September 18, 2019

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In recent months, a new project commenced with international album reviews set to take prominence on ESCflashmalta over the next couple of months.  The sixth compilation of tracks will be a number of hymns in Maltese.  These hymns were specifically written to commemorate the 50th Anniversary from the death of Malta’s national poet – Dun Karm. Mro. Dominic Galea composed some of the finest music to accompany ten of the most iconic poems in Maltese literature.  These are accompanied by four of the best local artists which include; Mary Rose Mallia, Il-Bayzo, Doreen Galea and Lawrence Gray along with Martina and Keira Galea as well as the University Degree Plus Choir.


The Main Four Singers have tones of experience in the local scene and one considers all four of them to possess four of the most beautiful voices when it comes to songs being sung in Maltese. All four of them have participated successfully in a number of local festivals whilst both Mary Rose Mallia and Il-Bayzo are known for their iconic parts in Malta’s most popular Musical ‘Gensna’. Their distinctive voices make all the hymns sound so beautiful and whilst hearing the CD album you cannot overcome the sense of pride and patriotism with every word sung.

Album Title: Għanja – Poeżiji ta’ Dun Karm

Released: December 2011

Surely the best thing about this album is that the composer manages to keep compliment the words of these poems with the delicate music but at the same time manages to keep the focus on the words – something which possibly proves to be the cherry on the cake for this. The ten tracks on the album are all distinctive both in music, themes and also interpretations by the singers and the choir respectively. The singers’ vocals are pitch perfect, beautifully sung and delivered with deep emotion.

Although the mellow sounds might not be everyone’s cup of tea it is still worth a listen as some of the melancholic sounds reflect the strong and patriotic themes in these poems. Each and every hymn recounts a particular story whilst the strings, the piano, the flute and other sounds makes every story comes to life. In every possible way this album is surely a way which will help all the students studying the local poet understand what he meant in these ten poems.

Tracks to look out for:

'Bjuda' by Mary Rose Mallia - Hands down this must be the stand-out track of the album. The perfect vocals of Mary Rose Mallia come into perfect harmony with the music and the lyrics dedicated to Holy Mary. The melody in this hymn takes different twists and turns as the song develops until it reaches it climax. The music is somewhat extraordinary with some beautiful sounds that make this soft heartfelt ballad the track to listen to – making this track one which possibly even Dun Karm would have been proud to listen to.

'Warda' by Doreen Galea, Martina & Keira Galea - Doreen Galea’s voice blended with the two voices of the children make this track distinct more than the others. The three voices contrast well with each other and symbolize that no matter what our age is in life we are always waiting for that something special that will change our life in some way or another. This ends with all the voices and harmonies coming together at the end of the last verse symbolizing the unity of life.

Final Verdict:

It is surely a collector’s item and something every person who enjoys listening to some good music has to have. Every person who enjoys poetry, local heritage and has a sense of pride in his country surely must own this CD album. It is fascinating how the poems which were written a number of years ago still sound relatively contemporary thanks to the music by Mro. Dominic Galea who manages to strike the perfect balance between the laid back contemporary feel and Mediterranean sounds that make this album one of a kind.

Source: Ministeru tal-Edukazzjoni, Xogħol u l-Familja, Il-Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Malti

The summer months are already past their mid-way at this point in time but the seasonal television programmes are still well underway at this stage and it seems that one of the most popular shows is being aired through Television Malta under the hospice of the Public Broadcasting Services. The connection of Maltese symbols with the annual Eurovision Song Contest is also present during this show which bears the name 'Don't Stop Me Now' due to it's presenter, Eileen Montesin having been the commentator for quite some time and also because of one of the judges, Moira Stafrace, one half of the duo Chris & Moira who took to the stage in Dublin, Ireland finishing in fifth place with 'More Than Love'.



This weeks showcase will be once more featuring the ten finalists which have made it through the audition stages of the competition also aired just two and three weeks ago. The first points were awarded last week actually and now each of the participants will take to the stage again performing a modern song of their choice. The judges, Moira as already mentioned along with Ray Mangion and Catherine Mifsud will be hearing the performances and making a number of comments. This weeks' turn to duet with this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2011 runner-up, Richard Edwards will be none other than Ann-Marie whilst it is also to be noted that the young Christine Haber, the shows' co-host will be taking the acts for another task, this time, Zumba Dancing! Tune in tonight on TVM at 20:30 CET for another show.

