RUBEN ZAHRA DIRECTS BANDLI

 BANDLI, directed by composer Ruben Zahra, will return to St George’s Square in Valletta between Friday 30 June and Sunday 16 July. The artistic installation is a collaboration between the Malta International Arts Festival and the Modern Music Days concert series of Teatru Manoel, as part of the Valletta 2018 Cultural Programme in the run-up to the European Capital of Culture year.

For the second year in a row, BANDLI will be giving the public the opportunity to swing to contemporary music. Each swing is equipped with a motion sensor that triggers a musical instrument (or vocal line) upon movement. The basic concept of the installation is that the eight swings also act as an eight-piece ensemble, taking the music out of the theatre and onto the streets.

“Although a similar concept exists abroad, I thought it had great potential for Malta, particularly as it allows the public to engage with contemporary music in an entertaining fashion,” says Ruben, who is the artistic director of Modern Music Days.

“When BANDLI was launched last year, over 5,000 people swung to contemporary music over the 10-day calendar of the Malta International Arts Festival,” he adds.

Ruben is a composer committed to the interdisciplinary expression. Over the past two years, his KIRANA children’s opera was presented in 10 different countries by major opera houses and international festivals. Moreover, he was recently commissioned by the Malta EU Presidency to create an architectural projection project entitled Colours in Motion to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

Indeed, Ruben is always seeking new ways to promote contemporary music, and the last event within the framework of Modern Music Days was Rhythms of Vision at Teatru Manoel, which combined contemporary music with the video-art commissioned from seven local visual artists.

The artistic team behind BANDLI includes technical director Sergio Costa and Andrew Schembri, who is in charge of music interfacing. This year, the music for the swings has been created by composers Alex Vella Gregory, Albert Garzia and Mario Sammut. The challenge to create new music for BANDLI is that the composition needs to change and adjust to the number of people interacting with the swings.

“The ethos of this BANDLI is shared by the Malta International Arts Festival, as well as by the Valletta 2018 Foundation; artistic excellence accessible to large audiences.” concludes Ruben.

 

BANDLI is part of the Malta International Arts Festival organised by the Festivals Directorate of Arts Council Malta as well as part of the Valletta 2018 cultural programme. BANDLI will be open from Friday 30 June till Sunday 16 July, 10 am and 11 pm.

For more information about the Malta International Arts Festival, please visit www.maltaartsfestival.org