28-Disc Series 'Ethiopiques' the Result of Francis Falceto's Efforts to Preserve Ethiopian Music

The World

The cover of Ethiopiques, volume 28 (Photo: courtesy of Francis Falceto)


In Mali, we reported on the successful efforts by Malians in Timbuktu to hide ancient manuscripts before Islamist rebels got a chance to destroy them.

Those priceless cultural artifacts are now mostly safe.

As we've seen over the years, a lot of African cultural treasure is in a fragile state of existence.

Whether it's documents, or the visual arts, or music, preservation, archiving and cataloging has come late to Africa.

Francis Falceto is a Frenchman who has played a major role in the preservation of Ethiopian music. He curated an impressive series of recordings known as Ethiopiques.

There are now 28-discs in the series several of them feature music of the great Mulatu Astatqe.

You might recognize his music from Jim Jarmusch's 2005 film Broken Flowers with Bill Murray.

One person who has been especially inspired by the music in the series is the founder of the Boston-based jazz ensemble Either Orchestra, Russ Gershon.

Falceto stopped by the studio on a trip to Boston to talk with anchor, Marco Werman about the ever-expanding collection and his new curatorial experiment, "Ethio Sonic," which features bands from around the world playing Ethiopian music.