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Bededeum Oltre il Sipario album cover
4.27 | 15 ratings | 6 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Le pietre blanche (6:21)
2. Le voci di Derry (5:15)
3. Geordie (4:21)
4. Gerard Duval, tipografo (7:15)
5. Pee-Wee & the quaker (4:48)
6. Una stagione all'Inferno (4:10)
7. Bettogli, 1911 (8:00)
8. Quando qui distesa (2:59)
9. An dro & Dies Irae (7:36)
10. La canzone di Salvatore (6:46)

Total time 57:35

Line-up / Musicians

Antonio Pincione - guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, cordofoni, ammenicoli fonogeni, atmosfere e contaminazioni;
Chiara Vatteroni - Celtic harp, recitato, attesa e puntiglio;
Davide Lazzaroni - Voce, recitato, flute, aerofoni modulanti, percussion, ammenicoli fonogeni, revolver, cerimonie e visioni;
Gabriele D'Ascoli - Bass, macchina di TŁring, percussioni bic-palorziche, ammennicoli fonogeni, dicotomie e sfumature;
Jacopo Bisagni - Cornamuse (Uillean pipes, piva dal carner), whistles, flute, disciplina e puntiglio;
Martino Salvetti - Violin, dissolvenze e dissociazioni;
Micaela Guerra - Voce, percussion, emozioni e silenzi;
Andrea Cecchinelli - Viola, giovinezza e scapigliatura;

Releases information

LDV 002 digipak issue

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
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BEDEDEUM Oltre il Sipario ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BEDEDEUM Oltre il Sipario reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A question I often ask myself when listening to a promising album for the first time: Does it sound like musicians are in a studio ‚??working?‚?Ě Or, does it sound like someone‚??s life is unfolding on tape? Obviously I‚??m much more interested and psyched when the answer affirms the latter question. Bededeum‚??s new album ‚??Oltre il Sipario‚?Ě is not simply a CD containing songs recorded for sale. It is lives being captured through music, it is explorations of history being interpreted, and it is traditional sound being offered with complete authenticity while seeking to infuse new and progressive elements. This is music for the ages, this age and past ones presented with acoustic instruments and heartfelt vocals.

Bededeum is a large collective of musicians who have delivered an album that is one of the most beautiful things you could ever hear: a contemplative and also spirited progressive folk music that speaks to a dormant part of one‚??s self, seeking to forge a connection to the past while entertaining at the same time. They are every bit as successful here as the amazing Pererin debut, Faveravola, or Gian Castello. This is much more elaborate than simple folk music, using extended compositions of up to 8 minutes to stretch out and explore each theme. Lavish instrumentation is employed in getting an authentic period sound that relates to the historical lyrical content. There are moments when you can literally hear this music on a street corner in Europe hundreds of years ago, a chillingly (in a good way) wonderful experience. Yet the band seeks to move the ball beyond a singular medieval-folk experience through lively, thoughtful improvisation and arrangement. They began in 1997 with members whose influences ranged from Anglo-Celtic folk to English and Italian progressive rock, psychedelia, Canterbury, Krautrock, Jazz, and others. According to their bio, almost from the beginning the band pledged to move beyond traditional Celtic music into sounds brought in by the various members, from medieval, baroque, and even sounds of the Balkans and middle East.

