Other island-wide celebrations in the name of ‘San Juan’ usually last for one week. Yet here in Mancor de la Vall, notorious for its love of fiesta and appreciation of ‘the arts’, the traditional two week festivities are already in full swing. Why party for one week they chant, when you can celebrate for two?
The arts and entertainment committee of Mancor de la Vall have already managed to produce a variety of musical events this year, but the return of ‘San Juan’ is truly the anticipated milestone on everyone’s agenda with its traditional variety, pageantry, pomp and performance.
A much welcomed favourite on everyone’s wish list is undoubtedly the return of local maestro, Stephen Blue. This talented musician will be tinkling the ivories of a concert grand; surrounded by a tsunami of flickering candlelight in the delightful church square on Saturday June 25. Stephen will be creating a magical, romantic concert beneath the stars with a selection of timeless, international and popular music from the world of film and theatre. There will also be a pot pourri of contemporary favourites along with a selection of light classical pieces. Stephen has also hinted there will be a few new surprises in store!
There are those performers who simply sit at a piano and play. Then there are those who truly make their instrument sing! Pianist and composer Stephen Blue is one of those inspired performers who plays from the heart and soul of his very being, leaving you breathless as he takes you on a memorable flight of romantic, musical nostalgia.
I asked Stephen how he prepares for such a solo performance. He told me that the music is the real star of his performance. “The true magic in music is how it connects with the people. Music carries a message, and as a musician I am merely the messenger, bringing my personal love of music to the audience. When I play, I want people to simply close their eyes, relax and feel the emotion and the magic behind every single note and melody.”
Stephen plays completely without sheet music. When I asked how he achieves this outstanding feat of memory, he smiled and said; “I create all my own intimate and personal arrangements. And although the pieces I play are well rehearsed, the performance on the evening is completely spontaneous and depends on the mood of the moment. I take inspiration from the vibration and spirit of the audience around me. The experience is different each time I play. That’s why I prefer not to be constrained by sheet music. I interpret the music with total freedom. I feel it in my soul and it flows through my fingers. It is as exciting and mesmerizing for me as hopefully it is for my audience. I cannot think of a nicer gift to present to the community of my home town after more than two years of social restrictions than the gift and expression of heart felt music”.
Personally, I think anyone who can catalogue an entire concert inside their head must be some kind of a magician themselves! And I can’t wait to witness this much awaited post pandemic performance beneath the stars. Saturday June 25 at 9 pm. Free admission. Pop it in your diary!
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