"11 songs of the Begena, the 10 string "Harp of David", which dates back thousands of years, but is still played in Ethiopia. A mesmerizing buzzing sound which is dark, heavy and serious, but also light, fragile and spiritual. Rooted in the Orthodox Christian tradition it is about meditation, concentration and prayer and mainly listened to in the fasting periods, of which there are many in Ethiopia. Zerfu Demissie, from Addis Abeba, is the son of Demissie Desta, the court-player of Haile Selassie and called "Mr. Begena". Zerfu keeps a long family tradition going. His grandmother was also a well known player. Every begena sounds unique and Zerfu is definitely a very original player. The lyrics are fascinating, sometimes hundreds of years old and occasionally very contemporary. At times biblical, at other times tapped from different sources, even social comments. 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. The 24 page booklet has photos, lyrics, a history of the begena and an interview with Zerfu." (label info)
in stock | NL| 2007| TERP RECORDS | 13.90

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