A Dedication for the Krar
Martha is an Ethiopian artist who presents the Krar-Chawata (lyre playing), one of the distinct musical genres practiced in the Ethiopian highland region.In the years 2005 to 2009 she gave several music performances in Addis Ababa in front of more than 500 people, particularly at events organized and sponsored by Teferra Promotion & Entertainment, a private Ltd. Co. which promoted Ethiopia’s traditional and modern music, art, literature as well as various talents of fellow Ethiopians
Since June 2010, she resides in Berlin and she has already given three concerts in Cologne, on 12, 13 and 27 November 2010, which were organized by the Ethiopian Students and Alumni Association in Germany (DAESAV). In Berlin, she performed at the Hartnack School as well as in various Ethiopian restaurants.
The great model for Martha is the famous Ethiopian traditional artist Asnaketch Worku. At a time when woman’s roles were not welcomed on stages, Asnaketch was the first female artist, who broke taboos and entertained her audiences as theater (stage) actress, dancer, vocalist and instrumentalist (krar) starting from the early 1950s for nearly five decades. As to theater prior to this period woman’s roles were played and mimed by male actors in female attire. However, Asnaketch is primarily well known for her timeless and unforgettable songs accompanied by her krar playing. Martha came from a highly musical family, with her father, Teferra Mekonnen, being a famous pianist, songwriter and music arranger in Ethiopia especially during the 1960s and 1970s. So Martha’s love for music was already evoked and developed starting from her early childhood. At the Yared Music School the krar playing was one part of her music trainings. To this date, the krar playing has remained Martha's greatest passion.