Current Affairs
Dun Karm’s poems blended with modern music for Għanafest

The celebration of Maltese folklore was at its peak in another edition of Ghanafest, which started at the Argotti Gardens in Floriana. Maltese folk music is considered as an echo of Malta’s historic past, with Arabic and European influence.

We met with the members of the Skald quintet, who have been friends from a very young age, and who teamed up in August last year to work on a music project which commemorates Malta’s National poet Dun Karm Psaila.

One if Skald’s members, Bertu Aquilina, said Festivals Malta had approached them once again to take part in Ghanafest, where they are transforming the writings of the National poet into Maltese contemporary music.

“Different areas of music, even Maltese music. The music styles and traditional folk music blend well with the Maltese language – you can mix and variate this music which is appreciated by those who may not be over-fond of the Maltese ghana, but still don’t mind listening to it.”

Besides the Skald quintet, others taking part in Ghanafest included the Nottingham-based band Kelly’s Heroes, with a repertoire ranging from Celtic melodies and songs to traditional Irish sounds. And this year’s edition also welcomed many folk singers who will interpret various styles of folk songs.

After the sessions at the Argotti Gardens, this year’s Ghanafest will continue with a programme in villages throughout this week, with three nights in Qrendi, Buskett and Birzebbugia.

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