Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alèmu Aga "Éthiopiques 11: The Harp of King David"

I tend to think of the Éthiopiques series as being all about the jazz and the funk, but here we have an example of one of their other strands – Ethiopian folk music. This features Mr Alèmu playing the bèguèna, the titular harp. Although not played at Ethiopian church services, the instrument has strong religious connotations, and is often used to accompany the singing of religious songs. This record certainly has an otherworldly quality – the droney twangs of the instrument and Alèmu's whispered vocals are very trance inducing. Even posting this is making me think of bedtime.

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