Source: Press Release, Frederick Zammit

One of the well respected music competition in the Maltese Islands is known other than the 'Għanja tal-Poplu' (Hymn of the People) which features songs specifically in the local language. Once upon a time, this showcase had integrity and promise noting that a number of well known songs were presented, some of which have been undoubtely called classics over the confines of time. With a re-structuring in tow, the prestige for the competition might be gaining traction and following a year sabbatical, one has to expect promise from the organization team.

This years' edition of the competition will be staged on Saturday 21st April at the Sir Temi Zammit theatre within the Uiversity of Malta and each participant has to perform live along with his respective accompaniment. The organization team is offering the use of a pianist during the competition but what is quite attractive this time round is that the prizes will include further prestige by virtue of competing with the national language in a foreign country. During the evening of the 'Għanja tal-Poplu', an award will also be given to someone who has contributed to the well being of local music.

Such a competition cannot be possible if it were not for the help of everyone involved and therefore it is vital that local songwriters, performers, and musicians submit their interest to his project. The amended regulations would definitely help lay the cards down for a number of singers who might have not given the competition a go in the past and you can access these regulations on the main page of our website, www.escflashmalta.com. Please note that each submission costs €25 but two complimentary tickets are set to be handed out for each entry. Time is clearly running out with the submissions ending on the 27th February 2012

Source: Għanja Fest

Throughout the years, the Maltese Islands have been hailed as being prolific for their musical attributes actually with the art of vocal prowess taking over from sports for example. Once more as we hail into the middle part of the year 2011, things continue to improve within the local music industry as studios are now being built and managements are being devised in an attempt to regulate the system in the best possible way. Through the commercial radio station, Bay 89.7, the best possible songs from the modern local music industry are playlisted and counted down in the form of a top ten by none other than the well known individual Nathan D.



Due to the fact that a number of songs went down in the past week, they have now left the chart completely and the only entries within the top ten to go down this week are two; the first one coming at position number #10 in the form of Joseph Armani featuring none other than the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest representative, Glen Vella with the remake of the popular song 'Ain't Nobody'. This leaves this song in the bottom echelons and therefore exiting the chart. In the meantime, the only other track which seems to be losing support is that of Airport Impressions entitled 'Retro Star' which now has hit position #4 having managed the top spot for a total of three weeks not too long.

The entrance of a number of entries within the chart last week has seen quite a flurry which have gone up actually. At the lower end of the chart, the first one to have moved up in the past week comes from locally renowned band Saving Alexis entitled 'High On July' which now hits #8 but just a position above it at #7, there marks another popular club artist in the form of JJoy who is hitting the airwaves with 'King of the Night'. The anthem has been receiving a lot of support from venues where dancing all night long is somewhat arbitrary. At the higher end of the chart, in position number #3, one particular artist, a resident of the United States of America being Mikaela continues to rise with the song 'Hear Me Out' whilst at position number #2 comes pop artist Lyndsay and the song 'Love Sick' which is quickly turning out to be one of her most successful tracks.

This week only marks one new entry in the form of Andre featuring IM under the running title 'Can't Be Friends' which now scales at position number #9. This is the only new entry this week but it manages to encompass the current public vibe in music. Still a number of non-movers are still very much viable with position numbers #6 and #5 belong to none other than Ivan Filletti and the song 'Wheels' as well as Carlo Gerada Feat. Scott Walker & Chess with 'Never Meant'. At the top of the chart for the second week running are the group Funk Initiative whose single 'Paris' continues to gain airplay and popularity. Hear the whole show below.

Source: Bay Radio

The Maltese local scene is always gaining strength and despite the fact that the "Ghanja tal-Poplu" lost a bit of that magic flare, it is still a festival which a local should follow because the competition is still quite strong and the songs within the showcase present the very best of the Maltese local scene. Our language is the main ingredient of our identity and therefore we should not be scared to make use of it.

Last years' edition was won by former Eurosong participant Corazon who joined well known local artist Walter Micallef in an incredible duet entitled "Tal-Ahhar" which in turn you can view here. This years' musical showcase will be taking place on Saturday 27th November within the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Phoenicia in Floriana. The participants within this festival have to express themselves in original songs written with the Maltese language. As stated in the regulations, the participants may be singer/songwriters, musical groups or authors/composers who select a group to interpret their song with acoustic instruments preferably. People who are interested in submitting an entry for this festival must first read the regulations here and then of course submit the songs on Monday 25th Monday at the Y.T.C in Valletta. All proceeds from this festival will be going to the Richmond Foundation.

