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Ethiopia’s particular geographical location at the horn of Africa has allowed multiple cultural influxes from Europe, Asia and the Arab world. Even contemporary Ethiojazz resounds of Christian, Islamic and Semitic traditions. But where does it all come from? Is it possible to trace the origins of Ethiopian music to common roots, or has Ethiopian music at least as many "points of origin" as there are regions in the country?

 

This is what Ethiopian pianist Samuel Yirga wants to discover. GUZO - the Amharic word for 'search' and 'journey' - will accompany Samuel on his travels cinematically, and document his journey scientifically. Led by prof. Tiago de Oliveira Pinto, Chair of Transcultural Music Studies at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT, an international team of experts will explore Ethiopia’s heritage of music and culture.

Articulated in several episodes that each will focus on specific geographical parts of the country, GUZO will be the first comprehensive scientific assessment of Ethiopian music tradition in modern times. Our travels will lead us through Ethiopia including the most unexplored regions of the country.

 

Samuel Yirga's musical journey is not only one man's quest, but stands for an entire generation's longing to know its origins and discover its cultural identity.

 

GUZO not only it represents a long overdue documentation of the unknown roots of Ethiopian music - it might become the fulfilment of a dream. Ideally, with GUZO science becomes the enabler of emotion, while film will serve as its vector. Without further ado: "I'melkam Guzo - godspeed."

artwork "Word Play" courtesy of Wosene W. Kosrof © 2002

director / writer

DIRK VAN DEN BERG

 

scientific direction

TIAGO DE OLIVEIRA-PINTO

 

cinematography

HENRIK SAUER bvk

 

produced by

DIRK VAN DEN BERG

 

original idea by

SAMUEL YIRGA MITIKU

documentary, 5 x 30'

English & Amharic

Germany, 2014

GUZO NORTH was selected by

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