The Island of Nowhere
How many times are we told that our institutions perform well … are transparent … are void of corrupt practices? Or that our justice system is just … that we are living in an equitable, honest society? Politicians never seem to tire from resonating such hollow jingles, daily depicting fictitious situations believed only by the gullible. Inspired by Thomas More’s early 16th century satirical novel Utopia, or the Island of Nowhere - an imaginary city-state island society perfectly governed by ideals of equality and non-religious principles where institutions and rules are all reason based - this year’s Malta Spring Festival, The Island of Nowhere, is a variegated reaction to the conditions we find ourselves living under.
'Hope is the one thing that can help us get through the darkest of times' ...
The 16th Malta Spring Festival, under the banner About Hope, centred around the new and the young, creation and talent, as well as the centenary of Xenakis’ birth, it sought out innovation, youth and inventive passion designing an interwoven musical journey that searches for hope among the ashes, reaching out for a better future, a finer world, through cultural, psychological and personal discovery.
Degenerates, a reference to Entartete Kunst coined in the 1930’s by the Nazis to certain forms of music that it considered harmful or decadent, which made part of their campaign to isolate, discredit, discourage and ban works of modernist and jewish artists. The choice for this programme was to point out the alarming rise of the far-rightist movements in Europe and elsewhere and the mechanisms of silencing artists and those making criticism.
Must it be? It must be!
This year the world honours the 250th anniversary of the birth of Western music’s greatest heir and revolutionary - Ludwig van Beethoven. And so are we! For more than two centuries his music has travelled the four corners of the globe, accompanying mankind in his darkest hours and most crucial moments. He has inspired composers, musicians, artists, writers and commoners alike, shaping and influencing the course of modern civilisation.
Of Death and Maidens
Youth is when one - supposedly - is filled with life, dreams, gets carried away. Aspires. Some content themselves with what the tide brings in. Others search perpetually what the future might have in store for them. Death takes all this away, wiping superfluous hopes and delusions of grandeur to oblivion. But there are those whose endeavours go well beyond the grave, chiselled in the collective memory.
Revolution & its Composers
1968 famously escalated social conflicts against the establishment - a people’s revolution targeting authoritanitism, capitalism, imperialism, racism, revisionism, sexism. 1968 was about wanting society to be free of these repressions, for people to have civil, gender and political rights, to enjoy freedom of speech and choice. 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of this movement.
From Zappa to Beethoven
Centering this year’s theme around the city of Vienna, with a programme going back in time hence “From Zappa to Beethoven”, revisiting the works of the first Viennese School as well as those of the second, whose impact is still felt today, as well as collaborating with Viennese-based musicians.