Blogtrotters

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Either/Orchestra - Live at Berklee [usa+eth]











Founded in 1985 by saxophonist & composer Russ Gershon, the ten-piece Either/Orchestra, based in Somerville MA, is one of the jazz world's most long-lived and distinguished groups.  Alumni include jazz stars such as John Medeski, Matt Wilson, Miguel Zenon, Jaleel Shaw & Josh Roseman.

The E/O, featuring a six piece horn section, piano, bass, drums and congas, has put its stamp on just about every style of jazz, from big band, swing and bop to Latin jazz, electric and avant-garde.  The last decade or more has found the band absorbing an Afro-Caribbean influence through a succession of Latino members.  






Teshome Mitiku with Either/Orchestra




More unusually, the E/O has become deeply involved with Ethiopian music, touring there and collaborating with many Ethiopian greats of the outstanding 1960's generation.  Mulatu Astatke, Mahmoud Ahmed and Teshome Mitiku are among the band's favorites.  The Ethiopian connection includes the double CD Ethiopíques 20: Live in Addis and the DVD Ethiogroove: Mahmoud Ahmed and Either/Orchestra.


Over the years, the E/O has been recognized with five Boston Music Awards, perennial placement in the Big Band category of the Down Beat International Critics Poll, and leader Gershon was nominated for an arranging Grammy for his composition "Bennie Moten's Weird Nightmare," included in The Calculus of Pleasure.








The E/O began performing original arrangements of Ethiopian songs, inspired by a compilation called Ethiopian Groove: the Golden 70s. In 2000, after three of these songs appeared on the album More Beautiful than Death, Francis Falceto, the producer of Ethiopian Groove, contacted Gershon and eventually arranged an invitation for the E/O to play at the Ethiopian Music Festival in Addis Ababa in 2004. 

Along with Indo-British singer Susheela Raman the same year, the E/O was the first non-Ethiopian artist to appear in the festival, and was the first US big band to appear in Ethiopia since Duke Ellington's in 1973. Their concert at the festival was recorded and ultimately appeared in Falceto's Ethiopiques series on the French Buda Musique label. Five Ethiopian guests appear on the recording: Mulatu Astatke, Getatchew Mekurya, Tsedenia Markos, Bahta Hewet and Michael Belayneh. This tour and recording have led to an ongoing collaboration with Astatke, the primary founder of Ethiopian jazz, concerts with Ethiopian expatriates singer Hana Shenkute, krar player Minale Dagnew, masinko player Setegn Atanaw, and the great Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed with whom E/O released a DVD in 2007. 

Mahmoud Ahmed and fellow legendary Ethiopian singer Alemayehu Eshete played Lincoln Center Out of Doors in 2008 backed by E/O. The group debuted a collaboration with vocalist Teshome Mitiku in the summer of 2010, including a headlining appearance at the Chicago Jazz Festival.



Either Orchestra - 01 - Introduction (3:03)
Either Orchestra - 02 - Tigrigna,Oromigna,Guragigna (14:06)
Either Orchestra - 03 - Arehibi (9:34)
Either Orchestra - 04 - Ethiopia (5:20)
Either Orchestra - 05 - Yamnaw Bedele (6:55)
Either Orchestra - 06 - Yeqir Beqa (6:07)



guests :

Minnale Danew - krar
Setegn Atanaw - masinko
Hana Shenkute - vocal



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Damakase - Gunfan Yellem! [2016] [ethiopia]











       Endris Hassen (The Ex, Ethiocolor, Imperial Tiger Orchestra, Nile Project, MistO-MistO etc) and Cory Seznec (Groanbox, Seznec Bros, solo, MistO-MistO, etc) joined forces in late 2014 to fuse sounds from east and west Africa. Hungry for a fuller sound, they brought in Misale Legesse (Ethiocolor, Addis Acoustic Project, etc) on kebero and Cass Horsfall on bass (Black Jesus Experience, Jazmaris, etc) to flesh things out and create Damakase, a name which comes from a plant used in traditional medicine in Ethiopia to heal "gunfan" (cold/flu) and other ailments. 
       By late 2015 they had enough songs for an album, and asked Kenny Allen to come in as producer. 









       Gunfan Yellem! (translated roughly as Fever No More!) is an album recorded live in Cory's Glasshouse Studios. 

      Guest artists were invited to add a little spice here and there, and Kenny fine tuned and tweaked the mix to perfection. 


      The music is comprised of 6 originals and two covers (Wuba by the Eritrean composer Tewelde Redda, and Mother's Love by the Ethiopian pianist Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou).





