Arabesque (CD) music by Ruben Zahra 2008
The music of Ruben Zahra revisits the past in a spiral journey. The seeds of his compositions germinate within an ancient Mediterranean landscape to sprout and branch out towards the universal and contemporary expression. The encounter and tension between heritage and innovation are the most significant relationship in the music of Zahra. Arabesque features a selection of chamber music:
Arabesque for flute, clarinet & percussion
Constellations for solo piano
Spirall for flute & percussion
Mouse in the Machine for clarinet & piano
Logħba for brass quintet
Ġgantija 2013 (Book & CD) music by Mariella Cassar Cordina
(Ars Vitae 2013)
Ġgantija 2013 project is an interdisciplinary and collaborative project that was launched in June 2013 at Ġgantija Temples in Xagħra, Gozo. Mr Victor Agius (visual artist), Dr Mariella Cassar Cordina (composer) and Dr Immanuel Mifsud (writer) collaborated in dialogue with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ġgantija Temples. After the performance at the temples the project continued with a series of hands on workshops and a final exhibition at St James Cavalier in Valetta, Malta. This project was curated by Dr Vince Briffa. Ġgantija II was recorded at Teatru Manoel on July 21, 2014. For this piece, piano samples of prepared piano and extended piano techniques were recorded then transformed through computer processing.
Composed by Mariella Cassar Cordina with words by Immanuel Mifsud and the collaboration of visual artist Victor Agius. Tricia Dawn Williams – piano and pre-recorded material, Gisèle Grima – piano, Simon Abdilla Joslin – cello, Alistair Attard – electronics and narrator Sharon Bezzina.
Miriam Cauchi - Riflessi (CD) Art Songs from Malta
Throughout my years of performing (Miriam Cauchi), I have always felt the need to promote the Maltese musical heritage, mainly through singing compositions in the Maltese language by Maltese composers. Maltese Art Song is a genre that has been experimented with since the 1970s and I thought that getting a collection of works in this style on CD would consolidate the wealth inherent in the diversity of compositions united by a common factor – the Maltese language. This CD contains a selection of Art Songs from pioneers Joseph Vella and Charles Camilleri, through a gradual journey that picked up pace and interest on the way up till the present time with works of contemporary composers. The Maltese language is unique in the fact, amongst others, that it is Semitic in roots yet, over the centuries, it has also managed to absorb Romance vocabulary which, in quite a wonderful way, co-exists happily with the more ‘native’ structures. This is what makes it so special and in this CD, wedded to beautiful music, the Maltese language attests to its power of expressivity, nuance, and feeling. Throughout the process of choosing and recording these Art Songs, I have worked and collaborated closely with all the composers featured on this CD, in the hope that the end result reflects as faithfully as possible what the composers wished to transmit through their work. Kant ta’ Mara, Kantilena, Mejju ġie bil-Ward u Żahar, and the ‘bonus’ track Taħnina were specifically written for my voice by the respective composers, while Ċassa quddiem mera, Duende, and Ħemel are being premiered here.
Surrealistic Soundscapes (CD) music by Man-Ching Donald Yu
(Albany Records 2012)
The music is inspired by the contemporary Chinese painting, Sunset, painted by Zhang Guanghai in 2001. Zhang characterized his own style by redefining the Chinese arts tradition through ink, vibrant colour and lines, refining his own personal style.
The piece begins with quiet and calm clarinet solo, juxtaposing with piano
gestural materials at high register, and soon the violin joins in as if representing some special colour effects in the painting. The three instruments generate mysterious tone colours at the beginning and the last sections, corresponding to the rather dark colours of the painting. The music gradually surges to a climax near the central section by saturating more chromatic tones at higher registers, describing the vibrant colour effect being reflected in the painting. Nonetheless, various Chinese colours are fused with exuberant rhythmic gestures for synthesizing my own voice.
Ħrejjef - Maltese Folktales (Book & CD) music by Ruben Zahra
Soundscapes and Merlin Library present MALTESE FOLKTALES: A valuable collection of imaginative stories which have been passed down from generation to the next, reflecting local culture. This publication is a unique heritage gift and a contemporary art-piece. Each of the ten folktales is illustrated by a different Maltese artist so that the publication portrays a vibrant showcase of Maltese art. The audio CD presents a storytelling cycle of local folktales accompanied by an innovative music score. Both the book and the CD are in bi-lingual setting: Maltese and English. Furthermore, this publication comes in two different cover jackets: one entitled ĦREJJEF MALTIN with a colourful design targeting a young audience as a children’s book; and the other jacket is entitled MALTESE FOLKTALES targeting cultural tourism. Heritage, literature, illustrations, design and music come together in this unique publication to celebrate MALTESE FOLKTALES.
A Guide to Maltese Folk Music - (Book & CD) music by Ruben Zahra
This book-CD package portrays a spectacular profile of Maltese music heritage. Detailed information, photographs, illustrations and music come together in this exclusive publication to provide a comprehensive experience which includes: traditional instruments, folksongs, dances, street cries and nursery rhymes. The CD features 18 vintage recordings from the PBS Sound Archives and 7 tracks by the NAFRA folk ensemble.