When a group gives their band a name, hence to specific genre, it’s never at random. And even when it comes out as part of some sort of “internal vote”, it hides the unconscious reasons that will carry on dreams – and goals – that will give life to various components.
Pandora resorts to mythology, as it often happens with to those who refers to progressive music, that is, to that genre of music that peaked at the turn of the 60’s and 70s, and subsequently decreased in number of enthusiasts, and today was once again on the increase although just within the genre’s group followers. But the link between the „now“ and „then“ highlights certain analogies, certain similarities, which shorten timeframe and turn fresh concepts and ideas passed down through books, and often used by the people in the form metaphors.
In Greek mythology, the opening of the box given as gift from Zeus to Pandora caused a spill to the entire world’s evil, but initially, hopes remains on the bottom, bringing back life, which became an essential element, just as today, to face daily life. Inside Pandora’s box though, there’s another kind of hope. Hearty and contagious, because it joins together the idea of what quality music is for the group and their fans: to bring back the satisfaction and continuous appreciation of a musical genre which has grown out to infinite dimensions, as with classical music, jazz, and blues. Pandora creates music by merging the arts, combining talents in history and in experience, by engaging and sharing every single step of the way, presenting one with a layered-complex music product, but not self-congratulatory.
Donato Zoppo recently described them as follows:
“The constant theme seen in Pandora’s writing is that of a dream: a cultivated dream, cradled, guarded to act as a launching pad to improve reality. A dream that becomes music, that becomes a colorful “no man’s land” in which, unlike Pandora’s Box, no worldly evil lurks out but instead out comes the idea of a peaceful coexistence between musical genres, between themes, moods, memories and plans.
While proudly stating that they belong to the Progressive Rock world and to the stainless “Psychedelic-Symphonic” style, Pandora are diehard fans and creators of good music: with no labels, no categories, no limits.
Pandora were born in September 2005 but are the arriving point of an old, touching love: that which extremely binds a father and a son, that find in their belonging within Progressive’s music a transgenerational common language, a shared hope. Claudio Colombo, multi-instrumentalist and drummer, is the son of Beppe, a musician of long experience: The Colombo’s are voracious listeners of excellent Rock music from the Seventies and choose to start together a new musical journey. Alongside the excellent keyboardist Corrado Grappeggia, they launch a musical project based on their love of Seventies’ Progressive Rock, inspired by Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, PFM, New Trolls, Gentle Giant, and Le Orme, though aimed toward a newer sound, thanks to Claudio’s love for Dream Theater. In Pandora one can find not just the passion for the genre but also their desire to give it their own interpretation, bringing forward new compositions: this is how the first songs that gave free play toward fantasy, toward researched sounds and melodies, toward lyrical vision, mythology and Fantasy were born.
The secret’s in the different experiences and extractions of the three components: Beppe’s large experience as listener and musician, Corrado’s musical culture, and Claudio’s talent (a rare example of a young multi-instrumentalist and graphic designer). The trio is the basic element that makes up Pandora, which from time to time welcomes the contribution of different musicians with the purpose of producing great compositions.
The Piedmontese band undertakes a live event that included acoustic performances. And it was thanks to the popularity gathered of said live event that in 2008 Pandora find the approval of the prestigious record label AMS-BTF, specialized in Progressive Rock and noted globally for their publications.
In that same period, the group signs a contract deal with BTF and finds guitarist Christian Dimasi. It was a moment of gold for Pandora: with the signing of the contract and Christian Dimasi’s admission to the group follows the release of their long-awaited album debut. Dramma di un Poeta Ubriaco: the perfect one-way ticket to meet Pandora, is a first listen into the start of their journey, with original compositions and versatile sound, Progressive by definition. Pandora’s Symphonic Rock calls strongly on the traditional Symphonic Rock of the ’70s, sung in Italian and ranges between harder sounds, acoustic pauses, hard and jazzy moods, and between great enigmatic and Fantasy frescoes. Between past and future, between great care toward a beloved and exciting Art Rock heritage and the need to dare and to aim at the sound’s modernization, Dramma di un Poeta Ubriaco gathers flattering reviews by both the Italian and international press.
Invigorated by the public success and critiques, Pandora quickly targeted at a second album that could confirm the excellence of the original intuitions and release an innovative project for Italian Progressive Rock. That Italian Progressive Rock so loved overseas – from the United States to Japan, from Europe to South America – today finds a favorable rebirth and Pandora are the leaders of a renewed Italian-flagged movement.
Before the new album, the band held some concerts with fellow Italian bands such as Ubi Maior, but also with prestigious foreign names like Poland’s Riverside. Once done with the recording of the second album, Dimasi left the band, which meant the group went back to its origins as a trio. A new collaboration however takes place: that of artist Emoni Viruet, who executes some wonderful paintings that stimulate the group’s new musical compositions. Like any self-respecting Progressive band, Pandora also pays special attention to the evocative power of their sound, to the strong creative visuals of the compositions: the talent of the young painter of Puerto Rico is another added element to the band’s already-noted polychromatic force. The completion of the album’s new cover art is immediate and for the other paintings that represent each songof the album.
Back as a trio and lead by an always more decided and inspired Claudio Colombo, Pandora release their highly anticipated second album on January 15th, 2011: once again labeled BTF, with Sempre e Ovunque Oltre il Sogno. An album that explores what was presented by the group’s debut and offers the Prog trio new perspectives: hard and evocative, exciting and dynamic, open in the same way towards acoustic and hard sounds, Pandora’s new sound is among the most intriguing Art Rock in Europe.”
The second album brings home great satisfaction, and “Sempre e Ovunque Oltre il Sogno” reaches in 21st place in the top 100 CD prog of 2011 in U.S. Radio program “Global Progressive Rock Network”. On the wave of excitement Pandora is back to work and made “Alibi Filosofico”, officially released on september 23rd, 2013. The band has, once again, joined forces with Matthias Scheller’s AMS-BTF. Their tight bond has allowed them to continue on with their musical journey, which started many years back.
Alibi Filosofico was carried out in new recording studios Pandora-music and was recorded, mixed and edited entirely by Claudio Colombo, taking about seven months time to complete. One particularly important feature in the album is its important special guests: David Jackson, Arjen A. Lucassen and Dino Fiore, while Emoni Viruet, gaining ever-growing experience within the band, gives a great vocal contribution, in addition to her on art work .
And may the dream carry on…