Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou: Piano Solo

(one of my favorite piano pieces. drifting through my house this afternoon.....)

"It's ethereal yet rooted in the Ethiopian Orthodox sung tradition; it's gauzy and fluid, yet worldly in its command of the musical languages she has chosen to display. It's precise and ordered, yet unfettered and free to drift. It feels like songs of praise, prayer, charming conversation, and partying all rolled into a single exquisite voice that contains many."

"In early 1960s Emahoy lived in Gondar studying the religious music of St Yared, composer and father of Mahlet, the early Ethiopian religious music. On her daily trips to and from the church, she came across young students in Liturgy known as "yekolo temari" One day she asked why these young people sleep outdoor by the church gate. She was told they beg for food and lodging and are homeless while they pursue their education with the church. Emahoy was deeply moved by the sacrifices these young people made to study the Mahlet. Although I did not have money to give them, I was determined to use my music to help these and other young people to get an education.

Emahoy left Ethiopia following her mother's death in 1984 and fled to Jerusalem, Israel because socialist doctrine in Ethiopia during the reign of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam attacked her religious beliefs. Emahoy is now 85 years old and she plays the piano at the monastery nearly seven hours a day, she continues to write new solo piano compositions."

listen to it here.....
look at the foundation here...