The opening track ‚??Le Pietre Bianche‚?Ě already has me swooning with Micaela Guerra‚??s haunting a cappella introduction soon joined by acoustic guitar, flute, whistle, uilleann pipes, bass, and harp. These instruments are present in most of the tracks along with many others present on some tracks. Later the male and female vocals are layered and beautifully coalesce into chant over windy melodies, melodies that simply take flight. So beautiful. In ‚??Le voci di Derry‚?Ě I detect some traditional Celtic with just a hint of defiance in the mood, and gorgeous whistles/pipes from Jacopo Bisagni. Gabriele D‚??Ascoli throws in a more modern bass flurry in ‚??Geordie‚?Ě with a funky slapped technique almost like Flea plays. The next track sees the jamming raised a notch and just full of splendid nuance and sensitivity. ‚??Pee-wee and the quaker‚?Ě showcases some of Antonio Pincione‚??s most ambitious guitar here, earthy and agile, reminding me of pieces I‚??ve heard from Steve Howe or Jukka Tolonen when they‚??ve attacked acoustic guitars. Davide Lazzaroni and Guerra combine again with a slightly more formal, theatrical delivery in the dramatic ‚??Una Stagione all‚??Interno.‚?Ě The next song ‚??Bettogil, 1911‚?Ě is an 8-minute, slow and sweeping showcase for the mournful violin of Martino Salvetti and delicate harp of Chiara Vatteroni. The quality never lets up moving into another highlight ‚??An dro & Dies Irae.‚?Ě There is great jousting here between bouzouki and tin whistle among other things, drawn out and quite exotic over hand drumming. If my very primitive understanding of Italian is correct (and that‚??s a big IF) I believe the liner notes are saying that the band is shooting for a ‚??controlled improvisation‚?Ě and that the melodies here are derived from a repertoire of medieval Gregorian origins. (If my read is wrong I trust they‚??ll correct me.) The energy of the jam carries long enough to build substantial tension by the end that is then soothed effectively by the soft notes of the last song. After a false ending on the closer there is silence before an eerie and unsettling arrangement of chanting returns to put you in a weird space, satiated yet with curiosity aroused. There is melody and emotion in every track, in every vocal and instrumental performance throughout this album. A tremendously satisfying album that is a must for any lover of quality music but certainly those into the various folk sub-genres. I don't know to convey more clearly how I feel here...this music just makes me so happy and somehow peaceful...wonderful in tune with basic human emotion.

While not understanding the Italian language is never a problem for my enjoyment of music, this is one of the rare cases where I am sad that I cannot fully explain the lyrical depth to the readers. Great care has been taken by the band to relay a rich historical lesson into the music, to provide an authentic storytelling experience like you would get from street minstrels. The band dresses and acts out parts in their live performance and that same dedication to the material is there on this studio recording even if I am unable to understand it verbally, I can glean this from the extensive liner notes. But I really regret that I can‚??t talk more about that fundamental storytelling strength of Bededeum. Comes in a digipak design (available from BTF) with thorough liner notes in Italian and six photos of band members. Bravo!

Review by andrea
5 stars Bededeum are an Italian folk prog band from Carrara, in Tuscany. They've been active since 1997 and the present line up features Antonio Pincione (classical and acoustic guitars, bouzouki, mandolin), Chiara Vatteroni (Celtic harp), Davide Lazzaroni (Vocals, flute), Gabriele D'Ascoli (bass, percussion), Jacopo Bisagni (uillean pipes, piva, whistles, flute), Martino Salvetti (violin) and Micaela Guerra (vocals, percussion). On the recording sessions of "Oltre il sipario", their second album, they were helped by some guests musicians that contributed to enrich the sound. The album was self produced but the result is excellent and the band perfectly managed to blend Italian folklore and Celtic influences (especially Alan Stivell) with their personal taste and committed lyrics. On the booklet the band dedicate this work to the memory of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists executed without a fair trial in the U.S.A. in 1927.

The opener "Le pietre bianche" (The white stones) was inspired by an old legend about the origin of the famous marble of Carrara. According to the story, once upon a time in this land the Moon fell in love with a woodsman. Since this love affair was against the law, the king of the northern lands sent his soldiers to kill the young woodsman. The young man was slaughtered and put in a place where everyone could see his corpse. The Moon found him and desperately cried upon her dead lover. Her teardrops, night after night, drop upon drop, became rock, whiter than the snow, and covered the whole land. The heart of the Moon's lover now lies under the mountain called the Monte Sagro (Sacred Mountain) that overlooks the city of Carrara. It's told that the inhabitants of this land have learned to not fear the law, they are now proud and jealous of their freedom and in the meantime genuine and hard like marble. The beautiful voice of Micaela Guerra leads to a melancholic ballad where flutes, uillean pies, harp and acoustic guitar are well balanced, then almost droning vocals that perfectly fit the mood of the story start to sing... "Into my injured womb / Teardrop of the moon / Drop upon drop, the rock lies on / Drop upon drop, drop upon drop..."...

