RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Imagine  >  Food for hearing: kind regards from Ethiopia

Food for hearing: kind regards from Ethiopia

Author: 08.08.2014 | music, traditions, Africa
African music is fettered by checkered stereotypes thickly as hyleas situated in the same place are covered with lianas. The reality, however, is that in skillful hands anything can tune up in variations of overtones. These were the motives that originated in hot tropics that influenced establishment of bands all over the world.

The most common misconception is that as centuries went by peoples of the hottest continent managed to master only the most primitive ways of extracting sounds. Some say, as opposed to developed Europe and a perfectly up-to-date America they still remain on the level of eccentric amateurs. Thus on hearing combination of words “Africa” and “music” most people picture unpretentious shape of a drum. 

Greater part of African musical instruments can be tagged with everybody’s word of choice: “handmade”. The thing that an average German or Frenchman would trifle with and throw to a tray, on the other continent can play and sound as colorful and surrounding as a piece from a symphony orchestra perfomance. And, as we understand, it is far from being a complement towards European snobbery. Wood, metal, tusks and fangs, skin, corns of wild animals and reptiles; osier, clay, bamboo, switch grass and corn stalks, cane as well as dried out baobab and pumpkin fruits and seeds, coconut shuck – and this only a partial list of things with which one can later on play music.

Some representatives of African musical instruments look so extravagant that are not immediately distinguishable against surrounding tropical scenery (image 01). For instance a so called terrene bow is in fact a bent body of a small tree with a cord of convolute fibers in the upper part. A stone, a piece of wood or barque is affixed to the lower part of a makeshift string, it is later on dipped into a hole dug in the ground. In this case it serves as a simple soundboard. In northern Ghana and Uganda this instrument usually performs a role of a child’s play but it is also used by adults for ceremonial reasons. Similar way of extracting sound is used by Mbuti pigmys from Ituri forest (north-west of the former Zaire). Music, or better still to call it musical rhythmic pattern, is created by means of a special “drum” dug in the ground and wrapped in fells.

Admittedly, it would not be entirely correct to describe African tunes and instruments only in contrast to and with emphasis on what is different from our canons. Authentic musical traditions brought to the New World together with slaves had an impact on development of music of the USA and a number of countries such as Cuba, Brasil and Haiti. Otherwise blues and Negro Spirituals would have no chance to be born. Nowadays similar ethnic African color called ‘world music’ is used with enthusiasm by many Indie, soul and funk ensembles. One can hear the sound of mbira or kalimba (African manual piano) not only in latitudes of Central Africa and Antilles but also in tracks of musicians performing on tour around the USA. Perfect example to the point is Earth, Wind & Fire funk band.

Гребенщиков.pngLeader of a Russian rock band Boris Grebenshchikov is also no stranger to African aesthetics (he is holding kalimba in the picture). 

As opposed to melodic component of tropical tunes it is worth keeping an eye on its contrariety that is music for messaging and ceremonial tunes for entrancement. For instance, regional festival of dancing and singing in the city of Arba Minch in the south of Ethiopia might come as a shock to any melomane. Participants of this “Afrovision”, in addition to representatives of a more conservative approach in this respect, local peoples of Dorzo, Diratie, Gamo and Gidole, are flutists from Dirashe (one of the regions of the abovementioned country). Their ensemble of 15 musicians performs dire cacophony on their musical instruments. It is by definition built on sheer dissonances. Musicians extract sounds in turn and sort of with overlap, gradually building up the air and rising general sounding. Say what you will, but art theorists, having visited the event, would have got much food for thought (non-tempered melody, it only remotely resolves into sol-fa sharp-re) and all the others at least food for hearing. Amusing, curious but the one that is hard to digest. Here, make sure for yourself:

