Sub Rosa present a reissue of volume one (Mindanoo Mistiru) and two (Gold From Wax) of Ethiopian Urban And Tribal Music, both originally released as two distinct LPs on Lyrichord in 1972.
Mindanoo Mistiru and Gold From Wax were recorded by Ragnar Johnson. Ethiopia contains many diverse peoples and many styles of music. It was still an empire in July and August of 1971 when these recordings were made. Over 70 languages and 200 dialects are spoken in Ethiopia. In much of the music, lyrics are more important than instrumentation, and the transmission is oral. The urban musicians, the bagana, and Mary Armeede, were recorded in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian urban musicians come from many parts of the country and are familiar with, and adapt to, styles of regions other than their own. The Afar divination chants and flutes were recorded in the Danakil desert. The Anuak toum and Nuer harp, lament and dance were recorded near the Sudan border. The Konso dance and the Gidole Fila flute dance were recorded near the Kenya border. Mindanoo Mistiru means "What is the Unknown?".
Gold From Wax refers to the two layers of meaning in Amharic poetry. File under: Le Coeur du Monde.