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KURA – Fusing the Traditional with the Contemporary

“Ċertu drabi din id-dinja tikkastiga s-sabiħ, u m’hemmx Kura jew mistura l-isfortuna li ttiegħ” - Lyrics that evoke the distress and desolation one feels as they realise that they have been betrayed by those they love most. This verse is taken from the song Kura, a single on SKALD’s first official album bearing the same name.

If you haven’t heard of SKALD or heard any of their music before, then you’re certainly missing out. Initially formed for a one-time event to commemorate the National poet Dun Karm Psaila at San Anton gardens, the group transformed three poems into original songs, with one performed using a traditional folk technique called ‘Għana’. Given that they were a newly formed group, they needed a name, who’s origin is quite interesting and unique. “Where we first started rehearsing there was a lot of wood stored and we came up with SKALD the plural of skalda (splinter), then we did some research and found out that in Scandinavian Skald means a poet that writes/sings about the heroes of war”, recalls Bertu Aquilina, SKALD’s percussionist. From that day on, the group continued in their musical journey, with the help of Festivals Malta by writing and performing songs in Maltese.

Through three years of hard work, the group worked with Festivals Malta with the aim of regenerating Maltese folk music, fusing the traditional with the contemporary through a blend of acoustic and electric instruments. This collaboration bore its fruit through the album KURA, which is the group’s first album to date.

An album inspired by everyday life, personal experiences and Maltese literature, SKALD takes us on a journey exploring various themes of loneliness, fantasy, romance, nature and politics as they are portrayed by the band’s contemporary sound. Bertu explains that all of KURA’s tracks are different from one another and each subject is up for one’s interpretation, making it more relatable. “Also, we have invested some extra love on the CD hard copy so one can get the full experience of what we are trying to say”, he concluded.

Are you hooked yet? If that isn’t enough, here’s a song from their new album to get a feel of their unique sound ...

SKALD will be performing songs from their album, live during the Hybrid Festival on the 26th of June at Pjazza Teatru Rjal. The evening will also feature Maestro Dominic Galea and Centrestage Choir, together with the equally unique sounds of L-Ilħna Mitlufa, a trio that re-introduces us to Maltese music from the early 30s. Tickets are out now, there will be no tickets sold at the door and seating is limited, so make sure to book to avoid disappointment.

For more information on the Hybrid Festival and how to book tickets click HERE.

Ritratti mini: Sebio Aquilina


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