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Historic D’Amato Records Sign Destroyed, Mużika Mod Ieħor Goes Radio, and KorMalta Seeks Singers, Weeping Silence update


Historic Shop Sign at D’Amato Records Destroyed by Construction Crew


D'Amato Records post on Facebook

The iconic HMV sign at D’Amato Records, reputed as the world's oldest record shop located on St John’s Street in Valletta, was smashed overnight between the 3rd and 4th July. Co-owner Anthony D’Amato has attributed the damage to a nearby construction crew.


Installed shortly after World War II, this historic sign has been a significant landmark, often cited as the most photographed in Valletta.


The destruction occurred due to a crane used by construction workers across the street.


The damaged sign, made of perspex, is feared to be irreplaceable. Despite the setback, the contractor, Antain Borg, clarified that the damage was caused by a subcontracted company’s concrete pump. Borg assured that a police report was filed and plans are underway to open an insurance claim to cover repair costs.


D’Amato Records, established in 1885, boasts a resilient history, having operated throughout the wartime bombings of Malta. The recent incident is not the only loss of historical artifacts in Valletta; last month, a British-era telephone box was demolished by a delivery truck. The responsible company promptly took accountability, and the Culture Ministry has pledged its restoration.


The community now hopes for similar prompt action to restore the beloved HMV sign, preserving a piece of the island’s cultural heritage.



Mużika Mod Ieħor Ma' Toni Sant Expands to Radio Broadcast


Toni Sant’s long-running podcast, "Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant," is set to begin broadcasting on Campus 103.7 in Malta, marking a significant new phase for the show. This transition will start today, 4 July 2024. Sant has been producing radio shows on Campus 103.7 since October 2020.


After a hiatus of more than 20 years, Sant returned to regular radio broadcasting during the second COVID-19 lockdown and has been on the air weekly since then. His first series, "Vjaġġi Enċiklopediċi," featured interviews with Wikipedians from Malta and other countries, as well as weekly meditations on Wikipedia articles.


Following this, Sant produced the research-intensive series "Noti Memorabbli," which aimed to highlight the need for more historiographic sources for the performing arts in Malta. Each 60-minute episode required about 20 hours of research, making it unsustainable beyond one season. In the summer of 2021, Campus FM, as it was then known, broadcast an audiobook version of the award-winning book "Jien-Noti-Jien," co-authored by Sant and Immanuel Mifsud.


In October 2021, Sant launched "Mużika 21," offering an hour each week dedicated to the latest releases from the local music scene, exploring oddities, and focusing on albums released in the 21st century. Both "Mużika 21" and "Mużika Mod Ieħor" featured similar playlists, with the podcast including videos for each track and the radio show focusing more on album tracks and oddities.


As Sant took on more writing and art curation projects, the weekly podcast was reduced to a monthly offering. This led to the natural progression of bringing "Mużika Mod Ieħor" to the radio while continuing the podcast as an ongoing series. The podcast, which has evolved since its inception in November 2005, will now be broadcast on Campus 103.7.


Sant hopes "Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant" will continue to delight listeners worldwide, documenting the local music scene uniquely. Although the local broadcasting sector has improved in playing more Maltese music, Sant dreams of a time when local musicians no longer struggle for airplay.


"Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant" will be available on Campus 103.7 on Thursdays at 6 pm and 11 am, as well as Saturdays at 2 pm. The episodes are in Maltese, although some featured songs are not.


more on Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant and Toni Sant can be read here:


more information can be found on https://www.tonisant.com/



KorMalta Seeks New Vocal Ensemble Members


KorMalta, Malta's National Choir, is currently inviting applications for new vocal ensemble members. The selected individuals will join KorMalta in performing at all its concerts. Interested candidates can find more information and submit their applications by July 11, 2024, through the provided emails on the KorMalta website: KorMalta Opportunities.


Founded in 2018, KorMalta is an initiative of the Arts Council Malta within the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts, and Local Government. The choir has rapidly established itself as a highly qualified choral group capable of performing a diverse and demanding repertoire.


KorMalta has delivered numerous acclaimed performances, including Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Brian Schembri, Holst’s The Planets conducted by Michalis Economou, Mozart's Great Mass in C minor under Peter Manning, Jenkins’ The Armed Man led by Michael Laus, Faure’s Requiem directed by Riccardo Bianchi, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms under Wayne Marshall. Notably, in February 2019, KorMalta performed with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra for the live soundtrack of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.


In opera, KorMalta has performed in Rossini’s Otello (2020) and staged Pietro Mascagni’s Le Maschere (2022) with the renowned Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini at the prestigious Illica Festival. Collaborations also include performances with the Valletta Baroque Ensemble at the Valletta International Baroque Festival, featuring works like Biber’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri.


Under Artistic Director Riccardo Bianchi, KorMalta has explored a wide range of a cappella projects, including performances of William Byrd's motets, Italian Renaissance music, and contemporary works by Xenakis, Pizzetti, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. One of their iconic performances was Ola Gjeilo’s The Sunrise Mass at dawn at the Megalithic Temples of Mnajdra, in collaboration with ZfinMalta, Heritage Malta, and other artists.


KorMalta places a strong emphasis on continuous professional development for its members, offering masterclasses and workshops with both local and international tutors. The choir is led by Riccardo Bianchi, an Italian conductor with extensive training from institutions such as the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Turin and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena.


Aspiring choristers are encouraged to apply by July 11, 2024, by sending their applications to Karl Fiorini, KorMalta Producer, at karl.fiorini.1@kormalta.mt, and Riccardo Bianchi, KorMalta Artistic Director, at riccardo.bianchi.1@kormalta.mt.


Join KorMalta and become part of a prestigious and dynamic choral group contributing to Malta's rich cultural heritage.



Weeping Silence Band Update: Some Bad News from the Rhythm Section


Back in January, just three weeks after the launch of their 'Isles of Lore' album, Weeping Silence’s drummer Julian Mallia was diagnosed with a knee ligament injury following an unfortunate jogging incident. While the injury is not life-threatening, it has significantly impacted Julian’s ability to perform the intense, double-bass-drum-heavy drumming required by Weeping Silence’s songs.


Despite being able to walk, drive, and maintain basic drum practice, Julian has had to take a step back from his full band duties. Earlier this year, as it became clear that the healing process would be lengthy, Julian made the difficult decision to step back temporarily to allow the band to find a replacement drummer.


Julian has been making steady progress through physiotherapy sessions. Although the future remains uncertain, there is hope that he will be back on track in a few months if all goes well.


In the meantime, Weeping Silence is actively working on new material and is in the process of searching for a replacement drummer who can take over the drumming duties during Julian’s recovery.


The band will continue to provide updates on this developing situation. They wish their hardworking bandmate a speedy recovery and, in the meantime, have shared a compilation of Julian’s finest recorded drumming moments from the past few years with Weeping Silence and other music projects.



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