Music

Peter Calamatta Goes Country 2017

From a musical viewpoint, country music emphasised first of all the story, then the voice, and last the arrangement. It was a secular music, devoted to personal, domestic or collective issues, but largely set in a secular universe. It was rational to the extent that its characters were trying to make sense of their life and their surroundings.

The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres.

Country music had a profound impact on the American subconscious: it provided the American nation with an identity. Pop music (as performed in theatres, as published by Tin Pan Alley) was largely a European invention, so much so that European stars touring the USA were invariably given a royal welcome and billed as the “real thing”. But country music was American: and only American: its performers were American, its audience was American. its stories were American, its “sound ” was American. Americans could enjoy pop music on Broadway, but they could not identify with it the same way that they could identify with the hillbillies and the cowboys. The sound of country music embodied the history of the USA, it represented its genome. As it developed from the 1920s to the 1960s, it simply continued to  emphasise that “American” element, progressively removing the European elements: it sounded less and less like the English ballads and the Irish dances that originated it, and more and more like something completely new.

Songs of The Spirit 2016

Recording 3 CD of spiritually uplifting songs was not just a wish brewing along with other CDs I have already done. It was a necessity. I dedicated my previous CDs to my family: my wife, my children and my friends and to young lovers, This left me with an obligation that I could not ignore. To dedicate a CD to our love for God, the Superior Being and Jesus Christ.

I did not want to just record a bunch of gospel songs. This has been done by many other artists before me. I wanted to choose a selection of songs that weave in the spiritual aspect of living with the reality of life. Songs which have changed people`s vision of life and songs, which in some cases have actually saved lives. The music of these songs is truly magical, but it is the lyrics that give the message that life without faith IS empty, materialistic and, almost, not worth living.

The songs I chose are immortal. We need to listen to these songs occasionally, irrespective of what state of mind we are in. The lyrics and the melodies will help us sort our thoughts and attitude towards life and above all encourage us to help others less fortunate than ourselves. The messages are, for the most part, very positive. However, even the sad ones will help us live out our sorrows and look forward to peace in our minds on this earth and beyond.

While recording these tunes I felt a great upheaval in my own self I cannot really explain the emotion felt when one enters into the context of a song and makes the feeling his own. Something truly magical will happen to you if you listen carefully to these tunes and I am certain that your lives will be much better for it.

Hello, Young Lovers 2015

Not many of you will have heard, or perhaps remember, Matt Monro, the British singer who had the most melodic voice in the industry. Frank Sinatra, the man with whom he was so often compared, said of Monro after Matt died of cancer, “If I had to choose three of the finest male vocalists in the singing business, Matt would be one of them. His pitch was right on the nose, his word enunciations letter-perfect, his understanding of a song through”.

Since my early days, I admired Matt for his clear renditions of love songs, sometimes borrowing other singers hits, and making them his own. He did this beautiful with songs of the Beatles such as “Yesterday” and “Here There and Everywhere”. Knocking the same Beatles off the charts with his interpretation of their own song. I had the pleasure of meeting him personally at a concert, held in Malta in the early 70s, at the, then famous, Verdala Hotel. We exchange warm handshakes and he gave a memorable live concert that stayed with my inner self all my life.

When I started singing, age 72, I had a secret wish, that, if all went well I would dedicate an entire CD to Matt Monro and his most popular songs. This CD is that wish come true. I named the CD “Hello, Young Lovers” because his songs were mostly about love and because of this, helped to foster true love amongst lovers. Matt Monro died young, aged 54, from liver cancer but his songs live on and are still amongst the favorite that young lovers whispers in each others ears.

22 Love Songs 2014

These 22 romantic songs will span a period of time covering seven decades starting from the 1940s to this day. The songs were made famous by several of the greatest singers which the world has ever heard. These include Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Andy Williams, The Platters, Bobby Darin, Matt Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Engelbert Humperdink, Ray Charles, The Bee Gees and today`s king of croon, Michael Buble.

I hope that through the 22 tunes that I chose to sing for you the truth about real love and also unrequited love will come out loud and clear. Human beings in spite of their God-given intelligence cannot live without love. Love coming from family, friends, partners, pets, nature and all that is around us. It is no wonder, therefore, that the majority of songs written, in all languages, have Loved as their theme and inspiration.

That`s what love is all about!

Your Favourite Christmas songs 2013

Indeed after the resounding success of My Life in Song, I thought that I would never have the courage to set foot in a recording studio again. However, the insistence of many close friends and family made me rethink my position. I needed to create a valid reason for facing the microphone and challenge my vocal chords. My mind registered a blank for many weeks until one-day l heard a selection of Christmas Songs by Rod Stewart and Michael Bublé. I will be the first to admit that I have never been an avid participant in Christmas Carolling. However, when I saw what these musical greats could do with old tunes that had become a bit rusty I said to myself, “Why not me?

Had I known what I was in for, I would probably have changed my mind at the very start. Finding good backing tracks for these songs was well neigh impossible. However, with the wizardry of Elton Zarb, my recording engineer and the coaxing of my voice coach, Ruth Casingena, we managed this Herculean vocal task. The support of Fr Hilary and the artistry of designer Maria DeGabriele put the cherry on the ‘disc’ and my second CD, at age ‘72, was born. Put your minds at rest there will NOT be a third but in the meantime enjoy and celebrate the “Greatest Story Ever Told” by singing along to these 18 memorable Christmas Songs.

My Life in Song 2012

My singing career practically started and ended in one day when I took part in a singing competition at the “Chalet” in Sliema, at the time Malta 5 most popular opera open-air music venue. The year was 1957 and Vinny Vella, one of Malta’s top musicians, was playing and organizing a singing contest at the “Chalet”. My success was short lived because this COMING OUT did not meet the approval of our parents for whom the future could only be found in STUDYlNG, STUDYING and more STUDYING… This explains why I had to wait till l reached the venerable age of 71 to make my COMEBACK!

At the venerable age of 71, I was encouraged by my cousin Maymay`s husband, Stan Azzopardi, (a professional musician) from Melbourne, Australia, to record some songs he heard me sing while driving in my car. He immediately offered to record the backing tracks for me.

Singing has always been my dream, but way back when I was in my teens it was not considered as a serious and responsible proposition. Recently I saw the movie THE BUCKET LIST with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It is the story of two terminally ill, old men who write up a wish list, before they kick the bucket. This bucket list included things they always had wanted to do, but never did. Mine includes the recording of a CD with my favorite songs.