Source: Malta Council for Culture and the Arts

Going back a couple of years, a local would surely remember the annually held "Ghanja tal-Poplu" festival which was a showcase of local talent within the Maltese language as previewed in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. This year, the organising committee of the festival has decided to retain the aspect of live music but singers could have worked with other composers and authors who would have to promote their entries through a live medium.



ESCflashmalta has been in contact with the organising committee of the festival and we can exclusively reveal the list of the finalists in the upcoming festival. Amongst the list, one could find a number of well known names within the local music industry along with other names who have become residents to this festival.

Finalists:

Bażar (Antonio Olivari) - Justin u Antonio
Fejn Int? (Mark Agius) - D-Seven
Hemm Dawl (Frank O'Neill) - Frank O'Neill & The Miners
Il-Palma (Natasha Turner / Augusto Cardinali) - Marie Claire Attard Bason
Indunajt (Rita Pace) - Rita Pace & Teddie Zammit
Kamra Bla Hitan (Dario Bezzina) - Dario Bezzina
L-Għanja tal-Għażżien (Danjeli & Justin Galea) - Danjeli & Justin Galea
Lil Missirijietna (Robert Farrugia / Plato's Dream Machine) - Plato's Dream Maching
Mill-Għajnejn tat-Tifla (Corazon) - Corazon u l-Ħbieb tal-Qalb
Qabżitli c-Cinga (Charlie Dalli) - X-Tend
Rakkont ta’ Omm  (Deo Grech / Heathcliffe Balzan) - Petra Zammit
Rimors? (Vince Zammit / Charlie Dalli) - Lyndsey u Angodika
Sur Wara Sur (Antonio Olivari / Stephen Ferrito) - Tale Kwali
Tifkiriet (Teddie Zammit) - Teddie Zammit

The 35th Edition of the Festival will be taking place within the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Phoenicia on the 4th December. The participants as stated before will have to perform live. In the meantime, the winning songwriters can choose any artist to represent the nation in a festival abroad with all expenses paid thank to the World Association of Festivals and Artists whose president is none other than Norman Hamilton. In the meantime, the program Bla Agenda will be playing a vital role as the songs will be previewed through it on the 13th November 2010 whilst it will also give way to the festival for the final night. ESCflashmalta would like to wish a big good luck to all of the finalists.

Source: GTP Committee

L-Għanja Tal-Poplu, the most popular festival of original songs in Maltese, will be held on the 21st April 2012 in the Sir Temi Zammit Hall, at Tal-Qroqq. This will be the 36th edition of this festival, which aim is to keep the Maltese language alive even through the music. The organising committee invites authors, composers and music groups to participate with songs that deal with our experiences and aspirations as a nation in the world today. As in previous editions, the songs will be accompanied  live by various groups and musicians. The commitee will also be providing the services of a pianist to accompany participants if required.

The 36th edition of this festival is being promoted as ‘a leap forward in standard”, thanks to the help and assistance given by the Malta Arts Fund. L-Għanja tal-Poplu will be organised under the auspices of the World Association of Festivals and Artists (WAFA). In collaboration with WAFA and the assosciation’s chairman, Mr Norman Hamilton, the winners of the second and third place will be given the opportunity to select a singer to take part in festivals abroad. The same opportunity is being offered to the winner of the first place  together with a flight for two to any European destination The organising comittee encourages authors, composers and music groups to submit songs for this festival by Monday 13th of February, 2012. A copy of the regulations can be downloaded from www.ghanjafest.com or even on the ESCflashmalta home page within the Notice Board. Participants who have any queries or  want  to recieve a hard-copy of  the application and rules should write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Source: Għanja tal-Poplu

The world of reality television is growing quite rapidly here in the Maltese and once again, the station heading into the right direction is Net Television  who will be holding a competition bearing the name "Passport 2 Showbiz" during the weekly show "Sas-Sitta" presented by Mireille Bonello and Ray Attard. This morning, auditions were held and the finalists have been exclusively revealed to ESCflashmalta which is always first in bringing you local news.



The acts which made it through mostly comprise of singers but luckily enough two dancers made it through the auditions phase. The judges which chose the finalists were none other than Jesmond Baldacchino who is a musician, David Chircop who is a composer and also a singer and last but not least Keith Grima who is a choreographer and a singer. The list below depicts the finalists in the way in which they will be performing.

