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Bededeum - Oltre il Sipario CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.28 | 15 ratings

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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 Andrè translated the song in Italian and Bededum interpret it here in a very convincing way.

"Gérard 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!

andrea | 5/5 |


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