Cyprus Mail

A festive finish

By Maria Gregoriou

The tenth Rialto World Music Festival will come to a close on Tuesday with performances from two Cypriot music groups, the Amalgamation Choir and Rumba Attack.

The festival, which started on July 3, has given music fans a series of open air events by performers from Portugal, Greece, and Cyprus. As it winds up we can safely say the festival’s aim has – so far – been reached. That aim? To showcase music mainly from countries from the Mediterranean and the Middle East and highlight how identity is determined by the geographical, historical and cultural relations between the countries and the region and recorded in their musical traditions.

This year the festival received a further boost by being included in the EFFE programme– Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe.

So we can certainly expect even more from the festival next year, but for now let’s continue in a festive mood and enjoy the two final performances.

On Tuesday at the Heroes Square The Amalgamation Choir will take to the stage at 8.30pm, followed by the Rumba Attack at 9.15pm.

The Amalgamation Choir is a group of female singers who perform original traditional compositions and re-arrangements of traditional songs from the Mediterranean and the Balkans, conducted by Vassiliki Anastasiou.

Anastasiou is a vocalist, composer and vocal teacher based in Nicosia. She has created The Amalgamation Project, a group of musicians who re-arrange traditional songs and play Anastasiou’s compositions. The Project often invites guest musicians from different backgrounds (usually jazz, classical and folk music) to share their sounds with the band and experiment with re-arrangements.

The choir, that celebrates the polyphonic traditions and the human voice, came together after the completion of last year’s Fengaros Music Village.

The final act of the festival offers a Latin twist with Rumba Attack.
The band performs a repertoire of songs including diverse rhythms and music genres, such as World, Ethnic, Latin, Jazz, Flamenco and, of course, Rumba and Blues.

On Tuesday they will be presenting their own compositions, popular traditional Greek songs.

The three men behind the band, Constantinos Lyras and Memnon Arestis on their guitars, and Savvas Thoma on the cajon, also perform at cocktail bars, restaurants, at private parties, corporate functions and at almost all of the festivals around the country.

If you have never heard either of the musical bands play, then this is sure to be a great introduction to their work.

Amalgamation Choir
A live performance by the Amalgamation Choir as part of the Rialto World Music Festival. July 21. Heroes Square, Limassol. 8.30pm. Free. Tel: 77-777745

Rumba Attack
Live performance by the band as part of the Rialto World Music Festival. July 21. Heroes Square, Limassol. 9.15pm

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