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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Play On

This afternoon, a couple of hours before Malta's collective consciousness was gripped by the Song for Europe contest, I sat down to produce the 10th podcast in the Mużika Mod Ieħor series. Not knowing (or caring) who the winner is provided to be a liberating experience. So I focused on a handful of songs for their musical merit more than anything else.

The first of these songs has music by Vinnie Vella Jr to lyrics from Ray Tabone. Sung by Nadine Axisa, Waves stands out as the most sophisticated song at this year's contest. I really like the jazz guitar on this song. This morning Maltagirl commented about this song on her blog, saying that it reminds her of Norah Jones and Katie Melua. That's the best compliment anyone can pay to this Maltese song.

Another beautiful song comes from composer Paul Giordimaina, who many people recognize as one of Malta's most versatile jazz musicians. Tell Me is the first of three songs he has in the running at this year's festival. All his songs have lyrics by Fleur Balzan. This one is sung by Eleonor Cassar, and it's the best I've ever heard her perform.

The next song is one from Eurovision veteran Paul Abela and Joe Julian Farrugia called This Heart Of Mine. Aside from the wonderful blend of voices from the singing trio Trilogy, this song has a magical feel to it because it contains a couple of verses in Maltese. I like this devise very much and I think it makes the song very special. It's the sort of song I believe can make enough of an international impact to bring Malta its first ever Eurovision win.

During last week's podcast I played a track from Miriam Christine's CD album Little Zee and mentioned that she has written a new song for this year's contest. This Brazilian-born singer represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest 10 years ago with a song by Paul Abela. Now she emerges as a songwriter and gives us a solid pop tune called I Promise You, sung by Manuel who has a very pleasant singing voice.

The most outstanding song out of this year's bunch is another Giordimaina/Balzan song. Come what may, Reachin' Out will undoubtedly be a song I'll always remember from the 2006 Song for Europe contest. This is Pamela's second appearance after last year's angelic debut with Play On from the Giordimaina/Balzan song book. This young Gozitan singer is my new favourite Maltese singer.

As I write this, we still don't know which song will represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in Greece this May. So I'll stop here for today knowing full well that I'll blog about all that tomorrow, just like yesterday.

The RSS feed for the podcast is available here or you can simply click here to subscribe directly with iTunes. You can also add the latest episodes to your My Yahoo! page.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't beleive Fabrizio won the malta song for europe in my opinion his song was'nt one of the favorites. It is not a eurovision song. The Maltese did a bad job, but Good luck to Fabrizio. (nisperaw ma nigux l-ahhar). Kevin Brog should have been the winner or Olivia 

2:21 AM, February 05, 2006
Anonymous Jaxx said...

Nadine's song was by far the best song at this year's festival out-performing the others in music, style, performance and voice. An outstanding and unordinary style adopted by maltese artists. Vey well done.

I would like to disgustedly comment about the incredbile lack of professionalism when it came to the hiccups in sound the festival experienced. What a mess! But hey that's the Maltese way. We organize something properly and even more properly we fuck it up just as perfectly.

Ok so some performers had mic probelms .. that doesn't giv you the right to Re-perform !!! If it's the case ... Postpone it ... or Re-start but not give the chance to "prominent" performers to take their chance again ... This festival does not focus on talent, as everything else in Malta it focuses about money, deals, behind the scenes agreements and obviously what we now refer to very heartidly ... il-hbieb tal-hbieb.

Well Dear Fabrizio, congratulate your team of "supporters", as they have done a very good job to give you another undoubtedly failed chance at even being of competition at the eurvision, you have nothing to be congratulated for ... disgusintg song, performance, lyrics and a HUGE lack of talent oh head-bobbing one.
Very well done keep it up ... HAHAHA !!! 

2:31 AM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Guze' Stagno said...

Heh heh... after yesterday's televoting, I won't be surprised if Gonzi gets elected for another term.

All together now: I do, I do, I dooooo-oooh. 

10:05 AM, February 05, 2006
Anonymous Zaren72 said...