"Le voci di Derry" is the Italian version of a traditional Irish song. It's about the deportation of some Irish patriots in chains to Tasmania, in 1803. The band translated the lyrics originally written by Bobby Sands, an I.R.A. member who died on hunger strike while in prison in 1981. The song was also recorded by Christy Moore and included on his album "Ride On" in 1984. Bededum interpret this piece with committed passion, singing their untameable love for freedom. "Van Diemen's land is a hell for a man / To live out his whole life in slavery / Where the climate is raw and the gun makes the law / Neither wind nor rain care for bravery / Twenty years have gone by, I've ended my bond / My comrades ghosts walk behind me / A rebel I came - I'm still the same / On the cold winters night you will find me...". Well, some time ago I had the chance to visit Port Arthur in Tasmania, an island once known as Van Diemen's Land, and memories come back when I listen to this song. It gives the opportunity to reflect on some episodes of recent history...

"Geordie" is a British traditional song that has been interpreted, among others, by Joan Baez and Martin Carthy. The song tells the story of a woman that rides to London to plead for a young poacher that was sentenced to death for the theft of six deer from the King's park. It's a wonderful song about the contrast between the cold logic of the law and the passion of the sentiments. Fabrizio De AndrŤ translated the song in Italian and Bededum interpret it here in a very convincing way.

"Gťrard Duval, tipografo" is a beautiful track inspired by an episode taken from Erich Maria Remarque's novel "All Quiet On The Western Front". The voice of Micaela Guerra is like the calm before the storm drawing the bitter sweet thoughts of a French soldier before his last assault during World War I, while he's writing a letter to his sweetheart... "The moon follows the last star / Shadows tighten around me / As if I was scared... I'm writing to tell you things I've already told you before / Into the sea of ink I wasted away / Words that are running after the reason / What can tell you a voice of paper without a body? / When every dream is broken...". Ein, zwei, drei, marching bagpipes leading the assault! The second part of this track was inspired by a traditional Yiddish dance called "Freilach" that here becomes a ghostly and fiery dance with the death. What remains is just leaden and blood in the trench...

"Pee-Wee & The Quaker" is an instrumental track inspired by a film directed by Tim Burton in 1985, "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". The band here blended an original composition with a traditional Irish song called "Merrily Kiss The Quaker".

"Una stagione all'inferno" (A season in Hell) is a beautiful track inspired by the work and the life of the French "maudit" poet Arthur Rimbaud where tarantella and "bel canto" draw the "fragile face of the melancholy" and where "into the infinite every truth get lost"...

"Bettogli, 1911" is an amazing ballad about an accident in a marble quarry that happened in 1911 in Bettogli, a place near Carrara. "Carrara was silently gazing at her cry / That morning in autumn when I met her ...". The story is narrated through the sorrowful voice of a beautiful girl that is crying for the loss of his man, one of the ten workers who died in the accident. The melody is taken from a traditional Scottish song called "Clyde' Bonnie Banks" and that was inspired by an accident in a mine in 1877. This song is dedicated to all the people who died on the work place.

"Quando qui distesa" is about immigration. A woman who hoped to find a better way of life crossing the Atlantic ocean is compelled to earn her money as a prostitute. The music features Spanish guitar and echoes of tango... Well, Argentina is a country where many Italians immigrated in the past.

"An dro & Dies Irae" is an instrumental in two parts that was inspired by the image of an old Breton sailor. "An dro" is a traditional dance from Bretagne that was also interpreted, among others, by the "bard" Alan Stivell. The second part of the track, "Dies Irae", comes from the Gregorian chant tradition but you can also find a similar melody in the traditional French song "J'ai vu le loup, le renard et la belette" that is in the repertoire of Tri Yann.

"La canzone di Salvatore" is a traditional lullaby from Tuscany arranged by the band. Lyrics were inspired by an episode of the film "The Name Of The Rose", directed by Jean- Jacques Annaud and based on a beautiful novel by Italian writer Umberto Eco. A monk is put on the stake by the Inquisition, he blows on the flames that are going to burn him and then start to sing a delicate lullaby...

