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Sunday, July 17, 2005

All Those Years Ago

I don't consider myself a very nostalgic person. Like Bertolt Brecht, I prefer to tackle the bad new days than long for the good old days. This is a quality I admired in John Peel, whom I miss terribly. It is also the spirit I find most attractive in avant-garde art that follows the legacy of Futurism.

Mikiel Galea is a name I remember with great fondness from my teenage years. Known as l-iStordut (the dazed) he was never someone I socialized with. This was mostly because he is a few years older than I am, but also because he was part of a different crowd than the one I hung out with in the early 1980s. Last week he started blogging about his gang in the early 1980s, which he has dubbed Ic-Cirku Bertu Funtana. He does this in a very eloquent way, devoid of indulgent nostalgia but appreciative of a different time for what it was.

The Imperial Cafè in Valletta's Merchants Street and City Gate feature predominantly in Mikiel's stories. This is not the only place where our paths overlapped, nor was it the most memorable one. He has already mentioned Tigné, where I spent countless hours playing in bands (with names like Structure and Artwork) as well as making theatre at Ateatru with Immanuel Mifsud among others. There are other things I believe he'll write about that I cannot but see as alternative narratives of my teenage kicks in Malta. I haven't written mine yet, but I've been thinking about working on a Toni Sant biography for some time now.

I'm really looking forward to the next episode from Ic-Cirku Bertu Funtana by l-iStordut. I hope he eventually follows Archibald and Antoine Cassar in the audioblogging universe; it seems like he has some real gems on cassettes that are begging to see the light of day again in digital format.

Blogger l-istordut kroniku said...

Hi Toni, I had no idea you would remember a transparent character like myself, prefering mostly the comfort of staying in the backround. Of course I do remember you as a personality and appreciated greatly your contributions to the youth scene in those days and in the years that followed. I loved your radio shows and I vividly remember your brief conversations with Alfie Fabri in Republic Street and that’s probably the closest we got to socializing if a ‘hi’ and a ‘bye’ is a qualifier for that.

About the audioblogging you mentioned, I simply don’t have a lot of time in my hands to experiment with that at the moment. Maybe some other day. Anyway, I don’t think the tapes I mentioned are so much as ‘gems’ but they may serve to inspire or to bring some other gang’s musical and artistic events to light, no matter how humble or mediocre they may be. They do have, I believe, a socio-political and cultural value.

I do look forward to reading your alternative narratives if one day you decide to publish them. We gravely lack literature that records youth scenes in Malta. Good luck and thanks for the mention. 

12:22 PM, July 18, 2005
Anonymous fre said...

waiting patientely for such material!!! 

6:31 PM, July 19, 2005
Blogger Toni Sant said...

This whole thing is snowballing into an unexpected potential mini-project for me this summer!

Mikiel, I can't really explain how grateful I am that you have taken the initiative to start writing down your own memories of our years as teenagers and youths in Malta. Perhaps my willingness to engage with this subject beyond the usual routine gives you an idea as to how excited I am about this can of worms that you've opened. I am also quite pleased that since I first blogged about your writing you've already published another two episodes of your Cirku Bertu Funtana story. That's already six parts, besides all the images you've reproduced.

I'm tempted to propose that this material is also published in Tabellina. I honestly wouldn't mind translating your writing into English (since Tabellina is truly bi-lingual) because the whole exercise would help me get my act together in terms of doing something about my own narrative.

I understand that you may be too busy to really consider audioblogging; in fact, I have not been able to audioblog much myself. I'm just too busy doing other things. However, audioblogging is on my "to do" list...and I have made a note to somehow include some of the material you have, or I think you have. Do you have a recording of the first rock mass? 

10:52 AM, July 20, 2005
Blogger l-istordut kroniku said...

Sorry Tony I don't. I think Mark Vella (Stratkast) had a copy or the original. I think I have his number somewhere or his email. If you don't have any of them I'll put it through the email for you.

About publishing the the CBF story on Tabellina....just feel free to do it whenever you like. 

6:55 PM, July 21, 2005

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