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The Extraordinary Life & Music of Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru

via Bandcamp, written by Megan lacobini de Fazio

Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru, via Bandcamp
Image via Bandcamp

"Born into the Ethiopian aristocracy, vocalist, composer, and pianist Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru worked in the palace of Emperor Haile Selassie, lived as a Prisoner of War on a small Italian island, and studied classical music in Cairo, all before shutting herself in a remote monastery in Ethiopia’s northern highlands. It was decades later, when she was an elderly nun living in Jerusalem, that her music would earn her global acclaim, making her an unlikely international star. It’s no wonder, given these elements, that her story has been woven into some sort of mythical tale, with Emahoy framed as an enigmatic, legendary figure.

Her music, too, is often talked about as a curiosity—unrestrained by convention, existing in a realm entirely its own. But while Emahoy’s life was indeed extraordinary, and her music does in many ways transcend boundaries of culture and genre, it’s important to emphasize that Emahoy was a classically trained musician who spent decades of her life studying and meticulously composing her music."

Read the rest of the article here.


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