Tuesday, 27 September 2011

TOSCANA (part 2)

On the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea we visit the Province of Massa-Carrara. The city of Carrara, famous for its marble quarries, gave us some interesting prog bands such as the neo prog Cage (Facebook), Lethean (MySpace) and the prog folk Bededeum (Facebook) who in 2009 released an excellent committed album, Oltre il sipario, dedicated to the memory of Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists executed without a fair trial in the U.S.A. in 1927. Another prog folk band from this area worth mentioning is Antiqua Lunae (Facebook), while Fivizzano, a walled town in the Lunigiana area, not far from Carrara, is home to another interesting prog band called Oxhuitza (MySpace).

Travelling south we now go to PISA, the city famous for its Leaning Tower and hometown of the physicist, mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei, son of lutenist and composer Vincenzo Galilei. The best known artist from this area is probably tenor Andrea Bocelli who reached success with Con te partirò, a piece composed by Francesco Sartori who from 1992 to 1997 was a member of the Venetian prog band Le Orme. Pisa is home to prog bands such as Egoband (MySpace) and Germinale (MySpace). At the moment Germinale are on hold, so their guitarist Salvo Lazzara started an acoustic side project called Pensiero Nomade (MySpace). Other artists and bands from Pisa are Nicola Pardini (Facebook), Homo Ex Machina (Facebook), the folk prog Filarmonica Municipale Lacrisi (MySpace), the retro-avant-garde Delay Lama (Facebook) and the psychedelic Ceke (MySpace) and Milvus (MySpace) while the nearby town of Pontedera is home to Merry Go Round (Facebook) and Le Turbe di Howard (Reverbnation). Another town in the province Of Pisa, Volterra, is home to the metal influenced Quintessenza (MySpace) and the heavy, bizarre Il Maniscalco Maldestro (MySpace).

From Pisa to LIVORNO, the birthplace of opera composer Pietro Mascagni. In the seventies Livorno gave us Capitolo 6 (but half of the members of the band were from Viareggio) and Tugs (Facebook), a band with a strong theatrical approch that recently reunited. Another band that was formed in the seventies and that recently have come to a new life are Aurora Lunare (Official Website) that are finally going to release their first official album on the independent label Lizard Records. Other local bands that are worth mentioning are Raccolta Differenziata (Facebook), Alfa Nefer (MySpace) and Est Morgana (MySpace).

From the nearby town of Cecina come Decuplico (MySpace), a band formed in the mid eighties who recently reformed. Still heading south we visit GROSSETO, where we can listen to some interesting emerging bands such as Gran Turismo Veloce (MySpace), Mosaico (Facebook), Gramma (MySpace) and Opificio Sonoro Maremmano (MySpace).

We head north east now, towards the beautiful city of SIENA, best known for a special horse race that dates from the middle-ages, the Palio di Siena. In the seventies Siena gave us an interesting Christian-prog band called Genfuoco (Official Website) who, after a long hiatus, came to life again in 2000 for some live performances.

Siena is also the home city of an interesting acoustic project that blends classical and folk, Inchanto (MySpace), and of a well known progressive rock webzine, Arlequins. The Province of Siena is the base for some interesting prog bands such as Profusion (MySpace) and Acqua Libera (Facebook), in Colle di Val d’Elsa, Zundapp (MySpace), in Chianciano Terme, Focus Indulgens (Facebook), in an area called Val di Chiana and Labirinto di Specchi (MySpace), in Chiusi.

Still heading north east we conclude our visit to Toscana in AREZZO, home to a very promising dark organ driven project called Three Monks (MySpace), to Tacita Intesa (Facebook) and to the psychedelic Sycamore Age (MySpace).

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