Ethiopia’s particular geographical location at the horn of Africa has allowed multiple cultural influxes from Europe, Asia and the Arab world. Even popular 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 pianist Samuel Yirga wants to discover. GUZO - the Amharic word for 'search' and 'journey' - will cinematically accompany Samuel on his travels and scientifically document, deepen and develop his experiences. An international team of musicologists and anthropologists led by prof. Tiago de Oliveira Pinto will document Ethiopia’s music traditions. GUZO will create a filmic and artistic documentation of the status quo even in the lesser known regions of the country. At the same time, it will be the first comprehensive scientific assessment of Ethiopian music tradition.
This journey for Samuel Yirga and his generation not only represents the long overdue documentation of the largely unknown roots of their cultural identity - it might become the fulfilment of a longing. Ideally, with GUZO science becomes an enabler of emotion while film will function as its ideal vector.