22 November 2008

LE ORME to headline FMPM 2009

Next September, one of Italy's greatest progressive rock bands performs for the first time in Montreal, as Le Orme headlines the fourth edition of the FMPM. Founded in 1966, Le Orme have released 18 albums, have headlined almost every significant music festival while maintaining a loyal fan base in Italy, and continue to produce acclaimed studio material forty years after their inception.

After releasing several beat and psych singles, the classic trio formation of Aldo Tagliapietra, Michi dei Rossi, and Toni Pagliuca was in place by 1970. This formation released four canonical Italian prog releases during this time, "Collage", "Uomo di Pezza", "Felona e Sorona", and finally "Contrappunti". Like many of the more popular Italian groups, Le Orme tried their hand with an English release, with "Felona & Sorona" coming out on Charisma with translated lyrics by Peter Hammill. Due to the instrumental configuration of keyboards, bass, and drums, and with a very classical sound, it is easy to compare this period to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, without the maudlin stabs at honky tonk and the like.

In the late 70s a fourth member joined on guitar, and releases such as "Florian" and "Piccola Rapsodia dell'Ape" take on a different flavour, with an emphasis on acoustic textures. In the 80s the group was down to the core trio but less active. A reunion took place in the late 90s with the release of "Il Fiume", and a well-received appearance in Quebec City (among others). The group was now a quartet, with Michele Bon and Francesco Sartori sharing Pagliuca's old keyboard duties.

Not content to rest on their laurels, this decade has seen the release of two conceptual studio works, "Elementi" and "l'Infinito". Unlike many progressive groups who have continued from the early 70s to today, Le Orme's current work is considered by many to be of the same quality as their classic period albums. Le Orme headlined NEARFest several years ago and a CD/DVD release called "Live in Pennsylvania" came out this year to commemorate that event. Le Orme is now back to a trio formation, with Michele Bon handling all keyboards along with stalwarts Tagliapietra and dei Rossi, and have maintained a busy gig schedule in Italy this year. They are currently at work on a new album.

In September, Montreal will be the place to be, as Le Orme joins a top caliber line-up including Magenta, DFA, Thieves' Kitchen, and Rouge Ciel. More information about the festival, including our official hotel, is available at http://www.fmpm.net.

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