Irishman Karl Partridge tells the story of how, in the 1970s, he tracked down elderly men who played the Maltese żaqq and rescued Maltese pipe music for posterity. Drawing on his own diaries and photographs, he paints a vivid picture of what life was like for impoverished folk and villagers in Malta at that time. At the core of the book are mini-biographies of the last generation of now deceased żaqq players, complied from personal recollections and interviews with their family members in Malta.
This well-illustrated book is packed with information, not only about the żaqq and how to make one, but also about other aspects of rural Maltese culture as it was, including other traditional instruments, folk singing, small-scale farming, horse transport in Gozo, and crafts. Also covered is his family’s life as part of the British Services community in Malta during the final years prior to the closure of Britain’s military base.