F’Kull Belt Hemm Kantuniera


The Composer


See also: Event Write-Up - The Performers - L-Awturi



Karl Fiorini (b.1979) graduated from the University of Malta, majoring in Music composition. Both Prof. Charles Camilleri and Prof. Joseph Vella describe him as one of the new upcoming generation of composers. Two of Karl’s works (Zmurke for Clarinet in Bb and Piano and Ode to Calliope for Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Violin, Cello and Piano) were premiered at the Aberysthwyth Arts Festival, Wales.


The composition that Karl will be presenting during F'Kull Belt Hemm Kantuniera is called “Is-Solitudni fil-Belt”. In an interview with Adrian Grima that appeared in the Sunday Circle magazine (March 2003), he describes it as "a work scored for Narrator, Mezzo Soprano, Violin/Viola, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet and Piano. It is a one movement work which is subdivided into 9 segments.


The piece is set in an arch form. The flanking segments share a similar nuance which gives a solid and steady structure. The first mirrors the last; the second mirrors the eight, and so on. Psychologically, this enables the listener to recall material which was previously heard, thus engaging his/her interest throughout the whole performance. This concept comes from ancient music where rhythmic patterns were used as a means of communication. I used an abstract of this idea to generate my material as I thoroughly believe that music communicates structure. If the latter is well balanced a point of interaction is achieved between music and the listener."


1. How was the theme, "Loneliness in the City", chosen?


The authors and I met to discuss a theme which had to be musically tangible and which is linked to Inizjamed’s “Bliet (u Miti)” project.


2. What are the main musical influences on "Is-Solitudni fil-Belt"?


The main issues which influenced my creative process, for my work, were the poems and discussions/interactions between the authors and me.


3. While you were composing this work, did your choice of musicians and venue affect what you were creating/composing?


Definitely. What I kept in mind first and foremost was the choice of venue, the St. James Cavalier Theatre. This is because the work was theatrically conceived. From the financial point of view I had a budget which could not be exceeded so writing for a larger ensemble was out of the question.


4. How important is it for you as a young composer to keep abreast with what is being created elsewhere? How "contemporary" is your music?


It is very important to know what is happening elsewhere because my belief is that art must reflect the society of its time. A true artist always captures the Spirit of his/her age.


As regards to how contemporary my music is, I think, it is for the listener to judge that. I compose what I feel is right and what comes from within. Trying to go against this principle would lead to a hotchpotch of notes. Every composer has their personal way of expressing the self in music. The contemporary issue for me is more just a way of how the composer employs his/her musical language.


5. What do you think about the local contemporary music scene?


Unfortunately there is no initiative when it comes to young and upcoming composers.


People give the impression that today’s composers are not valid or that they have to be well established for their works to be performed. Also, there are very few good performers who take interest in, or play contemporary music. Another major problem is that apart from established local composers, our National orchestra has never played contemporary works.


6. Unlike many other local musicians and composers, you have a special interest in the music of the Mediterranean. Why is that?


In a world which is developing into 5 large blocks I feel that roots are very important for the development of our culture. As an artist I envision that today we must think globally but act locally. As I come from the Mediterranean I have this background which will always influences my personality, both emotionally and intellectually. Unfortunately local musicians/composers tend to forget that they are part of this Mediterranean culture as they look down on indigenous music. Others have many misconceptions about such music.


7. I know that you love literature? What role does it have in your life in general and in your music in particular?


I consider Literature a creative stimulation to my work. I am very selective in what I read. I prefer books that deal with contemporary themes. As I read I like to perceive the way a particular author tackles certain issues. Through reading I learnt how each individual author manages to create a world of their own, and, at the same time, to come up with something original. Inevitably this influences my way of looking at things. This is reflected in my music and whenever I go through it I always can tell which books I was reading at that point in time.



See also Karl Fiorini's comments on the performances in Malta by The Sakli Trio on the Babelmed website: "The Sakli Trio from Tunisia and Music in Malta"

Adrian Grima

March 2003




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