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Maddalena is a tale of unrequited love written by Carlo Satariano in 1931 for the first series of Maltese HMV gramophone discs recorded in Milan and published by Anthony Damato. The original music by Vincenzo Ciappara accompanies a humorous story where a young man serenades a woman and repeatedly calls for her to come out, before being charged for public disturbance. The tune and its comic refrain became so popular that it was reissued on 45rpm vinyl in the 1960s and was aired regularly on the national radio thus consolidating Maddalena in the memory of the people.

The refrain is from a traditional chant form known as "bormliża" or "għana fil-għoli", and its lyrics were documented by ethnomusicologists in the late 1960s. "Għana fil-għoli" literally means a high pitched chant and was previously predominantly sung by women as it requires a high pitched and strained voice.


MADDALENA ( C.Satariano 1931, trad. chant)

Maddalena, Maddalena
wiċċ taz-zokkra, wiċċ il-hena,
jiena ġejt appost għalik
fittex oħroġ ħa' ngawdik.

Xitla sbejħa ġo l-ġnien għandi
kemm ilma ġarrejt għalik
meta ġejt biex il-frott tagħmel
u ħaddiehor qed igawdik.


Maddalena, Maddalena
Of sweet and joyful manner,
I have come here just for you,
So please come out so i can enjoy you.

Oh beautiful plant, that I have in my garden
So much water I have carried for you
yet when you came to bear the fruits
Alas, someone else is enjoying you.


from Maddalena's Marvellous Tripfolk Klabb, released November 15, 2016
Alison Galea: voice, keys
Andrew Alamango: electr. guitar
Oliver Degabriele: double bass, bass synth
Walter Vella: alto flute
Francesca Grima: footwork on wood & pastizzi tray
Andrej Vujicic: cajón

This project is supported by Arts Council Malta – Malta Arts Fund.


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*etnika Malta

An unlikely mix of artists, characters and instruments, *etnika's sound layers enchanting melancholy with traditional tunes & lyrics over effected guitars, retro-futuristic synths, unconventional percussion and footwork, deep, groovy bass, raspy sax, haunting whispery vocals and old Maltese instruments.

Expect a few detours, expect the unexpected, this 'tripfolk' band has a big heart.
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