What a total mess last night at the Mediterranean conferee centre song for Europe who was contracted for SOUND?
In all my years of watching the Malta song for Europe I have never heard such distortion in a person or persons voice it was as they where (mumbling) not singing if I can use this word.
The First 10 songs I personally couldn’t understand any of the words any singer or singers was singing.
The sound had even worsened with problems when Ali & Lis song was up. Ali had no sound for 6 or 7 seconds how terrible she was even banging on her microphone in despair & even Fabrizio Faniello had microphone problems for the same duration of time. When I heard that Lis & Ali & also Fabrizio where going to have a second go with there songs because of Microphone problems I was very happy but what about the other 8 songs didn’t they not also have problems with there sound every one who watched last night knows this is fact!
It would have taken a much longer night to recall & re sing the 8 first songs again but fair is fair.
If any song or songs in this case the first 10 where not heard properly as the producer & conductor indented it to be heard meaning that bad sound coming from the apparatus used, (microphones mixers amplifiers speakers) the audience & public at home watching TV could have been miss lead miss heard in this case making them think & deicide the singer Or Singers or group have a bad voice or voices.
Shall we not forget this was a contest Vote by tella Voting for the audience at home to hear & judge for the Maltese islands for the winner of the best Malta song for Europe!
I am asking why did the contest continue when they new there was a problem especially in sound! Why didn’t the contest not pause for technical reasons when they new there was a problem?
After the 11th song the sound was apparently fixed every one heard the difference the words where more clear & the distortion had gone but the public heard 10 songs that where not the way they where indented to be heard. This caused confusion in my vote did other’s think the same as me me?
I guess these are questions for the president of the Malta Song to answer now.



10:37 AM, February 05, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im surprised to read that some people think Fabrizios song is not a "Eurovision" song. In my mind it is a classical ESC song Scandinavian style.
And even if i feel bad for Oliwia who failed again, its nice to hear that Malta decided to send a up tempo tune for Athens.
And with some good promotion now in countries where Fabrizio have had success already, Denmark, Sweden, Romania to pick a few, im sure this entry wont dissapoint us Malta fans in the finals in May. 

10:48 AM, February 05, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pamela, J.Anvil and Nadine should have been the winners, they are the ones with the REAL talent...
J.anvil was the 1st song so probably not everyone heard it on the same grounds as Fabi's and Ali and Lis, he too should have been allowed to reperform.

A suggestion to Maltasong:

They should have done the show of Claudette and Lou, first, so that people have the chance to settle at home and listen to all competing songs in this way they can test the sound system on non-competing performances.

I agree that the contest should have been paused for technical reasons. though Lis, handled situation quite well and carried on singing her sisters part.

Oh well..all in all many people are disappointed with the results.

I am surprised OLIVIA came 2nd, but I guess it's just a Déjà vu for her,I am surprised because there were better songs than hers. 

11:54 AM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Guze' Stagno said...

Look, if anything, I think it should have been up to the artists themselves (Ali & Lis and Fabriziio) to stop their own performance when they became aware of the technical glitches. Carrying on regardless was utterly asinine...

This reminds me of Celentano's Chi Non Lavora San Remo entry - he made a mistake halfway through the song (some say it was intentional) and asked the maestro to start again. He went on to win that edition... 

12:42 PM, February 05, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that this year 100%, shows that people vote for sympaty. Particularly I am refering to the first and second place. I think that there were better songs that those of Fab and Olivia, but since they are the most popular they got the majority of votes. However i felt very sorry for Olivia, since this is the third time that she placed in the second place. May be if she had Deja Vu this, she would have won the festival with flying colours. I think that this year the winners should have been Pamela, or Trilogy.

I am sorry to tell but Nadine's and Andreana songs.. i do not know how they arrived with the last 18.
I was going to fall asleep, when i heared them.

Finally well done to Analise, she continued with the performance. I despite all the trouble with the sound. But I think that all the first 8 songs should have been repated, because the sound was not good in all the first 8. It is not to give chance only to Fab, and Ali U lis. 

12:43 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Kenneth said...


Everyone arrive at your own conclusion.

I thought we were "wasting" taxes on immigrants... Yesterday's festival was an excellent reminder on how public funds allocated to "culture" are spent. I'm sure the tax-payers feel better.

And, Where's Everybody? Taking over the Song for Europe, obviously. 

2:05 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Guze' Stagno said...

Nadine's song was fine - the melody is nicked from Smoke Gets In Your Eyes though, isn't it, Dr Sant? 

2:17 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Toni Sant said...

Guz, I'm surprised you haven't blogged about all this on your own blog. Mind you, I'm glad you're using my blog to air your comments. Keep them coming. 

2:38 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger nurse pica said...

this is my take on yesterday's i can't believe everyone saw it the way i did...i though i was gonna b attacked due to my negativity. 

2:48 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Guze' Stagno said...

