Tekeste is originally from the Horn of Africa. We work together at Collins Street. When I asked him what music touches him at Christmas time, his response was almost immediate. He told me about Alemu Aga, an Ethiopian who composes indigenous music for the church in Ethiopia and Tekeste’s homeland of Eritrea. Alemu plays a stringed instrument called a beghena and sings in Amharic.
The extract below is taken from a much longer piece of music that tells the Mary story in a very different way. It’s one Tekeste loves to hear at this time of year. In this segment Mariam, as she is known in Amharic, is visited by the angel Gabriel with the life-changing news that she is to bear a child, a holy child sent by God.