The begena has ten strings. However, different musicians use varying numbers of strings to play the begena. For example, begena teacher Memhr Sisay Demissae uses all ten strings to play the begena, while other players may use five or six of the strings. The left hand is used to pluck the strings.

         When all ten strings are plucked, one method of tuning the begena is to tune each pair of strings to one of the pitches in a pentatonic scale. When using five of the stings, only the first, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth strings are tuned and plucked to give sound. Finally, while playing the begena using six strings, the left hand plucks strings one, three, four, six, eight, and ten (starting from the left side when facing the instrument). The pointing finger plucks strings three and four while the other fingers are in charge of controlling one string each. The remaining strings are used for the finger rests or stops after the strings have been plucked, allowing the plucked string to vibrate.

         The begena may also be played using a system called girf, wherein a plectrum made of horn or wood is used to pluck the ten strings of the begena. Megabe Sebhat Alemu Aga plays begena both by using his fingertips and girf.

       The begena is characterized by a very specific buzzing sound, due to U-shaped leather pieces placed between each string and the bridge. The thong for each string is adjusted up or down along the bridge so that the string, when plucked, repeatedly vibrates against the edge of the bridge.

01. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 01 (5:55)
02. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 02 (6:29)
03. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 03 (4:48)
04. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 04 (7:00)
05. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 05 (6:03)
06. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 06 (6:06)
07. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 07 (5:54)
08. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 08 (6:30)
09. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 09 (5:20)
10. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 10 (7:01)

     for more mezmur songs visit        this site      

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Temesgen (Thanks to God) - Worship Songs from Ethiopia's Beta Avraham Jewish Community [2014] [ethiopia]

   R E U P L O A D    

             About three hundred years ago, a group of Jews left the Gonder area of Ethiopia to seek their fortunes in Ethiopia's North Shewa area and later in Addis Ababa, where they settled in the Kechene neighborhood. Like their Gonder cousins who have since migrated in large numbers to Israel, this group consisted mostly of craftsmen, known especially for their beautiful hand-built pottery and woven cloth. But as the years passed, times became difficult and beginning in the 18th century, they experienced periods of extreme repression.

        Eventually the community's leaders felt that the only way to survive was to go underground - literally. Much like the Anusim of medieval Spain and Portugal, they practiced Christianity on the outside while secretly following Judaism in hidden synagogues, often in caves that are located hours away by foot from the nearest town

            Fifteen of these secret synagogues still exist today, concentrated in the North Shewa area about 80 miles north of Addis Ababa. In the largest, called Mugar, about 300 men and women live permanently, their numbers swelling further at least twice a year when other community members join to commemorate their martyrs and celebrate their festivals. As with other Ethiopian Jews, their tradition consists only of pre-Talmudic practices.

         The elders believe that the caves will take you to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). Sintayehu said that he and Demeke once walked for 15 minutes inside the Mugar synagogue-cave and there was no end. Their torch, a candle, eventually burned out.

        The traditional songs you hear in this album come from these secret synagogues, passed down from generation to generation.

          Within the last few years a group of young men emerged from this community and, thanks to Ethiopia's new constitution that guarantees freedom of worship, they decided to openly practice their religion once more. Much had been forgotten with regard to Jewish practice, but they opened a small synagogue in the Kechene neighborhood of Addis Ababa and learned anew. Although not yet recognized by the state of Israel as eligible for immigration under the Law of Return, in their songs they yearn for Jerusalem and for Israel - the land of their ancestors. Demeke and Sintayehu explain that this music, which the members sing after their regular Friday evening worship service, carries you spiritually to a different time and place. They are certainly right about that.

        All the singers on this album remember their grandmothers and grandfathers singing these traditional songs in the secret synagogues. Demeke ben Engda, who moonlights as a professional singer and regularly leads the Friday evening Sabbath worship service in Kechene, has composed several modern songs in the traditional style. (Another synagogue member, Daniel Desalegn Firku, is a part-time collaborator.) Yet all members realize that, with increased exposure to the outside world, the danger lurks that all these songs may become irrevocably lost or changed. Hence the decision to make this CD -- the first of its kind. We are grateful to everyone who contributed.

