counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

February 4th, 2011: Debteras choir / Alemu Aga

@cité de la musique

Alemu Aga plays the begena, which is an amazing instrument with a unique buzzing sound. He sang too, in a quiet voice sometimes sounding like a whisper. That made me pay attention even more, though not understanding a single word certainly took away a lot from the experience. Then again, it’s religious music, and I may have been turned away by the message. There was also something soothing about the similar start of each song, and the repetitive phrases within each song. Something more hypnotic than insistent. The lone exception was the one he played with a plectrum, for a more assertive sound featuring chords instead of notes. But it too had something quietly focused. A very nice set, totally different from what I’m used to, even though I did hear that instrument before on a record out on Terp.

The second set was a choir of debteras. This one was mostly vocal, though they did use a drum for part of the set. For some reason they reminded me of some Japanese styles at times, especially when the drum was more a punctuation than a beat. Some interesting moments, but I have to say I dropped out along the way. Maybe I just lack the kind of focus to stay into religious music for so long.

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February 14, 2011 Posted by | Music | , | Leave a comment