Mariella Cassar - Cordina
Mariella Cassar-Cordina is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music and educator.
She holds a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in
Administration and Management from the University of Malta. In 2005 she was awarded the
M. Phil (Music) from the Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta. Having been a
regular student of Maltese composer Charles Camilleri, she decided to further her studies at
Falmouth University incorporating Dartington College of Arts, UK, where she obtained a
doctorate degree in Music composition.
Her works vary from solo, chamber to full-orchestral works. She has collaborated with
various musicians, and visual artists on a number of interdisciplinary projects. Her latest
collaboration with Austrian Artist Nicola Ginzel started in 2020 in an online residency
organised through Undercurrent, entitled 1001. This project lasted six weeks over zoom, with
a physical exhibition at Austrian Cultural Forum (NYC). The project was supported by EU
National Institutions for Culture based in NYC and Malta Arts Council.
Dr Mariella Cassar-Cordina has been member of jury in a number of international festivals,
including the Malta International Choir Festival in 2011. She is also an Education Officer for
Music in Malta, lecturer at the School of Performing Arts and Faculty of Education at the
University of Malta. She is also the founder of the Malta Association of Music Educators
(MAME) and co-founder of Ars Vitae Ensemble.
Opus I is a one-movement work with sections that vary extensively in material. The motives,
rhythmic and melodic segments and the development of tonal progression unify these
sections, aiming towards an idealised balance of order and disorder. The presence of these
two opposites is seen in the juxtaposition of the textures and the presence of musical material,
which although never re-presented in its original form, provides the basis for the
manipulation of musical material over the two sections, giving the impression of a musical
collage. In place of a bald combination of diverse ideas, it presents music in continuous
change, moving in unpredictable directions as various kinds of material are taken up,
developed for a while and then dropped. Occasionally, a theme is suddenly interrupted in its
progress; more often the impression is of a fluid musical substance in which different subjects
rise to the surface of perception at different times. This short piece inscribes tiny and divergent musical spaces with the maximum of expression and imagination. This is music where every note counts and where the perplexities of musical communication are vaulted over by a tense immediacy of expression. The brevity has something to do with the directness, as do the various combinations of musical material, but the directness itself makes it hard to explain completely the music’s essence.