August 22, 2019

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L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2018 was held towards the end of last week, precisely on Friday 2nd March 2018 in the Theatre of St Benedict School in Ħal Kirkop. All of the participants were between 11 and 16 years of age and they presented original material in Maltese, singing about current themes which are close to their heart. The main aim of the music festival is to encourage the writing of original lyrics and melodies apart from sharing their thoughts about just about anything which is on their minds, or those of their peers.

Not 1 but 2 categories were featuring in the 4th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ noting that “Il-Ħolma” penned by Ray Mahoney, composed by Dominic Cini and sung by Riona DeGiorgio won the first category, featuring performers between 11 and 12 years ago while “Dwell” penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss, composed by Dario Bezzina and interpreted by Eliana Gomez Blanco & Aidan Jay Drakard won the second category featuring performers between 13 and 16 years of age. The latter were also the overall winners of the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2018.

The evening was hosted by multiple Għanja tal-Poplu winner Corazon Mizzi, alongside teenagers Kayley Cuschieri and Nathan Aquilina while the special guests featured Francesco Puzo, Rosario Lanzara and Luca Rossin, three singer/songwriters from Italy who were all led by Maestro Vincenzo Sorrentino.

Organised by the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Committee in collaboration with St Benedict College in Kirkop, the Ministry of Education, L-Akkademja tal-Malti as well as the Malta Concert Orchestra, L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ has now seen not three but four winners with Eliana & Aidan joining Brooke, Marilena and Christabelle. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music industry and L-Għanja tal-Poplu.

Source: Press Release, għanjafest.com

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

Welcome to a new initiative by escflashmalta.com. Given that a lot of our readers are not Maltese, on a monthly basis, we will be reviewing two songs in Maltese so as to encourage more and more of our foreign readers to listen to them and still understand the meaning behind them. We believe that language should not act as a barrier when it comes to music, hence, our reviews in English for songs in Maltese ought to facilitate one’s encounter with such songs. The choice of such songs is purely personal and any opinions expressed do not necessarily resonate with those of the editorial team. Also, do not bother to suggest any songs you deem fit to be dealt with in future posts.

Tema  ̓79: Composer Mro Paul Abela, Writer, Ray Mahoney 

Its first debut was in the 70s, in the rock opera Ġensna (literal translation: Our Nation), first held at Ħaġar Qim, one of the megalithic temples still standing in Malta. The number, 79 refers to the historic date of 1979, when the British military base left Maltese shores and following whole centuries of colonisation Malta finally conquered freedom.

The children, dressed in white and red represent a symbol of a resurging Malta, the old lady crippled by centuries of foreign rule now experiencing rejuvenation under a local ruling. Previous rulers are seen nodding at the audience, following one another in sequential order, hinting that the musical is reaching an end now that Malta is free. The song may be interpreted as a medley for it is delivered by all main singers, including Renato, Chaterine Vigar, Mary Rose Mallia,  Paul Giordimania, Bayzo and John Cutajar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa6Ur_z3rE0

The introductory lyrics give way to a whole series of vocabulary that derives from the natural world. The Rose (il-warda) is seen sprouting from the bramble (għollieq) and thirsty dry thorns (xewk għatxan), symbolising the revival of Malta, represented by the flower. Even the clouds (is-sħab)  seem saddened by the bitter fate of Malta, an evident use of the technique known as pathetic fallacy, whereby the weather conditions are influenced by the mood of the protagonists, in this case a whole nation. 

Minn bejn l-għollieq musfara

minn bejn ix-xewk għatxan

il-warda l-għajn li tara

lewn ħamran fl-għelieqi u l-qigħan.

Minn bejn is-sħab imnikket

Minn bejn iċ-ċparijiet

The birds (għasfur, singular) are now singing with joy and their song (il-għanja) will be everlasting, now that their country is free. Moreover, the wings (il-ġwienaħ) of the free (meħlusa) Maltese are now seen reaching the skies, heading towards the sun (ix-xemx), which could also be understood as a reference to all Maltese who died as martyrs, who can rest for real now that Malta is free. The Maltese flag (il-bajda u ħamra) is implied by the mention of the its two colours, the white (abjad) and the red (aħmar) respectively, and just like the cheerful bird song, it never ends (ma tintemmx), indicating a persistent nation that keeps on fighting till the end., whatever the hurdles along the way. 

Il-għanja qatt ma jsikket mis-smewwiet

l-għasfur sajjied

[...]

u l-ġwienaħ tal-meħlusa

jittajru lejn ix-xemx

[...]

Il-bajda u ħamra nbusha

bħalha m’hemmx li ma tintemmx

Such a patrotihic theme can never feel complete without a reference to God (Alla), which follows at the very end of the song, in a prayer-like manner, implied by the address from all Maltese encouraging Him to have a look upon (ħares fuqna) a nation that is finally free (qed jgħix mill-ġdid).  

O Alla ħares fuqna

dal-ġens qed jgħix mill-ġdid

The song is extremely synonymous with Mary Spiteri (Malta Eurovision singer in 1992 with Little Child) due to an immaculate cover version of the song. In fact she also delivered Tema  ̓79 during Ġensna in Concert in 2009 (http://youtu.be/-S0vdSBfGPg).  However, very recently, in 2014, Ira Losco has also given a flawless cover version of the song during the second concert version organised by Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjoni Nazzjonali (FĊN).

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6QDCSjdDQ0

Published in Editorials

The editorial team of escflashmalta.com is proud to announce the return of the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija which had officially been suspended in 2002 with the last winning entry being Eklissi composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Ray Agius. The void of a local competition in which entries are performed in Maltese has been felt on several occasions with only the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, organised by Media.Link Communications under the hospice of a political party and traditional-folk inspired L-Għanja tal-Poplu carrying on in recent years. 

Robert Cefai, a former Chairman of the board responsible for Malta's participation within the Eurovision Song Contest and currently the Secretary General of the World Association of Festivals and Artists seems to be a key figure behind the comeback, as he is the one to have made the announcement on his personal page on Facebook. The first official meeting for songwriters, artists and the media will be taking place on the 24th July 2013 at the Isouard Hall found within the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. The committee behind the competition will be revealing the regulations as well as other important details about the return of this prestigious competition which will be focusing on the promotion of Maltese through the medium of song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWd56EctJEA

escflashmalta.com will be covering the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija having been the only editorial outlet to hark about the return of this competition in the past three to four years. The final edition in 2002 also boasted first runners-up; Julie & Ludwig with the track Adagio composed by Rene Mamo to the lyrics of Ray Mahoney and second runner-up; Olivia Lewis with the song Ħolm u Realtà composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan. The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to thank the organisers for their quick reply to the enquiries made in recent hours whilst urging our readers to stay tuned for all of the latest news.

Source: Robert Cefai (Organising Committee)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuS4sGpsP0Y

Published in Local Music News