The Battle of the Strings

An event entitled ‘The Battle of the Strings’ will be presented on April 24 and 27 at the African Jazz Village on the grounds of the historical Ghion Hotel.

The Battle of the Strings will entail the battle between the western musical instrument, the Cello and the Ethiopian string instrument the Masinqo. Mulatu Astatke calls the Masinqo the father of the cello and this will be a chance to show how the musical instruments came about in the years. The Masinqo has existed for many years before the cello and Mulatu believes this is the contribution of Ethiopians to the world. On this event the four string instrument of the Violoncello will be united with the one string instrument, the Masinqo.

Danny Keane who is a member of Mulatu’s band, Steps Ahead, will perform the cello and the masinqo will be played by Ethiopian musician, Indris Hassen, who features Mulatu in many of his works.

The musicians will play their solo performances and play together on one stage. Apart from that, improvisation will also be part of their performance. They will exchange sounds and melodies and will pick up from one another. “Their performances will be synchronized,” says Mulatu. This event is organized by the African Jazz Village in collaboration with the British Council. Furthermore, the next session will be the battle of Koora (the 21 string instrument from West Africa) and Begena (the ten string instrument from Ethiopia.)

According to Mulatu, with the evolvement of the Koora, the instrument is played all over the world including by classical musicians while the Begena is only confided to the spiritual scene of Ethiopian music. On this event the Koora and Begana will come together as one. Apart from the Battle, Mulatu Astatke will perform at this event featured by the Saxophonist, Jorga Mesfin and drummer Teferi Mekonnen.

Source : The Reporter

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