It will be interesting:
THORNY PATH OF FLOWER
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips.
Video: Craft of Uzbekistan. Golden-stitched embroidery
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we'll tell you about art of golden-stitched embroidery: about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
Inti Raymi: let’s meet sun along with Peruvians
Today in our Peruvian series is a narration about the colorful and coloristic celebration of a winter conjunction which history has been lasting from the times of the Incas Empire.
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and plants do not reach out people remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
The spouse of Ambassador of India made a meeting Ambassadors Spouses Club and demonstration of national clothes
The spouse of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Ukraine Anamica Bharti organized a meeting of the club of ambassadors wives Ambassadors Spouses Club in the course of which it was a display of traditional Indian clothes and friendly dinner.
Tasty Japan: Give the Country a Try
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes. Parts of people’s souls, its history and culture are actually concentrated in national dainties.
Look at us, or Continuous music of Lubomyr Melnyk
The music as long as the eternity or, in other words, Continuous music is the genre which causes loud arguments in professional circles. Lubomyr Melnyk, Canadian composer of Ukrainian origination sees in his ‘child’ Continuous music continuation of classic traditions. Which rules his scripts follow will OUTLOOK tell in the following material of the rubrics ‘Look at us!’
Crafts of Uzbekistan. Straw Items
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we tell you about art of straw work, about materials that craftsmen use and what secrets and unique features of this craft are. Feel the world with us!
In Kyiv the concert BAKU JAZZ took place
In Kyiv under the support of Azerbaijan and Union of Azerbaijan youth of Ukraine the concert of Jazz music BAKU JAZZ in Kyiv was going. The musical evening organized outdoors in one of the most beautiful corners of our capital – Haidar Aliev Square became the gift from the organizers to Kyiv citizens and guests of the city.
Under the auspices of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Kyiv the evening of classical music happened
In honor of 25-th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the capital the evening of classical music was organized. The event happened in the column hall of National philharmonic of Ukraine.
The Embassy of Australia arranged in Kyiv the party in honor of Eurovision
The Embassy of Australia in Ukraine and personally Charge d’Affaires of Australia Bruce Edwards organized and hold party dedicated to the song contest Eurovision 2017 in one of Kyiv nightclubs.
"Goat-dragging"
“To drag a goat with one’s hands” is a national entertainment of Tajik men however it enjoys huge popularity around Central Asia in the whole. As a rule a couple dozens, sometimes as many as a hundred, skilled and nimble horse riders gather to drag the goat. There is such a throng during the event that people fall off their horses, lose consciousness and even get maimed. Although the players attempt at protecting their legs and heads, hurts and bruises are commonplace for them anyway.
The Ambassador of Argentina attended the concert ‘El Gran Astor’ of Ukrainian teams ‘Kwarud’ and ‘Con Amore’
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Argentinean Republic to Ukraine Alberto Hose Alonso along with the spouse and employees of Diplomatic administration visited the concert ‘El Gran Astor’ of young Ukrainian musical bands ‘Kwarud’ and ‘Con Amore’ in Kyiv House of Scientists of National Academy of Science of Ukraine.
Nihongami: Topknot as a Sign of Status
Nihongami is a certain way to arrange hair in Japanese tradition. Interestingly, in the Land of the Rising Sun hairdos were legally controlled and served as some sort of dress code for ladies of different social statuses and classes. Therefore, each class had strictly determined corresponding outfit and hairstyle and those laws are still obeyed by geishas and their apprentices.
The Four Aces Guitar Quartet kicked off the celebrations of 25 years of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Belgium
On March 10th, 1992, Ukraine and Belgium signed the agreement establishing diplomatic relations. To celebrate this ‘silver jubilee’, the Embassy of Belgium will organize a series of events throughout the year, starting with a concert by the Four Aces Guitar Quartet and the presentation of an edible art work by Steve Schepens.
VIDEO: OUTLOOK SHOW. Fashion of the Nation
Folk costume is one of traditional cultural symbols. Diverstiry of colors, adornment elements and decoration styles reflect inimitble nature of every nation. Ukrainians managed to get acquianted with distinctive features of traditional fashion thank to OUTLOOK Project, Institute of Interational Relations and Development Fund of the Institute of Internatinal Relations as well as 22 embassies of foreign states accredited in Ukraine. Today we suggest you enjoy a video, in which different cultures, traditions and history entertwined in a single dance....
OUTLOOK Project will hold show of national costumes of the world with input from foreign embassies
OUTLOOK Project that operates in the sphere of culture diplomacy will hold a show of national costumes of peoples the world OUTLOOK SHOW. Fashion of the Nation. Over 20 embassies to Ukraine will present best looks from traditional costumes of their countries in the show.
VIDEO: Crafts of Uzbekistan. Amazing product pumpkin
When talking about bottle, they mean a pumpkin. When thinking about a musical instrument rubab, they recall a pumpkin. When buying a chandelier, they consider a pumpkin as an option. When looking at the cage for parrots, they again refer to a pumpkin. This field vegetable in Uzbekistan has different designations and not only in the form of porridge. Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan OUTLOOK poschastlyvylos pobыvat radushnoy within this country and poznakomytsya with udyvytelnыmy mestnыmy crafts
Road to Asia is paved with carpets
Carpets hang on walls as a symbol of wealth, lay on floors to create coziness and are presented as expensive gifts. Studying fancy pictures in the shapes of diamonds and stars on them attempting to figure out their meaning is a fairly amusing thing to do. Globally spread carpeting traditions were borrowed from eastern peoples who were the first to learn how to make yarn and fabric out of fibrous materials. Specimens preserved in museums and private collections as well as researches of historians and archeologists testify to the existence of this craft in ages thousands years ago.
ESKIMO IGLOO: IT IS AS EASY AS PIE TO BUILD CASTLES IN... SNOW
A little son came to his father and suggested to run away from mom and granny to the North Pole? Now, do not indulge into tragic speeches of severe frosts, pitch darkness of the polar night and hungry polar bears! Give a conspiracy wink to a little brave one, and give him a real man's job for his school winter holidays that is to learn how to build an igloo, night shelter in ever-frost lands.
Close
Outlook facebook page