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Roaring Abyss: A Documentary Chronicling The Diverse And Ancient Sounds Of Ethiopia

This film presents sounds you may not have heard before in Ethiopia.

Yayne Abeba singing a Tizita. Photo by Gonzalo Guajardo.


Ethiopia’s music scene is known for it’s distinctive genre of Ethio-Jazz, a blend of western musical sounds, Armenian introduced brass instruments, and Ethiopia’s traditional folk and religious music. Most focus on Ethiopian music highlights the country's modern musical output, music that utilizes keyboards, synthesizers, and drum machines.

Roaring Abyss, a documentary and “audiovisual poem” directed by Quino Piñero, endeavored to bring to light the dizzyingly diverse array of music being sung and played throughout a country where approximately 80 languages are spoken and 90 million people call home. From the country's highlands to grasslands, Roaring Abyss sought and found traditional Ethiopian music, passed down for generations, being kept alive.

The Roaring Abyss team traveled Ethiopia for two years. The team, employing an audiophile approach, documented and recorded musicians from across the country and their stories. The beautiful music that is captured in the film is deeply moving and spiritual. The music’s ancient past reverberates and bounces off the traditional instruments played, such as the Krar (a five or six stringed lyre), Washint (type of flute), Masenqo (single stringed bowed lute) and Kebero (double headed drum with animal skin stretched over making it a membranophone).

Roaring Abyss is Piñero’s directorial debut. In addition to filmmaking, Piñero, who is Spanish, is a sound engineer and music producer. Piñero also started SolySombra Recordings, a record company.

The documentary made its premiere this past October in Budapest at Womex15. It has also been screened at the Athens Ethnofest 2015, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016, Film Fest DC 2016, the Somerville Theatre in Boston and others.

Catch Roaring Abyss today, April 18, at the Film Fest DC in Washington, D.C. Get your tickets here.

Peep these two trailers for Roaring Abyss and be on the lookout for news about upcoming screenings near you.

 

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Falz’s ‘Squander’ Remix Will Get You Dancing In No Time

The single features Niniola and South African amapiano acts Kamo Mphela, Mpura and SayFar.

Nigerian award-winning rapper, songwriter, and actor Falz makes his debut into the South African music scene with a remix of his hit single "Squander" featuring South Africa's Kamo Mphela, Mpura, and SayFar alongside the Nigerian Afro-House queen Niniola, who was on the original.

Produced by Young Willis and SayFar, the single has an infectious energy that will get you dancing in no time. We didn't expect anything less from breakout vocalist Mpura whose single "Umsebenzi Wethu" is currently topping multiple streaming charts. Amapiano singer and choreographer Kamo Mphela, known for her striking dance moves and collaborations with prominent artists like Busiswa & DJ Maphorisa, also continues to solidify her name in the industry with this feature.

Falz's ability to create music that reflects on the realities of many Nigerians has made him one of Nigeria's boldest voices. This is, however, one of the first times we see him pique interest in collaborating with South African artists. "I love South Africa, I love the culture and the food. I am really excited about this remix with Kamo Mphela, Mpura & SayFar because it's a great blend of South African & Nigerian music."

While he is not in the studio producing hits, Falz is a judge in the third season of The Voice Nigeria. The other judges include Nigerian singer and vocalist Waje, Afropop singer Yemi Alade, and the creative director of Livesport360, Dare Art Alade.

"Squander" remix is now available on all streaming platforms.

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