This week's Hip Deep program, Ethiopia Part 1: Empire and Revolution, summarizes the history and music of this unique African nation up to the eve of its calamitous revolution in 1974. Kay Kaufman Shelemay was a young ethnomusicologist studying in Ethiopia at the time. Now a professor of Music and African and African American Studies at Harvard, she has a profound perspective on this history having written extensively on it, but also, having lived it.
Francis Falceto discovered Ethiopia later, during the dark days of the military Derg regime. He has gone on to create the 21-volume, and growing, Ethiopiques CD series, an amazing resource, especially on the fervent musical world that existed in Addis Ababa just before the revolution. This program relies on both of these remarkable scholars. You can read what they had to say to Afropop Worldwide and see photographs of the era, and see a great Ethiopian CD discography, by following these links:
Also, stay tuned for our upcoming program, Ethiopia Part 2: Diaspora and Return.