A short hidden track "a cappella" concludes this wonderful album. According to the band it's a strange litany sung in the Liguro-Apuan fairytale "La M'nata" by the cursed souls who, every night, go down to the village of Miseglia, to haunt the dreams and the minds of the inhabitants... "Bededeum bededeum mena la m'nata..."...

Well, after almost an hour of amazing acoustic charms all what I can say it's that this album should be a must for every music lover!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An Italian Ethnic/Prog group from Carrara, the driving forces of which were guitarist Antonio Pincione and wind instrumentalists Davide Lazzaroni and Jacopo Bisagni.First line-up comprised also of female singer Enrica Mariani, guitarist Fabio Ghelli and violinist Martino Salvetti.Laura Mannucci replaced Mariani for a short time in 1999, but in 2000 their long-time lead singer Micaela Guerra along with bassist Gabriele D'Ascoli and drummer Rodolfo Giardina enter the picture.In 2002 the band releases a rare debut, ''Brevistele'', and the same year they abandon any thoughts on recruiting a drummer, after Giardina left the band (along with Salvetti).In 2006 comes a huge expansion, adding Chiara Vatteroni on harp, Sara Montefiori on violin, Andrea Cecchinelli on viola and Alessandro Maccione on violoncello.In 2008 Bededeum released their sophomore effort ''Oltre il sipario'' on the Locanda Del Vento label.

The use of flutes and strings does not leave much to imagination regarding the band's original musical direction, but it appears that with the addition of a huge string section in mid-00's Bededeum had sunk into the world of Ethnic Music for good.''Oltre il sipario'' has nothing to do with Rock music, it's actually a trippy Folk/Prog Folk album, based on the use of archaic traditional instruments and a mood for experimentation into the world of Mediterrenean and Celtic music with the flutes, piano, acoustic guitars and Uillean pipes leading the way.Not to mention the fantastic fairytale vocals of Micaela Guerra and the display of male/female dual vocal arrangements.Ethereal acoustic orchestrations with soft interplays between the instruments, poetic and minimalistic ethnic soundscapes and relaxing folky melodies are the main characteristics of the album with the Italian language and its unique-sounding harmony adding a beautiful dimension to the nostalgic musicianship.Along with the evident Italian and Celtic influences the album contains also hints of the Medieval period as well as British and French Folk with some troubadour-like male voices.The tracks with the heavy use of string instruments are also the most melancholic ones, a nice exhibition of lyrical emotions, acoustic charm and traditional tunes.

The band apparently dissapeared from the map and I have only detected the traces of a couple of members, which are still involved in Ethnic Music.Anyway, Bededeum left behind a warm, mellow and well-crafted document of Ethnic Music with all these multi-European influences and the album is definitely a nice addition for anyone searching for acoustic and imaginative soundscapes.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Once upon a distant time, when city states ruled the remnants of the dislocated Roman Empire , when powerful merchants in Venice, Genoa, Florence, Milan, Siena, Pisa and many others ruled what is now called amusingly Italy and provided the universe with talented architects, painters, scientists and inventors, the medieval arts also flourished mightily. This ancient tradition still lives on today, every time a mandolin is strummed and let us all remember once again that the Celtic bagpipe evolved from similar instruments that spanned the entire European continent , scouring into Africa (Maghreb) and the Middle East and as far away as Central Asia. Traditional folk stories were set to music and the bards and troubadours were all the rage throughout the various kingdoms of the Continent.

Bededeum seeks to rekindle the glowing candle of the past and remind us that music can be a time travel voyager of infinite discovery. Their impossible to find debut 'Brevistele' was a total masterpiece of medieval tinged genius, a selection of tunes fueled by flutes and harps that promulgated the simplicity of musical beauty. The follow-up goes deeper into more symphonic realms, adding strings such as viola and violin to the mixture of bagpipes, woodwinds and singers Micaela Guerra and Davide Lazzaroni complement each other brilliantly. The stories recall more recent events such as WW1, the Irish Troubles, a 1911 quarry disaster in the town from which this band originates (the marble center of Carrara) and some literary influences as well (Arthur Rimbaud and Umberto Eco). In true troubadour fashion, the music relies on solid stories, tales and historical events that give the work way more depth than singing about love and romance.

