My essentials: Kris Spiteri’s cultural picks

101 | Kris Spiteri, 46 years old,  musician, musical director, composer, and occasionally a lyricist

Photo by Justin Mamo
Photo by Justin Mamo

1. Book

The book I was recently reading is a collection of poems called Ħuta by Immanuel Mifsud. I must admit that Immanuel is one of my favourite authors. He always manages to flare up the imagination and leave his readers wanting more, just like a concert experience.  

2. Film

I am a father of two five-year-olds; as you can imagine, our TV set is not mine anymore. However, I did manage to watch some shows when Peppa Pig, Duggee and Shaun the Sheep (a guilty pleasure of mine) did not abduct telly. I highly recommend the four short movie adaptations of Roald Dahl’s stories: Poison, The Swan, The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar and The Rat Catcher. I was impressed with how little set there is and how much of the narration is told through its design. I am a big fan of Black Mirror, and I can't not mention Moonage Daydream being a Bowie admirer.

3. Internet/TV

One thing I would like to have more on the internet and on video-sharing platforms such as YouTube is the presence of great material which makes use of the Maltese language. We have improved, but we can certainly do better. Starting from material for kids that is motivational, educational, and entertaining. In 2023, you would expect to have a website that includes a dictionary, thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, idioms, encyclopaedia, and sound files with different pronunciations of our native language. A strong Maltese spell checker for mobile devices would be useful, too, I guess.

4. Music

There are some albums which I often return to, and it is very hard for me to imagine my life without these albums. The first one that comes to mind is Grace by Jeff Buckley. It’s an album that has fascinated me up to this very day. Brad Mehldau’s Day is Done was on repeat for a very long time. Glenn Gould playing Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier with his evocative interpretation of the C minor prelude and Fugue. Kubelik conducts Mahler’s symphonies and Karajan’s Beethoven Symphonies. Bill Evan’s You Must Believe in Spring, Bowie’s Station to Station, and Joni Mitchell’s Blue, amongst others.

5. Place

One of my favourite places on the island is Marsaxlokk. When I need to relax or spend some time, that is always my first choice when I need to relax. I never get tired of London, and one city I would like to visit again is Berlin. I’m a jazz music lover, and I must have watched most, if not all, of Woody Allen’s movies, so it kind of kills me that I have not managed to visit Manhattan yet. In general, America is on my list of places to go to.