As the feasts season comes to an end in a few weeks times, we have seen some great new initiatives, some new ideas and we have also witnessed some very worrying firsts.
We have had a swing of societies that opted for a greener environment, others which took in consideration social aspects others took the initiative to even give space to students during the feast concerts and that is something to be praised for and make sure to continue on these paths with the hope that influences others to follow without the need to point figures on who copied who.
On the other side we had some musical sacrilegious events, which are easy to catch up and risk to loose our sole purpose to have a wind band playing in our feasts. I have found two of these events. First of which, our feast concerts are turning into a song festival or even a zucchino (pun intended) d’oro one where instead of investing in music which matters we opt for the easy conclusion “għax dawk iridu in-nies” (that is what people want). People enjoy good music which doesn’t mean to be a known piece of music. It is ok to have a song or two, maybe three, which are sung by a singer (and please make arrangements so that the melody is sung by the singer and not all the band playing the melody as well). But a good wind band needs to built a repertoire, and the excuse that musicians do not attend rehearsals doesn’t give way to prepare a mediocre concert. Instead of having 18 pieces of music prepare 10 good ones.
And last but not least, the new worm that I really hope it stops as of this year: bands playing while the organising band club has its own wind band playing at the same time. With the excuse of keeping people near your club, we are literally saying marches and wind bands are there for nothing, we do not need them anymore, people prefer music anything but our marches. It is dangerous, stupid and it’s says a lot of what the committee thinks about its own wind band. The worst part is that they boasts about it and even have the conscious to say that they are leaders in this tragedy. They might have got to feast-week followers cheering but you certainly got your musicians, band-directors and teachers asking what have they done wrong to deserve such a treatment.
The only good thing is that at least they got a live band and not a DJ turning some knobs playing some fisherman’s singing to a very bad quality and a sorry excuse of an arrangement with a synthesiezer and a dance beat.
Another small note, at least when the bars of these societies are playing these fisherman’s songs, make sure you are playing the marches which your own wind band plays
Let’s stop these from ruining our heritage, our culture, our pride, let’s have some sense in what we are doing.
The title and the photograph may lead your reader to conclude which feasts and one in particular you are referring to. It was indeed a great feast, I dare say one of the best in the last few years. Initiatives do add spice to the feast and its popularity especially when such initiatives stem from members and involve established local artists who coincidentally are also bandisti tal-post and active members of the youth commission. Such initiatives regenerate clubs and renew activity and excitement especially so when one is celebrating an anniversary. Yet what made this feast great was the sense of purpose, the coming together of different sections within the club and its appeal to the wider public who may have grown distant over the years. One just hopes that this excitement carries on throughout the year and does not vanish quickly into thin air.
By any means I am not referring to the band, I am referring to occasions that we see the local band playing, and the same club organising another musical activity at the same in different places. In my opinion it discredits the function of the wind band going through the streets. They might as well stayed in the same street and entertain. Having said it also showed that it is useless in some villages, or cities, to go round in obscure places while the feast is being held at the centre. For me it also showed lack of appreciation towards other sections of the same club and not coming together. If they wanted to come together than it should have been done differently. Should we revisit our priorities?
Very well said Etienne. I think that the police should stop bars from playing disco music even during band programmes. Those who want tohear disco music should go to Paceville and not to attend feasts. However it is mainly the responsibility of comittee members to nip in the bud any irrisponsbile activity by its members. Moreover I am convinced that the idea of turning bands marches into songs and put on cd. This has proved to be one of the main reason for lack of interest ofour youngsters in our bands.