I couldn't be arsed, Ton. Watching the festival post-mortem on Super One right now. As usual, no one seems to be accountable for the technical problems that dogged the festival last night. If anything, the organisers are talking about it like it was a huge success.

Oh, and is it just me or is the Chairman a dead ringer for Stephen Ciantar?


2:51 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Athena said...

If I may step in with a non-festival related question... Ton how do I save your podcasts in my iTunes?:)

Oh sod it. LOL @ Guze's comment re Gonzi.


3:39 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Toni Sant said...

Athena, as long as iTunes is already installed on your computer, you can save (or subscribe - that's the term used on iTunes) to my podcast by simply clicking on the iTunes link at the end of each of my blog entries about my podcasts. Other podcasts have similar links on their main web page.

You will need to make sure that each episode is downloaded to your iTunes before you can actually hear it. That either happens automatically after you subscribe or by clicking the GET button next to the podcast you want in iTunes...depending on your settings.

If you still can't get it after following what I've written here check your podcasts options in the iTunes preferences or consult the help pages in iTunes.

Feel free to contact me privately if you want too. 

4:05 PM, February 05, 2006
Blogger Athena said...

Yay I'm now subscribed:) Thanks. 

4:21 PM, February 05, 2006
Anonymous awrata said...

I fully agree with Jaxx! Nadine had the best song by far... not your usual Eurovision fare alright, but hey... we did send a humpbacked whale to Ukraine last year and almost made it. Which brings me to my next point...

Fabrizio's song has nothing special in it. It's the kind of song that any European producer can come up with while singing in the shower and make it ten times as good as I Do. When are we going to learn that we need to come up with something shocking to have a chance at winning. Which brings me to my earlier point... Oh Nadine!!! Nadine NADINE!!!! 

10:09 AM, February 06, 2006
Anonymous awrata said...

One other thing.

The sound problems that constantly plague every edition of the Malta Song for Europe seem to be getting worse.

I hear that this was the first (or second) edition that the contracts for sound and light were signed following a call for tenders.

Ah... the good old days of direct orders for Lm60,000.... 

10:22 AM, February 06, 2006
Anonymous PIZE said...

Bhal dejjem, Where'e Everybody? huma l-protagonisti f' kollox. X'kellu x'jaqsam l-infanzja ta' Lou Bondi' mal-festival?? Wara li maqdar kemm felah tul dawn is-snin, tajnih il-pregju li jhabbar ir-rizultati b'mod tant 'unprofessional'!!!
Prosit lil Eileen u Josef u kien haqqhom huma li jhabbru r-rizultati.
L-aqwa song ghalija kienet ta' Christian Arding - Prosit Christian! Prosit lil Fabrizio, bejn nixtieq li xi darba nirbhu l-eurovision song contest u bejn tassew nibza, li jigri bhal ma gara nhar is-sibt bis-sound!!! Tal-biki ha nghidlek!!! Hsibthom marruli l-ispeakers tat-television tieghi f'hin minnhom!! Ghad baqa' hafna xi jsir! Din is-sena kienet fqira l-bicca, kemm bhala audio u kemm bhala hin allokat ghat televoting! 

1:46 PM, February 06, 2006
Blogger Chalee said...

Every person with a modicum of musical nous accepts the fact that the annual Song for Europe is a celebration of gloss over substance. There is among the musically minded a certain fatalism about the whole affair; we dream of the day when contestants send populism to the blazes, and regale us with a cornucopia of clever song structures, biting lyrics and, why not, minblowing harmonica solos played over enio morricono inflected jazz vamps, but we know it won't happen. The earth rotates, eurovision stinks.

Still, I find it incredibly hard to accept that Fabrizio Faniello's inane 'I Do' could be voted 'best song' by the Maltese public, or any other conglomeration of sentient beings for that matter. It is not that I am a geek who finds solace only in 60's space jazz (I can groove to 'Rasputin' with the best), it's just that Faniello's number, even by the standards of bubble-gum pop, does not pass muster. Quite how the popster managed to manufacture a song that grows tiresome in the space of one hundred and eighty seconds is beyond me. I understand Ellingtonian harmonic sophistication and fusion-style virtuosity is not necessary in order to craft a pop-tune, but, for god's sake, even the most fecal of pop jingles needs an effective hook somewhere!

Of course the rest of the fare on show was not extraordinarily engaging either. Yet again the contest was replete with disco ditties and faceless ballads that excited the musical imagination as much as boiled water excites the taste buds. It is depressing to know that for the greater part of the population this dross represents the pinnacle of musical achievement.

