August 23 2010

Letters from Ethiopia

Towelda playing the flute in Ethiopia

Letters from our friend Tewold, a Music Facilitator at The Gemini Trust, Ethiopia

We are working in a creative partnership with The Ethiopian Gemini Trust on a range of projects that will culminate in 2 exciting events in Cardiff this September (watch these updates to find out more soon).

The Ethiopian Gemini Trust was set up in 1987 to save and support twins born to needy families in Addis Ababa, and it directly helps over 1,800 families. Valley and Vale Community has a reputation for our ground-breaking local and international Community Arts for Development work, and this project is part of a programme of work that uses creativity to connect people from different cultures, communities and countries.

This year we sent our photography and music workers over to Ethiopia to work with people there, creating a photographic exhibition and helping them set up a community choir, working with Tewold, a local music worker. We have made friends as well as partners, and here is a recent letter from Tewold to Laura, our music worker.

“Dear Laura Bradshaw,

How are you? How are you doing? Last month I have been doing a lot of things, studies, music theory, Ethiopian instruments and folk music with my partners, giving lessons in different places. I have also created film music for several documentary films including a democracy video challenge 2010 in America called ‘Democracy is Fair Play’, Directed by Yared Shumetes.

At this time from Africa we get 1st level and in the world we get 2nd level, so we need your vote and comment – we have 1 more week left. Go to You Tube and search ‘Democracy is Fair Play’ by Yared Shumetes.

I have composed my own music – the 1st one ‘Tultula’ explains our own situation, and the 2nd one ‘South Ethiopian Feeling’ explains our South Ethiopian appearance. I am improvising when I sing about South Ethiopia but I sing about my own family’s presence in North Ethiopia that is the stone places.

Last week I also composed music for Ethiopian Contemporary Dance Group ADUNA, for a Fundraising event and this week we will perform at Mega Amphitheatre. On Thursday June 10th 2010 our new Ethiopian Gemini Trust Community Choir group will perform at BUNA BEAST ARATE KILOW ROAD, and they will exchange experiences, sharing with the Alationse music group. On Friday I will take new lessons in writing in Amharic and later, geezigna and Melody.

with a lot of love,

Tewold”