On Day 12 of my Iso calendar, also known as Wednesday March 25, 2020 in the now nonsensical Gregorian calendar, I heard an interview I’d recorded on January 26, 2020 BC (Before Covid) with Lucy Armstrong on The Upshot. It aired on MainFM, my local community radio station. If you didn’t catch it, you can stream it anytime on Mixcloud.
The premise of the show (also hosted by Kya) is a casual chat with locals to Castlemaine and surrounds, asking the same handful of questions, culminating in the biggie— the meaning of life. The interviewee chooses music that holds special or significant memories. For one of the questions, I went on a bit of a musical rabbit hole to pin point the Ethiopian music I used to hear as a child far from my first home, music played by my mother that filled me with a longing I couldn’t place, and strangely, feelings of joy and sadness simultaneously. Even as time eroded my grasp of Amharic and I could no longer understand the lyrics, those songs struck at something deep inside me. After failing to find just the song that did it, I looked into the word ‘tezeta’ which popped up from some rarely visited nook in my mind. Bingo! Tezeta is not only the style of music I was thinking of, but the title of many songs in that style by a range of musicians. Continue reading
I’ll admit it, I hung my parents out to dry long ago. However, I am not immune to the occasional glimmer of compassion brought on by insights into the complexity of their lives and factors that contributed to making them the people I know. A recent glimmer can be traced to a late onset appreciation of The Weeknd’s I Feel it Coming. One minute I was grooving to my new favourite song, switching from the original to alternate versions including an 80s version complete with hair and outfit of that era. I also came across a cool trick to edit the url of the original to be transported to an ambient verison but I can’t remember how to do it- please let me know if you know what I’m talking about.
While I was wading in the sink hole of ProcrastYounationTube™, a video by Eritrean-American Bethlehem Awate, titled When Habesha Parents Discover the Weeknd…caught my eye, ‘Habesha’ being a loose term for people from the highlands of the Horn of Africa. For the sake of simplicity, and because I am not a scholar in the area, let’s say it is a loose umbrella term for Ethiopians and Eritreans. Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd is Canadian of Ethiopian descent. I was born in Ethiopia, moving to Australia at the age of six where I have since spent most of my life, save for a four year stint in Europe. Continue reading