Aldo Tagliapietra

Photo: Riccardo Arena

Dan: Hello Aldo! I am very happy to interview a member of one of Italy’s most important bands, Le Orme! Would you mind introducing yourself?

Aldo: Sure. I was born in Murano island in the 1945 and I had a realy beautiful childhood. Many friends, water and sun. I decide to study music when I was fourteen-fifteen in spite of working in the glass factories of the island. I formed my first band in the 1962 ( the Corals ) and then Le Orme in the 1966. We did our firs LP in the 1968  (Ad Gloriam ) and then COLLAGE ( 1971 ).

Dan: So Aldo, if you don’t mind, we would like to start at the beginning. Could you tell us what the band’s formation was like? Who were some of the early members who left?

Aldo: The first line-up of Le Orme was: Nino Smeraldi lead guitar, Claudio Galieti Bass, Marino Rebeschini drums and myself on rithl guitar and voice.

Dan: How did you come in contact with Tony and Michi, who, along with you, would form the core of Le Orme for most of its career?

Aldo: At that time, here in Italy, we had the duty to serve the country. So Marino was the first one to leave the band and Michi came. Tony came some mounths to complete the sound of the band. The second one to leave Le Orme was Claudio, always for the same reason. It was the time I played the bass to replace Claudio.

Dan: On Le Orme’s first album we heard a sound that was not quite the same as what would be heard later. Ad Gloriam was perhaps poppier and more psychedelic than what would be made later. Could you tell us about its recording process?

Aldo: During the earlier 70′s all things changed so quickly, but the real reason of the differece was the different line-up. Five people on AD GLORIAM, three on COLLAGE.

Dan: There were a few musicians on that album that didn’t show up again in the band. What happened to them?

Aldo: Nino, Claudio and Marino took another way of life and for a long time I did not have news from them. At the moment I am in touch with Claudio.

Dan: Collage and Uomo Di Pezza are the albums that really showed Le Orme reach its true potential and introduce the sound that we would learn to become familiar with. The band also gained its traditional trio format. What was it like to record these albums?

Aldo: In the 1970 we were very determinated to write and play our music, but we did not have correspondence from the Recording Companies. We worked a lot to convince one of them to invest many on our project. We recorded COLLAGE live in one weeck plus another week for mixing.

Dan: Uomo Di Pezza’s also introduced us to a trademark of the Italian Prog Scene: beautiful album art. How did you guys pick your album art in general, and the art for this album and Felona E Sorona in particular?

Aldo: Giampiero Reveverberi, the producer, helped us. He found the Mazzieri’s painting in a art-gallery in Milano. The same for Lanfranco wich did the painting after speaking with us.

Dan: Speaking of Felona E Sorona, this album is generally considered to be one of the Italian Prog Movement’s masterpieces. What was it like to record this magnificent opus?

Aldo: The recording of that album sound to me very strange because, everything came out very spontaneous and inspirated. I think it has been a very lucky moment.

Dan: For the English language version of this album, Le Orme had the pleasure of working with the magnificent Peter Hammill of Van Der Graaf Generator. What was it like having him write the lyrics for this version?

Aldo: When Peter left the VDGG, he came in Italy as special guest in our show. He heard F&S and he said: I want to do the English version. So it was.

Dan: I think it’s a great credit to Italy that VDGG was so popular there, because they are one of my favorite bands. That said, why do you think it was that they were so popular? As I said, they are one of my favorite bands, but they certainly don’t make “accessible” music!

Aldo: During the 70′s Italy was the most competent country all over the world. We “discovered” VDGG, GENTLE GIANT, GENESIS and many others.

Dan: Contrappunti introduced a bit more intensity to the band’s music, especially in the intro. I would say the intro to this album is one of the reasons it’s my favorite Le Orme album. What was it like to record it?

Aldo: It was our Classic period. We tried to write some Classic Rock Music and CONTRAPPUNTI was the attempt.

Dan: I would continue to ask about specific albums, but Le Orme has made so very many, I’m sure you would be very bored if we kept going like this. Are there any specific moments on the next few albums you would like to mention?

Aldo: What do you think to do that on our next interview? With pleasure.

Dan: The fact that Le Orme managed to release so many albums is actually interesting. Along with Banco, PFM, and a small few besides you all, most Italian bands only managed to release one or two albums. Why were you guys able to record so many?

Aldo: Fortune? We are prolific people. ah ah ah

Dan: Out of all of the albums mentioned (and perhaps the rest that have been left unmentioned), do you have a particular favorite? Perhaps a favorite due to the way it was recorded, or perhaps the music made on it?

Aldo: No, I dont have a favorite one. Each one has something great.

Dan: What would you say is a work you did not enjoy making? Or perhaps a work you are not proud of?

Aldo: SMOGMAGICA also if there are two great songs AMICO DI IERI e LOS ANGELES.

Dan: Not that I want to make you sound egotistical, but do you consider Le Orme one of the leaders of RPI? Or at least, did you consider the band that way back in the past? I ask because a lot of people certainly do/did.

Aldo: Well, I think it is normal for a 44 years band.

Dan: One of the details many people do know, is the absence of long time Le Orme member Tony Pagliuca. Could you tell us a reason for his departure?

Aldo: They are personal reasons and every human being is conscious of his choises.

Dan: Le Orme has released quite a few good albums in recent years, such as L’Infinito and Elementi. Can you tell us about the creation processes of these albums? Would you say your creation process is different now than it was then?

Aldo: Our process is always the same. We rent a rehearsal room and we work for a couple of mounths, than when we think we are ready, we start to recording.

Dan: There seems to be an interesting phenomenon occurring in recent years. There have been a large number of RPI bands reforming to release new albums. Why do you, as one of these bands, think this is?

Aldo: Right now, it is a good time for Progressive music. I hope it goes on.

Dan: What does the RPI scene look like now, and what did it look like in the 70’s? What are some differences that you see?

Aldo: During the 70′s we have had a big radio support and TV. Now….nothing. Only live shows.

Dan: One of PFM’s most recent releases is a wonderful live album that was recorded at your NEARFest performance in 2005. Was it enjoyable to play in the U.S.? Has Le Orme ever played here before?

Aldo: We played in LA, S. Francisco, Mexico City, Mexicali, Chiwawa, Buenos aires, Barcellona, Rio de Janejro, etc… During the Bethlem Festival we released LIVE IN PENNSYLVANIA four years ago.

Dan: Is there a possibility of more new material from Le Orme in the future?

Aldo: Let me know what you need and will see if I can send you.

Dan: As a final question, what are some of your personal influences, and what are some of the influences of Le Orme in general? Musically or otherwise…

Aldo: Every musician and every band has been influenced each other. Anyway, Jack Bruce was my favorite and Emerson’s Nice.

Dan: I’m done with my questions, is there anything more you would like to add?

Aldo: No, I think the interview is quite thorough.

Dan: Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview, Aldo, all the best!

Aldo: The same to you.

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