EMAHOY TSEGE MARIAM GEBRU - JERUSALEM

EMAHOY TSEGE MARIAM GEBRU - JERUSALEM

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Released: 14/04/23 (delayed from 07/04/23)

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, who sadly passed away last month, was truly inspiring on a number of levels. A nonagenarian Ethiopian nun, she was recognised as one of the most inventive and lyrical pianists of the last 100 years, and her compositions, situated somewhere between Satie, Debussy, liturgical music of the Coptic Ethiopian Church, and Ethiopian traditional music, are some of the most sublimely moving piano pieces you will ever hear. Add to this the fact that, from the early 60s onwards, Guèbrou used the proceeds of sales of her recordings to fund Ethiopian orphanages, and it is clear that she was not just a preternaturally gifted musician and composer, but a remarkable human being all round.

It goes without saying, then, that Jerusalem, the first archival release of Guèbrou’s recordings since the Éthiopiques series reintroduced her music to the world in 2006, and compiled in celebration of her 99th birthday on December 12, is a boon for devotees desperate to hear more of Guèbrou’s work. Drawn from original master tapes and a nearly impossible-to-find vinyl release, Jerusalem unveils profound new facets of Guèbrou’s oeuvre; indeed, the track 'Quand La Mer Furieuse' is the first release featuring Guèbrou’s singing voice. Perhaps, following Guèbrou's passing, there will be other archival releases forthcoming, but in the meantime, Jerusalem is a fitting swan song.