Tuesday, 27 September 2011

UMBRIA

An now we go east, to UMBRIA and to its capital PERUGIA. Perugia is a beautiful city full of art and history but nowadays it’s best known for a mysterious crime that continues to make the highlights of the newspapers, the Murder of Meredith Kercher. Perhaps it is not by chance that an excellent prog band such as Il Bacio della Medusa (MySpace) comes from here. In 2007 they released a wonderful concept album inspired by the dark story of Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, Discesa agl’inferi d’un giovane amante.


Recently three members of Il Bacio della Medusa started a side project called Ornithos (MySpace) and in 2012 released an excellent debut album, La trasfigurazione. Another member of Il Bacio della Medusa, Simone Cecchini, recently teamed up with keyboardist Alfio Costa (Tilion, Prowlers, Daal) for another side project called Fufluns - Complesso Embrionale Fossile (MySpace).


Other contemporary bands and artists from Perugia are Vitalba (MySpace), formed in 1991, which came back to life in 2009 after a long hiatus, the classically inspired This Harmony (MySpace), the metal influenced Lunocode (Reverbnation), the young solo project Fiordaligi (MySpace) and the psychedelic Red Onions (MySpace). In the seventies the city gave also us L’Estate di San Martino (Official Website), another band that recently reunited. By the way, Perugia is the home city of Augusto Croce, founder of the site Italianprog.com, a precious resource for Italian prog lovers.


A town north east of Perugia, Gubbio, is home to the emerging TheGeneration (MySpace), Le Chiavi del Faro (Facebook) and to The Titans (MySpace) that recently released their debut album on Musea Records while the prog guitarist Giampaolo Cavalieri (MySpace) comes from the nearby town of Gualdo Tadino. South east of Perugia there’s Assisi, the birthplace of Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. From here comes an emerging prog band called Pneuma (MySpace). 


Heading south we pass through the town of Foligno with bands such as Melpein (MySpace), In Assenza (MySpace), Niagara (MySpace) and the post rock L’Uomo di Vetro (MySpace). Then we visit Spoleto where a famous summer music and opera festival called  the Festival dei Due Mondi is held every year. Here we can listen to Vieux Carrè (MySpace), a band that was formed in 2003 as Chiaroscuro. In 2005 they changed name and released their first self-produced full length album Gli spiriti, i corpi e le menti. They have been influenced by historic progressive bands such as Genesis, BMS and PFM but their music has its own touch of originality and it’s really worth checking out.


Spoleto is also home to Alias Mundi (MySpace) and Emisferi Paralleli (MySpace), bands that were born from the ashes of Semi Infermità Mentale (MySpace). Our next stop is TERNI, the city of Saint Valentine, where the prog artist Roberto Vallerignani and his project called UD (MySpace) comes from. Other local bands that deserve a mention are Il Sogno di Copernico (MySpace) and Tom Shepperd's Production (Facebook). We conclude our visit to Umbria in Orvieto where we can listen to a band called Gerico (MySpace) and to the Old Rock City Orchestra (MySpace).