Perhaps the Maltese listenership does not deserve any better than Fabrizio's inane ditty. The people were, after all, ruthless in their castigation of any song that made the slightest attempt at being any good. Pamela's outstanding, Enya inflected number was ignored, while Nadine Axisa's Waves was left to linger in the darkness of the lower reaches of the standings (proof if any was ever needed, that the Maltese public does not just scorn harmonic and melodic sophistication of any sort, but that it actually despises it). The shame. 

2:26 PM, February 06, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorites were TRILOGY with their song "Heart of Mine" and CHRISTIAN ARDING with his song "Stronger". These deserved to be the winners. I feel very sorry for Olivia. She placed 2nd for the 3rd time. Incredible. I didn`t like Nadine`s song at all. I don`t like her style of songs anyway. Well.............nothing more except to say : Good Luck Fabrizio. Hope u do well after all. 

3:39 PM, February 06, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well from my point of view this festival was horrible !and very dissapointed too !the thing is that (fil-verita)no body knows who won the festival !lot of people didn t had the chance to vote !i beileive if it was 30min fab 4 sure didnt win! 

4:46 PM, February 06, 2006
Blogger malta said...

jien ma ghandix fiducja ghax dejjem bxi kummiedja.Is-sena l-ohra taparsi inqata d-dawl u din is-sena skuza tal-microphones.kieku veru kien hemm il-hsara messhom kantaw dak il-hin stess u mhux fl-ahhar biex zgur ihallu aktar impatt fuq niflahx nara kantanti jhallu min jinqeghda bihom izjed.x"ried jghid biha prezentatur tan-net "ejja ha nuruhom"waqt il-kummidji li beda jaghmel. 

4:47 PM, February 06, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just one thing everyone knows that fabrizio has a majority of young fans any 13 year old has mobile and i think many of them voted for him for the looks not for the song thats why the televoting is not good 

10:50 PM, February 06, 2006
Anonymous Andre` said...

Emnuni hbieb,jiena idizgustat!ahna lejn il lehen u l kanzunetta harisna jew lejn xihadd li forsi ghandu figura sabieha?kif jista xihadd ihallat lehen fabrizio ma ta olivia jew eleonor??trijd tkun vera ma tifhimx!minjaf kieku jinghaddu il voti li ma dahlux kienx jirbah hu?ma nafx fejn jonqosna nmorru!..u minjafa ala waqaflu il mike..forsi beix ikollu cans ikanta darbtejn..hemm rieha tinten..u il huta min rasa tinten jghidu! 

11:01 AM, February 08, 2006
Anonymous Zaren72 said...

Id likes to comment about the telavoting, I would suggest that next year 2007 Malta’s song for Europe that’s if Fabrizio gets us that far without getting in the elimination group that the telavoting become again for 30min & only for fixed telephone lines. My reason is according to the mobile phone agreement in Malta & the EU mobile phones are only to be used by adults over the age of 16 this is according EU laws. Children under the age of 16 should not have a mobile phone, but in Malta we have an enormous number of children who have a mobile phone under the age of 16 that have permission from there parents to use this mobile phone as they wish.

There is a Malta song for Europe for the younger age so no need to say 16 & under can’t vote but I might come to the conclusion that under aged kids might have interfered with adult voting. Which brings me to this question does telavoting in the Malta song for Europe have an age limit?
If there is was this monitored?
If there isn’t shouldn’t this be considered?
How to solve the mobile phones telavoting is simple telavoting become only available to landline numbers only like the old days.
I am not putting any blame on mobile phone operators but if children did influence in the tellavoting this would be something to really think about solving? 

10:41 AM, February 09, 2006
Blogger Coemgen said... 

12:35 PM, February 09, 2006
Anonymous Jo said...

Whether Malta will win this year’s Eurovision song festival is debateable, but certainly most, if not all, Maltese interested in this event hope so. First of all my most vivid congratulations go to Fabrizio on his victory on Saturday night. Although Fabrizio Faniello’s voice, (although a very talented artist) cannot be compared to Chiara’s (who in last night’s performance still gave me the shivers as she sang ‘Angel’ once again so beautifully) and although it was not my personal favourite of the evening, I think that ‘I Do’ is definitely extremely catchy, contagious and addictive – a great song! With Fabrizio’s past experience in the Eurovision song contest, his increasing popularity in European countries and his vibrant personality, he may have what is necessary to make an enduring impact on Europe next May and hopefully bring the Eurovision song festival to Malta in 2007. What we need is a song that will make the Eurovision viewers wake up singing the next morning - and ‘I Do’ might just have the qualities to do so. I wish the very best of luck to Fabrizio for the promotion of the song in the coming months. 

