15 Dec 2023 Simon
So Long Alex!
Some of you may already be familiar with my debut album, "Bassic Attitude," released in 2011. This project marked a significant collaboration with the talented multi-instrumentalist, Alexander Kuzmin, hailing from Ukraine. Following the album's release, Alex and I eagerly delved into crafting new material. We successfully finalised a track, which unfortunately never saw the light of day. The reason behind its shelving was the loss of contact with Alex in 2014, a consequence of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Regrettably, I couldn't reconnect with Alex, and it wasn't until recently, during a collaboration with another Ukrainian musician, that I inquired about Alex Kuzmin. To my dismay, I learned that he had tragically passed away in a car accident in 2015, alongside his wife. A shocking revelation, and in tribute to Alex's memory, I've decided to include the unreleased track in my upcoming album. The piece will feature some re-recorded segments, with Alex's signature keyboard playing preserved.
Fate has thus added another track to the album, which was initially slated to comprise 12 pieces. While I'm not particularly superstitious, the idea of a 13-track album did give me pause momentarily. However, a quick Google search reassured me, revealing numerous successful albums with 13 tracks. In honour of dear Alex, this track will now stand as a testament to our collaborative spirit.
I grew up surrounded by the melodies of classical music and opera. While I truly appreciate the incredible skill displayed by classical musicians, and I do have a few favourite composers, such as Sergei Prokofiev, classical music isn't my go-to genre. I find enjoyment in various musical styles beyond the classical realm. However, the early exposure to orchestral sounds has undoubtedly left its mark. Lately, I've been drawn to incorporating more orchestral instruments into my compositions.
The dream, one that I suspect will linger indefinitely, is to craft an entire album featuring music for both orchestra and a rhythm section. "Katla" emerged with this concept in mind, fueled by the inspiration drawn from the sights, sounds, and colours of Iceland during my visit in December 2021. It's a musical journey infused with the elegance of orchestral elements and the rhythmic heartbeat of a contemporary sound. The forthcoming album will also include a track that melds orchestral components with contemporary musical elements.
Christmas Extravaganza Concert
The Christmas Extravaganza Concert with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) is just around the corner. Being invited to participate in one of MPO's concerts is always an honour, and this upcoming event seems particularly special. The concert is scheduled for Saturday, December 23, at the Malta Fairs Conference Centre in Ta Qali.