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.”
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.
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.
Into the mind and heart of Francesca:
I did mention an epic night, did I not? But, sorry! My mother reads this and really, it’s none of your business 😉 Ciao!