3:12 PM, February 10, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on! fabrizio is an amazing singer with incredible good looks! he'll surely make a good name for malta! at least a better name than olivia lewis & eleanor cassar! he's got a full package! 

10:33 AM, February 12, 2006
Anonymous CICCA said...

fL-opinjoni tieghi l- ahjar song rebhet. Andna biex niftahru b Fab li amel tant sucessi barra minn Malta. Il fatt li hu popolari barra minn xtutna jaf jghinu hafna f mejju li gej. u barra minn ek andu vuci ecezzjonali u haqqu li jerga jilta jirraprezentant ! Lil minn ridtu jirbah mela aaaa lil nadine jew - lol qisa sejra bit tebut, lil olivia li issa ax giet 3 wara xulxin 2 nn place amlita fatta li trit tirbah hi bilfors! kocc kummiedji kien em fil festival ta din is sena . Kostumi extrvaganti - lol jider li wasal il karnival ax pamela tider thobbu mux hazin . Uxi najdu al natasha u al charlene - dak it tqanzih u tkerrih kollu biex jaqalaw kelma. u Janvil ax amel success b dik id diska lol rega amel orha on the same lines u le le !! nixtieq najd proset lil kevin u lil Manuel ax ogbuni id diski tahom ukoll . Uanke ta ali and lis nice ukoll kienet. Imma xorta nemmen li first place mar ant min kellu imur!
Pls poplu malti nehhu din l- ghira u l mibieghda li andkom xi dwejjaq ta nies - ma tahmlu taraw lil hadd jamel sucess ax tqumu kontih madooff x nies dawn - flok ma tifirhu bil potenzjal ta haddiehor taraw kif tamlu biex tarrquh! u dan il paroli kollu li qedin tajdu li fab rebah bil fottamenti hu kollu bull shit u paroli vojt . Ja qatta ghajjurin. Fab rebah ax hu kien haqqu - kantant simpatiku mux imkabbar b looks tal genn u diski ecezzjonali li jhabbtuha ma kantanti barranin. Imsomma GOOD LUCK KBIRA FAB!!!!!! You r da no 1 . Im positevley sure li se tohrogna ta nies !!!!!!11 

2:53 PM, February 12, 2006
Blogger Peklectrick said...

Chill with the SFE fest...

It's the first time I watched it in around 10 years. I agree with Toni though. That Pamela song was the best one. But she shouldn't have worn like a sodding xmas tree should she? The rest I couldn't be arsed with. They sounded all the same and Nadine's song wasn't really ESC material was it? Either way the 30 (+1) comments says alot about Malta's obsession with it. Forsi ghax imcahda... 

8:30 AM, February 16, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

?????cant say I had any particular favorite this year, the level for the Malta song for Europe seems to be going down every year!!Fabrizios song is catchy true but nothing up to Festival Standards, well I suppose we have to see,theres a lot of luck and politics involved after all too!!! 

9:00 PM, February 23, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't watch the festival since I live in the UK, but I heard that fabrizio won, chuckled insanely, and downloaded the song out of curiosity about 10 minutes ago. I instantly wondered what everyone else thought... and here I am.

This ranks as one of the worst songs ever, which is very sad as there are LOADS of extremely talented singers and musicians in Malta! Only problem is that good music rarely represents us at the Eurovision. Chiara, Crave - YES! But when we send up Fabrizio and Times3, I'm sorry, but how can we expect to be respected for our musical abilities by other countries?

Bands like Winter Moods and Scream Daisy, which really do show local talent, would probably never consider going up. Has no one ever asked why? The whole thing is a joke!

I know I didn't watch the festival, but I find it VERY hard to believe that Fabrizio's was the best song. If it was, God help us! And if it wasn't, take mobiles away from kids, they're too young for them anyway.

Oh...and as a little final note. Am I the only one who thinks fabrizio is nowhere close to sexy and has an average voice? Not that you need to croon like George Michael to sing this trash. 

7:11 PM, March 03, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree that olivia is the best in my opinion although pamela was one of the worst do you know you are living in a world the others were ok olivia should have won not fabby avolja gabna l-ahhar 

2:05 PM, February 06, 2007

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