Modern Music Days (MMD) has recently announced six dates for its Regional Concert Series as part of the culture programme of Valletta 2018. Taking place between April and November, the six concerts will be held at the Ta’ Bistra Catacombs in Mosta, the Victor Passmore Gallery in Valletta, Mnajdra Temples in Qrendi, Castello Lanzun in San Ġwann, the Żejtun Parish Crypt, and the Citadel Cultural Centre in Gozo.
“The strategy is to take contemporary music to places where it is not being heard,” says Mr Ruben Zahra, the artistic director of MMD. “Another important strand is to present these concerts in unique, lesser-known heritage or cultural sites within the six districts of the Maltese Islands, including Valletta.”
Zejtun crypt. Photo credit: Pierre Axiaq
The first concert, ‘Kantilena Procession’, which will take place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 April, will feature a site-specific electronic music work by Dutch composer Luc Houtkamp at Ta’ Bistra Catacombs in collaboration with Heritage Malta. Then, on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 May, the second concert, ‘Transition’, will blend video-art, electronic music, motion-capture technology and extended piano technique presented by Maltese pianist Tricia Dawn Williams at the Victor Pasmore Gallery. ‘Transition’ is organised in collaboration with Central Bank of Malta, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti and The Victor Pasmore Gallery.
The third concert, ‘Ritual’, celebrates the summer solstice at the Mnajdra Neolithic temples with a music performance by Scottish trombonist John Kenny. He will be tracing the evolution of the instrument by commencing the concert on a seashell, moving on to the Celtic war horn known as the ‘carnyx’, and ending with the modern trombone. ‘Ritual’ is organised in collaboration with Heritage Malta and will be held twice: on Saturday 23 June at sunset and Sunday 24 June at sunrise.
Although each event within the MMD Regional Concert Series is limited to a small audience – mostly due to the intimate setting of the historical venues – ticket prices have been kept as low as possible to ensure that anyone who wishes to join can do so. “Reaching out to different communities is an important part of Valletta 2018, as well as any European Capital of Culture,” Mr Zahra continues. “MMD is committed to presenting artistic excellence to all audiences.”
MMD is organised by Teatru Manoel, the Malta Association for Contemporary Music and the Valletta 2018 Foundation as part of the culture programme of Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture.