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BEDEDEUM

Prog Folk • Italy


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Bededeum biography
Why 'Bededeum'?

".....bededeum bededeum mena la m'nata..." is the 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 living....
An eternal return from death, an uninterrupted circle which, from the abyss of oblivion, wrenches memory's burden from the souls of the living. A trail which involves all senses, which begins from silence and goes back to silence, crossing pictures interwoven with symbols and emotional tensions..."
(Andrť la Vallette)

Memory is existential, and this is why we want to take note here of some or our history's most fundamental moments.

The 'Bededeum Project' started officially on September 2nd 1997, due to an accidental encounter of some of the group's members at a concert of Vincenzo Zitello, a well-known Italian harpist. Apart from that occasion itself, what convinced us to begin this experience was the shared interest in folk music, especially from the 'anglo-celtic' area (Irish, Breton, English, Scottish etc.). In particular, groups such as Pentangle, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span etc. have considerably influenced our musical taste, even if none of us had exclusively listened to folk music, but also to Rock music from the late sixties and early seventies, English and Italian progressive, American psychedelia, Canterbury music, Jazz, as well as the central characters of the great age of musical revolution in the years of the youth protest movements - from Jimi Hendrix to the frenzy of Daevid Allen's Gong, from the German 'kraut rock' of Can to Jethro Tull, from King Crimson to Genesis, and then Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and, most of all, our own Fabrizio De Andrť... Many travel mates who left us with endless nuances, endless ways of "feeling" the music, and who inevitably had an influence on (or even were indirectly involved in) our way of composing and proposing music.

This is the main reason why we almost immediately abandoned pure traditional (especially Irish) music, attempting numerous experimentations and fusions, reaching as far as early music, sounds from the Balkans and the Middle East, baroque music, and all the various influences which every member of the group inevitably brought in.

December 1997 - The group's first live exhibition (we cannot really call that a concert yet...) took place only a few months after the beginning of our 'ad...
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Bededeum official website

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OLTRE IL SIPARIOOLTRE IL SIPARIO
LOCANDA DEL VEN
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BEDEDEUM discography


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BEDEDEUM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Brevistele
2002
4.47 | 10 ratings
Oltre il Sipario
2008

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BEDEDEUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Oltre il Sipario by BEDEDEUM album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.47 | 10 ratings

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Oltre il Sipario
Bededeum Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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 is by no means solely an Italian folk music album. The Irish folk music is pretty dominant on the opening tracks. But the music settles in a more South-European tradition after the opening songs. But fans of Irish/gaelic folk music should still check out this album and they will probably also get a new favorite band in Bededeum.

The instruments are the traditional acoustic intstruments. Flutes and violins are pretty dominant. The same can be said about the female and male vocals. Everyone is doing a great job.

This is without doubts a great, great album and a true quality product. One that goes straight into my top ten best folk rock albums list. I still think this band has one or two steps to make to reach the perfect album stage. A couple of songs here is not reaching that stage. But this is by all means a great album and one folk rock fans should purchase.

4 stars

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 Oltre il Sipario by BEDEDEUM album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.47 | 10 ratings

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Oltre il Sipario
Bededeum Prog Folk

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

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!

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 Brevistele by BEDEDEUM album cover Studio Album, 2002
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Brevistele
Bededeum Prog Folk

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
5 stars My esteemed colleague finnforest responded to my deep felt appreciation for the masterful Gian Castello album Taliesin by suggesting another Italian prog folk outfit called Bededeum. I have been very serene in my hunt and my recent trip to Budapest Hungary has finally succeeded in finding the debut Bededeum disc, proving that patience is a definite prog virtue. A great amount of trepidation met my initial run through, as finn was essentially lauding the follow up 2007 album and who knows whether this was an equal masterpiece. Obviously, one needs to approach this from a folk angle and truly enjoy instruments such as mandolin, violin, balalaika, uillean pipes, bouzouki and flutes. The sheer versatility of Italy's musical tradition comes shining through (remembering that the bagpipe was a Roman instrument before it landed on the British Isles, brought by the wandering Celts). Hence, this eclectic consortium of 9 folk musicians are a truly inspired group of performing artists who include theater, costumes and medieval presentations added to their craft. There is also a keen disposition towards embedding the proceedings with some genial male and female vocals both in solo and chorus formations, best exemplified by the ultra- Celtic opener "Cuncti Simus Concanentes" that once and for all proves the folk inspiration for such illustrious pieces as Carmina Burana and the entire voiced aspects of zeuhl, as expressed by Magma or the brilliant Universal Totem Orchestra. This crossblending always emanates from some sprightly source, generally expunged from deep and eternal popular roots that go back centuries, giving depth and history to modern techniques and instrumentation. The majestic "La Ruota" harkens back to a pre-synthesized time when musical knowledge was par for the course, the flutes here twirling in a completely medieval expanse, garnering inspiration from ancient traditions and folklore. I guess you can call this reverse progressive as it rears back to a time when things where different, life a somewhat meaningless existence that struggled to survive plague, endless war and injustice. Music was then the only "divertissement". Much like the wandering minstrels, raconteurs and troubadours, these bards trek onwards into English tradition "Foggy Dew", one of the few traditional songs they chose to revisit. Yet most of their material is written by the band which is ultimately an even greater and more laudable endeavor, especially in view of a current musical world that has totally lost its composure and raison d'Ítre (I mean Lady Gaga, really!!!!!). To prove the point, there is a revival of medieval-tinged music lately with acts such as Blackmore's Night, Shine Dion, Vital Duo, Iona and the Decemberists. The deeply spiritual and spirited compositions continuously flow, always searching for new thrills, occasionally singing and even narrating, never boring or sedate. The percussion work is particularly dense, weaving inquisitively into the whistles, pipes, flutes and mandolins, lots of hand drums flailing way with utter confidence. This must be one heck of a live experience to witness, a temporal voyage back in time, to a dark place where music was often the only "light"! Magnificent 3- minute pieces such as the vivacious "Tress", the divine "Il Sogno di Senta", the lively "Saltarello" and the languorous "L'Attesa" keep the listener firmly focused on some distant fortification where velvet clad damsels with spired hat veils await their shining knight. "Ombra" gets a little epic at almost 6 minutes, with majestic vocals from Micaela Guerra showcase flutes flirting with the bagpipe-led melody. The remaining pieces just further consolidate the deep introspective impressions that emanate from the grooves. Perfect chill music on a lazy Sunday morning, contemplating a bygone era when music was, er?..musical.

I was warned and I am now blessed to include this in my collection. Time to hunt down the follow up 2007 alleged masterpiece, cost is not an issue. Grazie finnforest, sei un vero amico (Thanks, you are a true friend). 5 castelli

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 Oltre il Sipario by BEDEDEUM album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.47 | 10 ratings

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Oltre il Sipario
Bededeum Prog Folk

Review by bspark

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 albums! It occured that I am willing to get BEDEDEUM's when I first saw BEDEDEUM's review by finnforest for the rating star is 5. So I ordered this album, and hearing a few times I was very pleased at this album. In this regard I am thankful to finnforest much. without him or her I do not have this album. This album is not Rock Progressivo Italian, but classifide Prog Folk, anyway very well made album and good to listen to. there's a Italian flavor in music as well. I just review at this point wishing that more people listened to this album. It is worth to listen as well. very good! and quite a long time coming out album as it is. thanks a lot

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 Oltre il Sipario by BEDEDEUM album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.47 | 10 ratings

BUY
Oltre il Sipario
Bededeum Prog Folk

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 stuff...so 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!

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