“Unseen Worlds presents new recordings of solo piano pieces by Ethiopian composer Girma Yifrashewa, the first release of Yifrashewa’s music outside of Africa. Born in Addis Ababa in 1967, Girma Yifrashewa is a worthy new torchbearer of African pianism. His highly personalized approach to the piano likens him to Ethiopian composer Emahoy Tsege Mariam, while his use of Ethiopian pentatonic scale within the Western Art Music format places his compositions in conversation with more academically minded work. Traditionally Ethiopian in melody, cinematic in vision, and deep in beauty, his compositions occupy a lyrical middle ground between classical and jazz that is supremely listenable yet defies easy classification.” -Unseen Worlds
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Hailu Mergia – Shemonmuanaye
“The sound of Ethiopian jazz and folk is the sound of Hailu Mergia. Mergia offers a direct passage to traditional Ethiopian music with his accordion on this track from his legendary 1985 album “Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instruments” (reissued in 2013 by Awesome Tapes From Africa). In this session he is supported by the two Australian improjazz musicians Tony Buck (The Necks) and Mike Majkowski.“ — Unseen Recordings
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou – The homeless wonderer
taken from the Album Ethiopiques, vol. 21: Emahoy (Piano Solo) via Buda Musique.
Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru, the first classical music composer and solo pianist in Ethiopia. She is an 85 years old nun living in the Ethiopian Orthodox monastery in Jerusalem, Israel. Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru first published her piano compositions in 1973 and used the proceeds from sales of her music to benefit orphaned children in Ethiopia. In keeping with this tradition ETM Foundation gives disadvantaged children access to classical and jazz music genres. Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru donated some of her previously published and unpublished music for the use of the ETM Foundation.
“Chairs, milk, piano” animation by madelinepoole
‘song of abayi’ by Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou