On 15th November, Maltese percussionist Renzo Spiteri performed with his concert show his solo performance “Silence, Sounds and Spaces” at the Passionskirche in Berlin. The event was organized by the Embassy of Malta in Berlin and made possible through the Cultural Diplomacy Fund of the Maltese Foreign Ministry.

About 250 guests – among them Ambassadors, diplomats, members of parliament, the Maltese community in Berlin, journalists, music students and more – gathered in the Passionskirche for the performance.

In his welcome address the Ambassador of Malta to Germany, H.E. Mr. Karl Xuereb first introduced Renzo Spiteri as a musician and composer. He then briefly recounted Malta’s history referring to the various influences including the Romans, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St. John and the British. He highlighted the fact that before this, Malta’s early inhabitants, in the Neolithic period, built a number of incredible temples which today are acclaimed as the oldest freestanding structures in the world. The Ambassador then explained that the music that Renzo would play during the concert is inspired by these magnificent temples and that the audience would experience enthralling music innovatively amalgamated with powerful visuals of Malta’s Neolithic heritage.

The Passionskirche provided a perfect ambience for Renzo’s rendition combined with the visuals of the Neolithic temples. The audience was captured by the variety and versatility of the different conventional and non conventional instruments, some of which people had never seen before. Renzo introduced each individual piece explaining what had inspired him in its composition. He was able to create a contemplative and mysterious atmosphere.

After the concert the Embassy hosted a vin d’honneur featuring Maltese wines. The audience was able to meet the artist and obtain a deeper insight into this special kind of music and sound creations. A number of guests lauded Renzo Spiteri’s performance and expressed the wish to learn more about Malta and its history and culture.

Renzo Spiteri’s music comprises a wide range of styles such as solo percussion performances, improvisation, contemporary music, jazz and world music. He has given more than 1000 concerts and live performances across the globe and appeared many times on radio and television broadcasts. As a multi-percussionist and drummer he has worked alongside a number of exceptional musicians like N’faly Kouyate (African Sound System), Idan Reichel and Michal Alcorn (SARC). His concerts have taken him to perform in major festivals (WOMAD, Festival of the Desert, Musica Viva, PASIC) and venues (Kennedy Centre for the performing Arts DC, National Concert Hall Dublin, Babylon Club Istanbul, Ludwig Forum Aachen etc.). Renzo cooperates with musicians from various musical and cultural backgrounds to create unique transcultural musical dialogues. Renzo, apart from being a musician, also composes, produces and creates art works for films, dance choreography, theatre productions, literature recitals or visual installations. His artistic versatility and passion for the creative use of sound has over the years allowed him to develop fresh musical potentials and unlimited modes of expression.

The Passionskirche, a beautiful brick stone building, built at the beginning of the last century, has been a famous venue for music events in Berlin in the field of world music, folk, rock, jazz and even classical for over 25 years. It is well-known even beyond Berlin. The interior is of exposed brick masonry with Romanesque-Byzantine style elements. In order to optimize the building for music and cultural events, the altar area has been converted into a stage and the acoustics substantially improved through the application of special plaster. Famous artists such as Giora Feidman, Patti Smith, Sally Oldfield or and Suzane Vega have performed at the Passionskirche.

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