Many of my crazy Bolognese nights start off with a walk down some unassuming, quiet side street and OF COURSE epic nights have ensued.  Contrary to my very worried mother’s speculation: I have not been pillaged,  sold into sexual slavery and am not (currently) a Zombie come back to regale you with exciting tales of my previous life.

This calm Friday evening started with a narrow street called Via De’ Pepoli and a small wedge of light seen up ahead:

Spazio Barnum ( Barnum Space) was thus named to reflect the supportive view of one of P.T. Barnum’s most famous quotes about the public’s general ready discovery of  individuality in generalizations. This space during most of the month is in an unassuming alley with a roll up door like any other, but its space supports a variety of community initiatives.  Lectures, art, music workshops, etc. grace the halls and provides a beautiful, raw space to those who make up the organization and those outside of it ” who want to realize their own projects but that they need logistical support , structure and organization.”

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Photo Credit: Marco Mastroianni

This is where I first encountered the lovely and sublime  Francesca Bono.

 

She is a woman of many things. In the daytime her alter ego works at a mere human bookstore, which is not so bad because she LOVES books, but at night when she is truly herself, she can exist on music alone.

At a very young age, she started singing along with the theme songs of cartoons and at 10 she began to learn how to the play the guitar. Always incredibly shy , she felt that being on stage meant she was “showing off”. It wasn’t until she’d reached 20 years old that she joined up with her first band.

When asked about this industry she’s chosen, it became clear that even though the worlds-a-changing in regards to women being respected in certain industries and the fact that Bologna is very artistically centered, this city has perhaps moved slower than others.   Her biggest pet peeve is that many people upon hearing that she is in a band, just assume that she is singer! ” [A]s if a girl couldn’t be a drummer or a guitarist, or even a producer!! It doesn’t even cross their minds! ” Francesca  is currently with two different musical projects, plays the guitar, the drums, the keyboard, sings, produces and even writes music and lyrics. So take that naysayers!

The band LetHerDive reminded me of Portishead in many ways and was perfect for the intimate and beautiful setting of Spazio Barnum.

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LetHerDive

LetHerDive

 

Her main band  Ofeliadorme (Ophelia is sleeping), is a three piece band. Their music is considered “art-pop” or “dream wave” and uses synthesizers and machines along with the guitar, drums and lyrical love.

They’ve just released their EP entitled “The Tale” in anticipation of their 3rd LP, out in 2015.

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OFELIADORME. Photo Credit: Viktoria Valtchanova

 

Into the mind and heart of Francesca:

If you could move to the US tomorrow, which city would you live in?
-I’ve never been to the States! Can you believe that? I’m planning to, and I’d love to play there.
I’m very fascinated by the idea of living in Portland, San Francisco and New York.
(I’m sure her heart would belong to Oakland though after one visit!)
Your favorite American foods: 
-Mashed potatoes and donuts!
Favorite American musical artists:
-There are many American musicians that I admire and have been listening too: Bill Callahan, The Beastie Boys, Tom Waits. Lately I’ve fallen in love with Grouper (Liz Harris) and Lower Dens.
Your favorite Italian curse word is:
-“fanculo” (fuck it!)
One cosmetic that you couldn’t live without:
-Undereye concealer! I couldn’t survive without that!
How do you “wear your voice” everyday:
 -I “wear my voice” in many ways I think, or I try to, at least! My aim is to learn something new everyday, trying to do the things that I love the most; playing music and reading everything that can enrich me as a human being. Lately I’ve started drawing again. I’ve always loved that. I also try to be active in the social life of my city and my country; standing for civil rights, and supporting the LGBT scene, even though I can’t call myself an “activist”. I’d love Italy to be a country with no discrimination whatsoever. If we all try to do something constructive in our everyday life, we can achieve incredible results. I also wish the Church would be less invasive in Italian politics. I do respect religious people and different cults, but I don’t like the way religion gets in the way of politics.
 
When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you think about is:
-Hungry! Breakfast! The second is that I’d love to travel more, learn more languages and play as much as I can!
Before you go to bed at night, you always:
-Think about the people I love and wish them all the best.
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Listen to LetHerDive and visit their Facebook page: LetHerDive
Listen to Ofeliadorme: http://ofeliadorme.bandcamp.com and www.ofeliadorme.it;. Listen to their new single “The Tale”. It will be released on November 3rd.  It is beautiful!
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I did mention an epic night, did I not? But, sorry! My mother reads this and really, it’s none of your business 😉 Ciao!

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