Meeting the Composers – Contemporary Colours

Meeting the Composers – Contemporary Colours
23rd January 2021 MPO Marketing

Meeting the Composers – Contemporary Colours

Meet the Maltese composers featured in Contemporary Colours, the CD produced by PARMA Recordings featuring the MPO under the baton of Principal Conductor Sergey Smbatyan.

Released by Navona Records in November 2020, the album combines full orchestration with pre-recorded elements, traditional instruments, and contemporary sounds. The project is supported by Festivals Malta.

Read more in the Online Catalogue.

Euchar Gravina

Who is Euchar Gravina?

Busy writing a piece for violin and orchestra as well as a string quartet for players in the UK, my output has included orchestral, chamber and choral pieces alongside electronic works. 

Discuss your piece 

three pieces, pieces developed out of kimika, are a larger work commissioned for a local banda and inspired by the crafting of fireworks. The recording of the original banda performance is the basis of the accompanying electronic track. 

Your recording experience 

Professional and friendly! They wholeheartedly welcomed my idea of adding an accompanying electronic score and made sure we could realise it in the best way possible. 

Euchar Gravina Composer part of the Contemporary Colours production of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Mariella Cassar

Who is Mariella Cassar? 

I am a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, which vary from solo, chamber to full-orchestral works, performed locally, in other EU countries and the US.  

Discuss your piece 

Originally written for string quartet, the work has been re-orchestrated for a string orchestra, as part of a larger conceptual unit, whilst retaining the original quiet and profound style and character of the piece. 

Your recording experience 

I have been honored to be part of this recording, which promotes New Music in Malta. This experience gave me the possibility to work closely with musicians and an international recording company, all showing high respect and commitment towards all composers and their works. 

Alex Vella Gregory

Who is Alexander Vella Gregory? 

I am fascinated by stories – how we transmit values and ideas through narration. I am also a firm believer in communities – they will save us, not money or technology. 

Discuss your piece 

Riħ (Wind) is taken from Sinfonija Beltija / A Valletta Symphony (2016), which marks the culmination of years of research into Valletta, its communities, and their narratives, from festas to football, and from history to contemporary attitudes.  

Your recording experience 

Both PARMA and the MPO were very professional in their approach. I appreciate the fact that they involved the  composers every step of the way, all the way to the mastering of the tracks. 

Christopher Muscat

Who is Christopher Muscat? 

Communicating with the performers and with the audience through music is my primary target as a composer.  

Discuss your piece

Mesogeios is an important milestone in my oeuvre not only because it is a reflection of my true style as a composer but also as it offered me the opportunity to integrate Maltese folk instruments with an orchestra. 

Your recording experience  

I only have words of praise for both MPO and PARMA for their professional approach. 

Veronique Vella

Who is Veronique Vella? 

My works have been performed in the USA, Japan, China, Malaysia, Canada and throughout Europe by established groups and solo artists such as the Edinburgh Quartet, the MPO and the Agnew McAllister Duo. 

Discuss your piece 

Fine Line was premiered by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera as part of the Glasgow West End Festival. The title refers to the main theme which is initially played by the vibraphone and runs through most of the work. 

Your recording experience 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the MPO on several occasions but this was my first experience with PARMA. I enjoyed the collaboration very much as everyone was extremely focused and committed to producing a good product. 

Albert Garcia

Who is Albert Garzia? 
Like many other composers, I don’t write as my full-time career. This offers me the opportunity to write for the projects that give me most satisfaction in return. 

Discuss your piece

Scent was written for Moveo Dance Company’s Perfume. It was our first go at envisaging the atmospheres we would adopt for the work as a whole. 

Your recording experience 

Wonderful; it is always great to work with artists who are helpful, practical and know what they are after.