Damakase - Tizita Gourd





Damakase - 01 - Wuba (4:09)
Damakase - 02 - Tizita Gourd (4:20)
Damakase - 03 - Wassorai Asho Mada (4:21)
Damakase - 04 - Mother's Love (4:27)
Damakase - 05 - Batten Down the Hatches (4:01)
Damakase - 06 - Southern Bound (5:18)
Damakase - 07 - Tizu Konjo Wusha (3:16)
Damakase - 08 - Damakase (3:29)











Damakase is: 

Cass Horsfall - bass, vocals 
Cory Seznec - guitars, ngoni, banjos, vocals 
Endris Hassen - masenqo, vocals 
Misale Legesse - kebero, percussion, vocals 



Guests: 

Kaethe Hostetter - violin 
Mesele Asmamaw - krar 
Mesfin "Baby" Shiferaw - vocals 
Ralf Werner - cello 
Yann Seznec - piano, pump organ






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)








Sunday, October 15, 2017

Shewankochew, Shibabaw, Egziabher - Love songs from Ethiopia [1997]





   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   




   Christian Ethiopians living in the central north: the Tigre, Amhara, Gojjam, Begemdir and Simen, and the Shewa; the rest of the country, the plateau to the south, is occupied by the Galla tribes. The western frontiers of the country are populated by the Shanqella, the east is dominated by Moslem peoples (the Danakil, Issa and Somali), and the south by various populations regrouped under the term Gurage.

   The musical traditions of Ethiopia reflect this diversity: Christian religious music, sung and danced by priests accompanied by drums and sistrums; the Jewish religious music of the Beta Israel ; the secular music of the Amhara and Tigre Christians; the religious and secular music of the Galla Moslems; and the innumerable vocal and instrumental forms of the southern populations. These traditions are not isolated, and they have tended to mutually influence each other.


   Parallel to the classical poetry which sung at court or in the halls of the lords, a more colorful tradition developed, namely that of the azmari minstrels. This poetry in a more simple style is sung in Amharic or in Tigre.

The verses, often improvised or suggested by others, in which may be found abundance of metaphors and double meaning, but also irony and sarcasm, are most often accompanied on the masinqo bowed lute.

   The voice, used in service to the texts, is displayed over a relatively wide range. Ornamentation and vibrato, voice timbre which becomes brassy in dramatic moments, the use of pentatonic scales: all these techniques clearly illustrate the relationship of this music to the Nilotic world. In addition, a strong and very ancient influence of Arabic culture is detectable, especially obvious in the occurrence of non-tempered intervals.




                        Fantahun Shewankochew - vocals and krar lyra
                        Ejigayehu "Gigi" Shibabaw - vocals
                        Wores G. Egziabher - masinqo bowed lute & vocals






                                             
  front cover




                                              
back cover


















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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ketema Mekonnen - Ketema 70's [ethiopia]













Ketema Mekonnen - Tizita






Ketema Mekonnen - 01 - Ambasel [with Massinko] (3:38)
Ketema Mekonnen - 02 - Ambasel [with Kirar] (4:40)
Ketema Mekonnen - 03 - Arada (3:28)
Ketema Mekonnen - 04 - Bati (2:53)
Ketema Mekonnen - 05 - Bemela Besebeb (3:09)
Ketema Mekonnen - 06 - Derbaba (3:21)
Ketema Mekonnen - 07 - Endegena (3:05)
Ketema Mekonnen - 08 - Ene Eshaleshalehu (2:40)
Ketema Mekonnen - 09 - Ere Endemin Alesh (1:05)
Ketema Mekonnen - 10 - Gedaye Gedaye (3:25)
Ketema Mekonnen - 11 - Layne Rakshebigne (3:23)
Ketema Mekonnen - 12 - Shemonmoanaye Wa (3:41)
Ketema Mekonnen - 13 - Tey Geday (3:17)
Ketema Mekonnen - 14 - Tizita [with Acordion] (3:54)
Ketema Mekonnen - 15 - Tizita [with Kirar] (3:18)
Ketema Mekonnen - 16 - Tizita [with Massinko] (6:43)





Monday, May 29, 2017

Tamene Mekonnen - Tamene Mekonnen and His Krar [ethiopia]











Interview with Kirar Player Tamene Mekonnen - Part 1





Tamene Mekonnen - 01 - Che belew (7:32)
Tamene Mekonnen - 02 - Hulum sew (5:04)
Tamene Mekonnen - 03 - Ambassel (6:49)
Tamene Mekonnen - 04 - Tekelkel (4:37)
Tamene Mekonnen - 05 - Tezeta (3:51)
Tamene Mekonnen - 06 - Gum - gum (2:31)
Tamene Mekonnen - 07 - Fanno - Erminew menew (5:37)
Tamene Mekonnen - 08 - Gra gebagn (4:07)
Tamene Mekonnen - 09 - Temesgen (4:21)
Tamene Mekonnen - 10 - Ibakesh atrakign (3:32)
Tamene Mekonnen - 11 - Ante ager zor bel (6:15)
Tamene Mekonnen - 12 - Satenaw (5:02)






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)