The Malta Independent 27 May 2024, Monday
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Brikkuni’s Andrew Schembri dies aged 29

Friday, 30 June 2023, 16:17 Last update: about 12 months ago

Artist and musician Andrew Schembri died Thursday evening at the age of 29, leaving Malta’s artistic community shocked at the guitarist’s death.

Schembri was the guitarist for the widely-known local band Brikkuni, and was also known for his elaborate light installations as part of the artistic duo, Late Interactive.

Schembri, the youngest of three brothers, died suddenly in an incident in St Paul’s Bay, with the police excluding foul play.

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Schembri’s older brother David spoke to Times of Malta, expressing the family’s shock over the loss of their youngest brother, which came “like a bolt out of the blue.”

“Andrew was a kind, intelligent, passionate, creative young man, with a sense of playfulness he exuded in all he did. Beneath the surface, he had a deep sense of justice and a yearning for meaning and truth. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend. Above all, he was loved. By his family, by his friends, by his peers. He still is,” his brother said.

Many were those who worked with Schembri throughout his career, describing him as warm and creative, “a brilliant artist” and a man of great “integrity and sensitivity” with an uncanny ability to think outside the box.

Artists described him as a “previous gem within the local performing arts scene,” as well as a supportive and genuine friend.

Brikkuni frontman Mario Vella wrote an open letter to Schembri, saying that much will be said about his youthful exuberance, sharp wit, boundless creativity, an amazing knack of thinking out of the box and above all, Schembri’s moral soundness, integrity and sensitivity.

“Barely a week ago we were holding each other tight professing our pure and untainted brotherly love to each other,” Vella said.

Vella commemorated Schembri’s memory, saying that nothing would erase the memory of his incredible smile.

“How many times did I tell you? 'Andrew, you're so beyond any mathematical equation and wordly drudgery that sometimes I wonder whether you belong amongst us here on Earth at all,” Vella continued.

“If only I’d known Andrew. If only I’d known,” he said, addressing Schembri with love, adding that his “beautiful legacy shall always be honoured.”

Schembri’s last performance with Brikkuni, the band he joined in 2018, took place just 10 days ago, opening for popular Ukrainian gypsy-punk band Gogol Bordello.

His work with Late Interactive also earned him praise and recognition, creating innovative lighting designs for several local concerts, such as the launch of Brikkuni’s third album Rub Al Khali in 2017, and a prominent display in local festivals such as Science in the City.

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