SONGS I LOVE #23: BELLA CI DORMI (ft. Mauro Durante)

Click here to download the track for free

It’s been a while since I’ve released a new cover from the ongoing Songs I Love series so here’s a version of the beautiful southern Italian serenade “Bella Ci Dormi”.

I first sang this song in 2010 when my friend Mauro Durante invited me to perform with his band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino at the festival Le Notte Bianca in Puglia. ‘Bella ci dormi’ was traditionally sung by musicians under the balconies of women who were being proposed to but the tradition of the serenade and the custom of paying a musician to sing as a gesture of love has all but disappeared. Even if the concept of the serenade could do with a little C21st tweaking, I can’t help thinking that making a mixtape or a digital playlist for someone doesn’t have quite the same romantic quality as being sung to under a balcony in the light of the full moon but I may be wrong!

Mauro visited me recently at home as we were writing the lyrics for a song on the new album called “Bring down the wall”, my words in English, his in the Salentino dialect. In between writing lyrics, we also found the time to record together a new cover for Vol II of Songs I Love.

Here’s ‘Bella Ci Dormi’, as always it’s a simple, no frills recording with Mauro on violin and me on guitar. I really hope you’ll enjoy it!

Compilation, Refugee – Various Artists

I recently contributed a new song to the benefit album Refugee. There’s a stellar cast of musicians on the record including Bonnie Prince Billy, Linda Thompson, Alasdair Roberts and fellow Beating Drum artist, Jenny Lysander to name a few. All proceeds from the record go to MOAS, the migrant offshore station who provide search and rescue assistance to refugees and migrants in distress at sea.

The idea for the song ‘This Morning The Birds’ that I wrote for the record was inspired by a conversation I had with my two sons. We live in rural southern France and news had come in that a small number of Syrian families would be allocated housing near to the village where our sons go to school. For a brief moment, the village even became a cause celebre in the local press with Front National activists arriving with their leaflets and inflammatory rhetoric before being firmly booted out by the villagers.

As a family we talked about how people become refugees, we talked of war and famine and of the things that make people desperate enough to risk their own lives and the lives of their own children. We talked about poverty and economic migration and I told them more about their great grandparents who’d come to Britain as economic migrants from Italy, Ireland and Eastern Europe.

More than anything that night we talked about empathy and how the world changes when we see through its lens. We even looked it up in the dictionary. “Empathy is the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.”

The next day I wrote the song “This Morning The Birds” and my sons recorded it and sang it with me.

Listen and buy the album Refugee:

You can find out more about MOAS here:

New release: No One’s Here (Book)

Here’s my latest creation, the book/cd No One’s Here: A 112 page book of my poems and illustrations in a bilingual English and French version + 9-track CD included in the book


© Mr Cup

[Version française ci-dessous]

I started writing poems at about the same time as I first began to try my hand at songwriting. Ever since then, I’ve kept up the habit of juggling between poems and songs. Although I’ve released many albums over the years, until now, I’d never felt ready to do the same with poetry.

No One’s Here is a collection of poems on the theme of identity and the self. I’ve always had a passion for mystic poetry and my bookshelves at home are full of texts on Zen and Chan, Buddhist and Hindu poetry and the writings of Sufi mystics. I discovered the Persian 13th century poets Rumi and Hafez in my mid twenties and delving into their achingly profound poetry, inspired me to attempt to use the poem as a means of observing and analyzing the way I live my life.

The poems in the book are simply, thoughts laid out in a poetic form. The words are the records of a kind of internal observation, one that can quietly uncover and reveal home truths.

To accompany the poems in the book, I decided to write and record a series of instrumental and vocal pieces that would mirror the meditative quality of the poems.
I’ve written a lot of music over the years for tv and film but No One’s Here is the first time I’ve released an album of instrumental music. The cd that goes with the book is in a way, the book’s very own soundtrack and I love the idea that people might read the poems whilst they drift in and out of the music.

You are within reach
but I cannot touch you.
Closer than a hair’s breadth
but I cannot grasp you.

When I’m present,
you’re away,
as soon as I leave,
you appear.

In order to know you,
I will have to go.

For this reason alone,
no one has ever found you.

As always with our Beating Drum releases, we’ve tried to make as beautiful an object of this book as we possibly can and the poems are illustrated with a series of gouache and watercolour paintings. We decided also to publish a bilingual version of the book and the original poems are presented side by side with translations into French by Laetitia Lisa.


© Mr Cup

Book 112 pages with original poems and illustrations by Piers Faccini
BILINGUAL version, featuring original poems + translations into French
+ Exclusive 9-track CD included in the book

Black card cover, hot stamped in gold print
Printed in full colour Offset with stitched binding

Limited edition, only 400 copies
Price: 39€

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J’ai commencé à écrire des poèmes à peu près à la même époque où je me suis essayé à composer des chansons. Depuis lors j’ai gardé l’habitude de jongler entre les deux. Les années passant, et bien que j’aie réalisé plusieurs albums, je ne m’étais pas senti prêt pour autant à faire de même avec la poésie… Jusqu’à ce jour.

No One’s Here est un recueil de poèmes sur le thème de l’identité et du soi. Je cultive depuis toujours une passion pour la poésie mystique ; mes étagères abritent de nombreux textes sur le Zen et le Chan, la poésie Boudhiste et Hindoue, et les écrits des mystiques Soufi. Passé vingt ans, j’ai découvert Rumi et Hafez, poètes Persans du 13e siècle. Totalement infusé de cette poésie poignante, j’ai tenté alors de m’inspirer du poème comme d’un instrument pour observer et analyser la vie que je mène.

Les poèmes de ce livre sont de simples pensées, arrangées dans une tournure poétique. Les mots sont les traces d’une sorte d’observation intime, de celles qui permettent de mettre le doigt sur quelques vérités essentielles.

Pour accompagner les poèmes du livre, j’ai décidé d’écrire et d’enregistrer une série de pièces instrumentales et vocales qui reflèteraient la tonalité méditative des textes.
Je compose depuis longtemps pas mal de musiques pour la télévision et le cinéma. Cependant, avec No One’s here, c’est la première fois que je réalise un album complètement instrumental. J’ai conçu ce cd associé au livre comme une bande-son sur-mesure pour les textes. J’aime imaginer les gens lisant les poèmes puis captés de temps à autre par la musique, dans une lente dérive.

Tu es à portée de main,
mais je ne peux te toucher.
À un cheveu près,
mais je ne peux te saisir.

Quand je suis là,
tu es loin,
dès que je pars,
tu apparais.

Pour te connaître,
je devrai m’en aller.

Rien que pour ça,
personne ne t’a jamais trouvé.

Comme à l’accoutumée chez Beating Drum, nous avons pris soin de réaliser pour ce livre-cd un objet aussi beau que possible, notamment en l’illustrant par une série de mes gouaches et aquarelles.
Nous avons également décidé de publier le livre dans une version bilingue et de présenter les poèmes côte-à-côte, avec leur traduction en Français par Laetitia Lisa.

Livre 112 pages avec poèmes et illustrations originales Piers Faccini
Version bilingue avec traduction française des poèmes originaux
+ inclus CD exclusif 9 titres

Couverture cartonnée Noire, estampée à chaud sur papier d’or
Imprimé en couleur Offset avec reliure cousue

Edition limitée à seulement 400 exemplaires
Prix: 39€

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