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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Distant Melody

As you may have already read in my previous post, I'm in London this weekend. Managed to make it to Aldo and Mike's wedding bash in Soho last night and this afternoon I just finished attending the TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association) annual conference at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Christophe Alix and I gave a presentation about our research work on creative projects using found objects in digital media environments. We showed some of this work in Malta last month, to very mixed reviews.

Now we're getting ready for an Objects Found or Lost? gig at The Octagon at Queen Mary, University of London, as part of (re)Actor, the 1st International Conference on Digital Live Art, which is also part of Engage, the British HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) Group annual gathering. I think that's all I'll say about all this on my blog for now, unless there's something really extraordinary to share with my readers in the coming days.

Speaking of extraordinary things, the Gozo-based German writer Sabine Cassar-Alpert is guest blogging on Wired Temples this weekend. I like it when there are guest blogger on WT simply because they bring a different perspective to looking at Malta on the Web, which Robert Micallef has otherwise been doing daily for amost two years now. I think this is an ideal way for him to take a break or attend to other matters for a few days without the need to feel tied up to the blog. In his case, oddly enough, it's a case of finding some time to dedicate to his personal blog, which he recently revivied.

From my many years in professional broadcasting I learned to plan ahead on programmes that would coincide with a busy period of other work, especially a work-related trip elsewhere. This means that before I left Scarborough for London I recorded the 34th edition of my weekly podcast. As a loose theme for this week's show I thought I'd revisit some of the acts I mentioned in previous months but never quite managed to get back to. I think I'll do this sort of housekeeping show ever couple of months from now on.

Back in February, when the Mużika Mod Ieħor series was still on episode 11, I played a track from Hidden Sun who split up after their final gig at The Alley in October 2005. Hidden Sun band members had promised that they would move on to new projects with their music. And so, Jon and Jay from Hidden Sun have now resurfaced as Mathematikal. From their new material you can hear a song called Revolve at the top of this week's podcast.

Mathematikal's brand of electro-rock is the sort that makes good bedfellows with both rockier sounds as well as full-blown electronica. So next you can hear the experimental electronic sounds of Grosz Ear, which I discovered recently on MySpace. Well, actually, Grosz Ear discovered me and I know very little else except what's on the MySpace page for this act. The track I chose for my podcast is called Boney N. I'd love to know more about Grosz Ear. If you are Grosz Ear or know something about Grosz Ear that I don't know please get in touch with me.

Keeping it electronic I can't but turn my attention one more time towards the Pinkpube catalog. After playing the music of Hagen and Brian James, this week I spin a track by Melchior Sultana entitled Sweet Souls. I really admire Maltese musicians who keep their original name. There was a time when that was very unfashionable. I'm sad to say I even fell victim to that trend myself as a teenager...but perhaps that's another story for another day.

Playing all this instrumental music has made me want to play yet another such tune. I've been planning to play another track from The I-Skandal's Skaccomatto EP for a couple of weeks, and since Phyzics Song is actually an instrumental it fit the bill perfectly. Incidentally, I still don't understand why there's no MySpace page for The I-Skandal. Could they really be that crass? I seriously doubt it.

To make up for such gaps, Tony Grimaud has created a second MySpace page. Come on Tony, what's the story, mate? He has now even included 3 old recordings on his original page. So, for the benefit of all the young dudes who still don't know about the legend called Grimaud, and for the old hipsters who can't believe how much things have changed since the 1980s (have they really?) I end this week's podcast with the powerful ballad Free Me from This Hell...and it feels like Tigne in 1984 all over again.

The RSS feed for the Mużika Mod Ieħor 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.

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