The first seconds of "Pietre Bianche" (the White Stones) sets that standard from the very onset of crisp acoustic guitar, flutes, Celtic Harp and Uillean pipes that prep the stage for a haunting female vocal, recounting the legend of Carrara marble. Swirling, hypnotic and intense, the music shudders, hushes and disturbs by its utter beauty. The listener is transported back in time and space with a melody that aches and inspires, an immediate immersion into a faraway realm. The male and female voices combine to spin some serious magic. The spirit of Ireland is expertly emoted on "Le Voci di Derry", a tune you would swear to be purely Celtic in all its trappings, a melody very similar to the classic Gordon Lightfoot "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" which was originally recorded by Christy Moore using lyrics written by IRA prisoner, martyr and icon Bobby Sands. Combining past and present is lovingly used to create something out of this world and the solemn words are sung in Italian and the effect of the dual vocals are stunning and imbue the melody with profound depth and passion.

"Geordie" presumably refers to the name used to define someone from Newcastle, though this is a traditional British folk song that has been played by many other artists worldwide, with a melody that many will perhaps recognized. Again the Italian lyrics give this tune a different spin, leaving the violin, flute and guitar to weave the simple arrangement. A funky slap bass guitar section will raise quite a few eyebrows.

A more epic piece is next, "Gerard Duval, tipografo" denotes the emotions of a WW1 soldier , a French 'poilu' who is about to write a final solemn goodbye to his love , before assaulting the barbed-wire, machinegun infested quagmire he must run through, obeying to some insane order from above. This swirling dance of fire even dares to include a strong sense of avuncular finality, facing assured death and immortality. An inspired instrumental "Pee Wee and the Quaker" is a combination of a take on an Irish traditional as well as some obvious American influences (all that is missing is the banjo) and showcases some furious string picking. The second part involves lots of flute and pipes, twirling like a spinning top at breakneck speed.

"Una Stagione all'inferno" suggests more somber sentiments, inspired by crazed but brilliant French poet Arthur Rimbaud, whose poem (Une Saison en Enfer) is considered to be masterpiece as well as a revolutionary illustration of symbolist writing.

The mining disaster of Bettogli in 1911 caused the death of 10 people from Carrara, so this story has a great amount of historical perspective to the Bededeum crew. Needless to say that with the advent of the industrial revolution, many thousand died in mine shafts throughout Europe, inspiring artists to write songs to commemorate the events (Barclay James Harvest, the Bee Gees, U2, among many others). Between 1850 and 1914, more than 90,000 were killed in British mines, so it's not surprising that traditions of remembrance live on.

"Quando qui Distesa" has a definite Argentinian texture, a nervy dance with a strumming guitar, swerving violin and a chugging pace to provide a platform for a passionate vocal that has a real tango feel. "An dro and Dies Irae" is the highlight piece here, a two-part instrumental that has strong Breton feel (Alan Stivell, Malicorne, Tri Yann), highly cyclical in its delivery, remindful of the sameness/diversity of the sea This terrific album ends with a suave lullaby, a Tuscan classic that was altered by the band and inspired by an Umberto Eco novel, about a priest consumed by flames as he is tied to the stake. The mood is forlorn and tragic, only heightened by a prolonged silence and a hidden piece that repeats the word 'Bededeum' as if relating to a Zeuhl/Gregorian ritual. Brilliant.

Kind of ironic that two of the finest medieval folk albums in progressive rock stem from Italy, as both Gian Castello and Bededeum have set the highest possible bar, each with two stupendous releases that span time and space. Extremely original and highly entertaining.

5 Torn curtains

Latest members reviews

4 stars A hidden gem from Italy that deserves a lot more exposure. Bededeum is from Italy, but their sound and music is from a very wide area. From the lush sanddunes of Donegal, Ireland via the Brittany coast line in France and the small villages in Catalonia, Spain to the lush Tuscany wineyards. This ... (read more)

Report this review (#585545) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, December 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars BEDEDEUM "Oltre il Sipario" It's a little anoying thing to write down the name of artist and their album especially in case of Italian. For English is difficult for me to write further more Italian. But thinking of their music of musicality I am always being good conditions when listening to the ... (read more)

Report this review (#212045) | Posted by bspark | Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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