Memory is a door with which to cross time, but the key to open that door is Love.
As a collector of movie score’s, I am always on the lookout for new and inspiring material at a time when maybe film music is probably not that inventive, melodious, or innovative.
Just today a composer sent me a message saying this is a score I have been involved with recently, I listened to the first few tracks, and I must admit I was totally consumed and smitten by the sheer beauty and emotion of the score, the richness of its themes is stunning and the artistry and perfect performances of the soloists and players involved on the project are all phenomenal all of which are members of the Orchestra of Conservatorie of Rovigo.
I straight away went looking for the movie which is Quel Posto nel Tempo (That Place in Time) and found that it is about conductor who has dementia, a dreadful illness that destroys lives and wipes out memories. Mario (Leo Gullotta), a retired conductor, spends his days in a luxury resort and care facility in the South of England, he has long suffered from Alzheimer’s and is often bombarded by thoughts and images of his past. Images and thoughts that disappear as swiftly as they have manifested themselves due to the cruel illness. He lives every day with the fear that the disease will erase his past, but above all he fears losing his thoughts of the love of his wife Amelia (Giovanna Rei), who died years before, and of his daughter Michela (Beatrice Arnera).
The reality of his days are confused between flashbacks and imaginary visions, which work in such a way that the viewer also experiences first hand, through the eyes of the protagonist, the terror of debilitating and confusing illness. The movie is directed with passion and compassion by filmmaker Giuseppe Alessio Nuzzo.
The score is so heartwarming and affecting it is I must admit difficult not to become caught up with it and shed a tear or two in the process. Quel Posto nel Tempo (That Place in Time) has to it poignant and haunting compositions. Many of the pieces within the score are written by different composers as it is a genuinely collaborative work, a labour of love that in essence is a homage to the music of Italian cinema. Why? Well, because there are many nods of acknowledgement throughout the work that evoke memories of the trademark sounds of Italian film music, lilting thematic material, touching piano solos, subtle woodwind, melancholy cello and violin solos, guitar performances and exquisite wordless female voice that at times is supported by more voices bringing an ethereal sound to the proceedings. There are no standout tracks as the entire score is magnificent and each cue has to it a heartfelt and heartbreaking musical persona a musical voice that reaches out touches one’s heart and awakens one’s emotions.
I hear in the score the genius of Ennio Morricone, the subtle yet majestic style of Marco Frisina, and the beauty and melodic lushness of Nino Rota. With affiliations and inspiration being taken from the works of Max Richter and Abel Korzeniowksi too, with some of the composers applying certain compositional techniques that they had been studying under the guidance of Maestro Biscarini. This is a powerful score, a gracious and affecting work that is overflowing with delicate nuances and fragile tone poems.
The score as I say is a collaborative or collective effort which was the work project of the master’s in film music led by David di Donatello Winner Marco Biscarini: with whom the composers and performers are attending research studies about contemporary film music, they agreed together about the music elements of the score’s ostinatos, harmonics, functional harmony and opera elements too, because of the opera scenes in the movie. The opera scenes being performed by Rovigo Conservatorie Students: from Gluck’s Orfeo and from Puccini’s Turandot these scenes being directed by Anna Cuocolo.
Composer Michele Catania who is one of the contributors on the score and composed the Love Theme and the Main song for the movie, said “My theme is linked to Italian melody, but it is written in 6/4 to recreate the expanded time of memories, and the strings often are covering the voice: the maximum level of affection in the song is representing the maximum damage of the Illness”.
Come la musica (M. Catania)
Se I miei ricordi sono qui
La mia realtà ormai fugge via
Quando ti scrivo Tu torni ancora qui davanti alle mie mani Il tempo scappa via E ti allontana più da me
Il miei dolori sono qui Ma Io non li afferro perché so
Come la musica Mi sfuggon via Non riesco a farli miei Ma sono dentro me Come te che resti qui Con me.
Temporary English version.
I see my memories that flow Through My mind that returns back again, And When I am writing To you I’m feeling as if You’re in front of my hands. My time is running out And brings you too far from my brain. If All of my damages are here, But I am not bringin’ anymore And It’s like the music does. They run away I can’t make them myself My pains are still in me As if you were staying here With me.
The song Come la Musica is performed on the soundtrack by vocalist Sara D’Arielli, accompanied by Claudia Lapolla on violin and Alessia Bruno on cello, the conductor for this piece is Stefano Celeghin, who was one of three conductors involved with the score the other two being André Bellmont and Yati Durant. The vocal version of the piece is also presented in instrumental form which is breath-taking, the violin and cello soaring and intertwining to realise a sound and emotion that is consuming and passionate. It’s an interesting fact that this is the film score to be produced by a Conservatoire which included the music, sound design and internal music such as the Opera’s all under the supervision of Marco Biscarini. It is such a polished and effectual work I hope it is not the last.
This is a heart wrenchingly alluring score, a bittersweet and tantalising listen, that will stay with you forever. Composers who collaborated on the score for the movie include, Dino Viceconte, Giuliano Romagnesi, Davide Tura, Luca Brembilla, Rodolfo Matulich, Federico Ciompi, Alessio Pasquale, Biagio Mauro Mariano and Michele Catania.
With Adriano Aponte contributing to the score in his own right and being the main credited composer on the movie. It is a great achievement for a score such as this to be partly composed and produced by members of a Conservatoire collectively, and I recommend it without reservation.
There is so much within this score it literally oozes emotions and has to it wide variety of colours and textures that go to make up a stunning piece of movie music.
If you miss out on this wonderful soundtrack you will be poorer for doing so. The score is available via Soul Trade music on digital platforms, please check it out. Mention must also be made of the audio department, that recorded and mixed the music, Antonio Ministeri orchestra manager, Francesco Petronelli orchestra supervisor and Daniele Ceciliot who recorded and mixed the Vincenzo Cavalli mix for Tema lirico that will be released very soon. Highly recommended.