01 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Miseker (Witness) (6:56)
02 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - B'yerusalem (In Jerusalem) (5:05)
03 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Min Alu Dawit (What David Said) (4:04)
04 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Kiber New (It Is an Honor) (5:44)
05 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Senbet L'yuna (Sabbath Is Unique) (4:49)
06 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Temesgen (Thanks to God) (4:08)
07 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Zimare (Song) (4:18)
08 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Tesfaye (My Hope) (8:28)
09 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - B'bete Mekdes (Inside the Sanctuary) (4:59)
10 - Beta Avraham 'Kechene' Community - Tizazu Yemayishar (His Holy Commandments) (5:09)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Zerfu Demissie - Akotet: Songs of the Begena [2008] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

      In March 2001, Andy (also guitarist in The Ex) and I (Terrie Ex) were in Addis Abeba, checking out possibilities for The Ex to play some concerts in Ethiopia. But also to check out other music. There is so much amazing stuff there. One day, in the middle of the Mercato, we were struck by something that we had never heard before. Out of the street speaker of a little cassette shop, flowed a sound that was dark, heavy and serious, but also light, fragile and spiritual. We couldn't quite pin it down. We knew the great Ethiopiques 11 of Alemu Aga, but this was different. Slightly embarrassed at the fact that the shopkeeper had had to take the cassette out of the machine and that the street was suddenly silent, we bought the tape. It turned out to be Zerfu Demissie

        In March 2004, we organized a series of concerts in Holland called "An Ethiopian music night". The programme consisted of The Ex + Han Bennink, nine of the greatest Azmaris from Addis and Alemu Aga on the begena. Quite a contrasting line-up! In Ethiopia, the Azmaris and Alemu are from completely opposite sides of the musical spectrum. 

     The Azmaris' music is about drinking, politics, sex, dancing, jokes. Playing the begena, on the other hand, is rooted in meditation, concentration and prayer. Deeply devoted to the Orthodox Christian tradition, Alemu was in his fasting period during the tour, which for him meant an even stronger spiritual commitment and no meat and alcohol. He played his songs and right after, The Ex performed. A very different music from a very different background. But when we were finished, Alemu was there standing at the side of the stage, offering us some cold beers. This is not a rigid religion and culture. This is about people.

     We became more and more intrigued by Ethiopian music and culture. We were also intrigued by the begena, an instrument that dates back thousands of years; with its mesmerizing buzzing sound and its special role in the musical, sociological palette. There are the fascinating lyrics, sometimes hundreds of years old and occasionally very contemporary. At times biblical, at other times tapped from different sources. But all including this typical Ethiopian phenomenon known as "Wax 'n' Gold", the subtle poetry with double meaning, which is deciphered as an abstract art form.

     This music is unique to this worid. We had to find out more. August 2006, and we were back in Ethiopia. Jeroen took his mobile studio and Emma her camera. We were hoping to find Zerfu to make a recording with him. And we did find him. He agreed to the project, and a few days later, we recorded him in his empty bedroom at home. Beautiful! Enjoy the sounds within!

Terrie Ex - Wormer, November 2007

01. Zerfu Demissie - Alayenem Belu, Alsemanem Belu (5:42)
02. Zerfu Demissie - Degwawen Kitetut (5:41)
03. Zerfu Demissie - Arb Yetaredewn (8:05)
04. Zerfu Demissie - Ahadu Belo K'idus (8:32)
05. Zerfu Demissie - Arb, Rob, Inegedef (5:10)
06. Zerfu Demissie - Ne'i, Ne'i Kidane Mehret (6:29)
07. Zerfu Demissie - Efoy Ta'ageseke (4:48)
08. Zerfu Demissie - Sek'let (3:27)
09. Zerfu Demissie - Dingelim (4:01)
10. Zerfu Demissie - Esme Ante (2:46)
11. Zerfu Demissie - Godana (7:06)