  • Kelly Cassar & Anna Maria Grima
  • Jeanette Attard
  • Cherise Attard
  • Norbert Bondin
  • Charlene Cardona
  • Clayton Seychell
  • Gabriella Farrugia
  • Celine Agius
  • Marie Claire Attard Bason
  • Marlon Chircop
  • Kelly Rotin
  • Veronica Mizzi (dancer)
  • Michaela Bajada
  • Karen Debattista
  • Martina Farrugia
  • Michelle Attard Bason (dancer)
  • Antonella Rapa

Source: Net Television, Spiteri Lucas Entertainment, Frederick Zammit

For the 10th consecutive year, ŻĦN Malta is proud to present another edition of the Strummin' Home concerts - Strummin' Chroma X to be held on the 7th and 8th October, 2011 at Sir Temi Zammit Hall, University of Malta. The event is being organised under the Patronage of H.E. the President of Malta Dr George Abela, and all funds collected will be donated to the Malta Community Chest Fund. A 60 strong cast of guitarists is hard at work rehearsing for the annual guitar event Strummin' Home. The concert features a guitar choir which strums along to popular songs in a bid to raise funds for a local charity.

It's a colourful year for Strummin' Home. This year's edition, held in collaboration with the Alf Mizzi Foundation and entitled Strummin' Chroma X, will feature music such as "Yellow" by Coldplay, "Pink" by Aerosmith and "Nel blu dipinto di blu", a colourful way to commemorate a ten-year journey. Throughout the years the Strummin' Home concerts have aided several local charities and foundations, and this year The Malta Community Chest Fund, which has brought colour to the lives of many, will be the beneficiary.

Strummin' is also very proud to be featuring singer/songwriter/beatboxer Dana McKeon and her newest original song, especially written for the concert, entitled "Street Art"! Two hosts with a serious passion for music, Pawlu Borg Bonaci and Luke Dalli, will be hosting this very special 10th edition. The concert is also collaborating with The Sound System and Studio 7 to present to its audience a night to remember.

Strummin' Home is a concert which fulfils the ideals of ZHN by promoting the potential of young people through working for a good cause. Strummin' Chroma X will be held on the 7th and 8th of October at Sir Temi Zammit Hall, University of Malta. Find Strummin' Home on Facebook for regular updates. In the meantime tickets for Adults will sell at
10 whilst tickets for children under 12 years, groups of 10 or more and students will sell at €8.50 each. For tickets phone 79244418 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Surely a show which cannot be missed!

Source: Press Release & Facebook

Monday, 26 September 2011 23:01

Malta: Ylenia Vella Triumphs

By

The Maltese Islands are known for their talent within the art of vocal performing noting that some of our stars have managed to perform with some of the leading global artists but what is even more impressive is the budding talent that is easily showing signs of taking over. The musical reality television programme that took place on Television Malta during the months of summer entitled 'Don't Stop Me Now' sought to promote the best of the new talent in the best possible way through various musical and non-musical challenges with host Eileen Montesin stating that artists need to grow in a number of different areas being talent and personality. The final programme of the second edition took place this evening with the winner being none other than Ylenia Vella.

On the night, the production known as 'Don't Stop Me Now' could have seen an overhaul of the result noting that the resident judging panel made up of Moira Stafrace, Ray Mangion and Catherine Mifsud were joined by guest judges Augusto Cardinali, Georgina and Mike Spiteri and all had the right to give a total of twenty points to one particular artist. There was a general consensus that Ylenia was the best this evening noting that her rendition of the song 'Halo' received the points of four judges with Ann Marie Ellul receiving the other two judges' points. This is not the first highlight of the career of the young sixteen year old noting that she has already taken part within the Junior Eurosong competition cementing her name within the younger artists' careers.

Ylenia managed to launch her career with self-compositions through this musical competition and should always remember her success on her own merits. Her debut participation with the Junior Eurosong actually came back in 2008 with the song 'I Can't Live Without You' before returning in 2009 to achieve a runner-up finish with the track 'My One True Passion' and then tried again one final time in 2010 finishing as the third runner-up with the track 'Shout It Out' which was also a favourite for victory on the night according to the readers of ESCflashmalta. The showcase on Television Malta was a stunning opportunity to promote the young artist who had already gained popularity amongst her peers and people at home. The singer seemed at ease performing the song 'Halo' this evening and she showed that she can truly own a stage owing to her years of experience.

Source: Francesca Aquilina (Image), Television Malta