Friday, August 25, 2006

Your Eritrean Soundtrack

On the look out for ways to make reading a long book (I Didn't Do It for You : How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation) easier, I found some samples for the Eritrean singer Faytinga. According to the National Geographic World Music site, the songstress,
bases her music on the traditional sounds of Eritrea's Kunama ethnic group, and her songs are a reflection of her nation's struggle for independence.
Wow! Great stuff from the first a capella sample to the more syncopated grooves! I want this album!

Now for the soundtrack that isn't... One of our Esteemed Readers recalled a previous Eritrean Prisoner of Conscience case that we had taken action on last year and I went sleuthing around to find the details. The case concerns the Christian singer, Helen Berhane, who has been detained incommunicado since May 13, 2004. She is one of many members of banned evangelical churches who have been detained without charge or trial on account of their religious beliefs. This Guardian article also provides some detail on fellow muscians campaigning on her behalf and this article from Freemuse adds a bit more on the shutting down of two music stores.

By the way, I was please to discover Freemuse, an independent international organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. Check it out!

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