Dove Siete? Io Sono Qui

Pino Donaggio

" Dove Siete? Io Sono Qui is a curious score "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release

Dove Siete? Io Sono Qui is a 1993 drama directed by Liliana e Cavani. The film follows a young deaf man whose mother refuses him to let him learn to communicate and live as an independent human being. However, his aunt secretly helps him and in the process of this, and falls in love with a deaf young woman. Their conflicted relationship – they both come from a very different background – does not prevent them from eagerly desiring to be together and live as any other couple should.

Pino Donaggio previously composed stylish music to two other films by Liliana Cavani; The Berlin Affair and Oltre le Porta. Dove Siete is a welcome return to such fine orchestral writing but is also very much a work of flaws. The scored was written for an ensemble of 18 violins, 8 violas, 4 basses, flute, oboe, bassoon, piano, harp and synthesizer. p. Dove siete? Io sono qui does have some material performed by a classical ensemble, two songs and the rest is entirely electronic.

The main theme is an evocative mixture of meditative and expressive melancholy, dominated by different types of strings. However, it's directly tapping into the two famous canon based works by Arvo Pärt: Cantus in D Memory and Tabula Rasa. Ironically, such a type of musical composition is characterized by the imitation of a melody in a different voice, which makes Donaggio's effort overtly blatant. He does, however, in the veins of these two pieces, adds a new melody to his theme, which sounds like it was written Part as well. It does evoke mixed feelings, but I can only applaud such brilliant organic incorporation, one of the best I know. Considering the peculiar creative process behind the creation of the theme, it is very captivating, and both the sound, style and colours are heard in other parts of the score, slightly enriched by some recognizable Donaggio trademarks. 'Dammi Mille Baci Poi Cento Ancora' is the best and longest representation of the theme, while also including a bizarrely estranging synthesized sound of chirping crickets, which is also found in some synth only tracks.

Donaggio has often expressed preferring to write orchestral works over electronic scores, while he has used synthesizers so extensively throughout his career, from full electronic, halflings and the small scale, supportive type. There is a whole grey area of scores in which the degree of electronics is no so easily contributed to solely financial or artistic reasons. But its use in both memorable and curious musical moments. For example, in his score to the 1996 Squillo, an evocative cello melody aided by pianoforte is interrupted by unearthly pop synths. With the songs, there are two in Dove siete? Io sono qui, Donaggio is helped by Natala Massare (an often employed orchestrator) and Paolo Steffan (an often employed synthesizer programmer). These songs are usually requested by a filmmaker and Donaggio has never, as far as I am aware, rejected the idea. It does also make sense given his musical background.

I think for this score, the composer uses the electronics to explore a sonic spectrum befitting to the world of mute people and their way of communicating. The cue 'Akira' is an atmospheric, electronic piece with a varied series of sounds, watering synths, raindrops, light synthesized strings, poppy percussion, a choir, illustrating a sense of a different, isolated world. But once the synths rise in dynamics and ´reveal´ how outdated they are, even at the time of composing, they become ineffective and distracting. Yet, they are a bit of guilty pleasure, which ''La Tempesta Di Mare', a synthesizer sampled take on Vivaldi, is certainly not. It's dreadful. I genuinely appreciate smaller bits of the great vintage synths and a wonderfully evocative chirping sound in 'La Sua Musica La Sua Musica' and is included in the final rendition of the main theme (Dammi Mille Baci Poi Cento Ancora).

Dove Siete? Io Sono Qui is a curious score, perhaps even almost entirely a guilty please, even though the majestic, yet unoriginal main theme genuinely touches me deeply. In a sense, this score represents everything I love and dislike about the music by Pino Donaggio. He has composed at least a couple of dozen fully brilliant works, but there is so much in between.

1. Dove Siete? Io Sono Qui (01:48)
2. La Poesia In Latino (01:21)
3. Capire Il Silenzio (01:10)
4. Akira (03:41)
5. Pioggia E Vento Come Musica (02:04)
6. Mare In Ottombre (01:25)
7. Il Fiore Del Silenzio (03:01)
8. La Sua Musica (02:50)
9. La Tempesta Di Mare (03:44)
10. Pensiero (03:11)
11. Silent Line (04:25)
12. Marvin's Game (04:30)
13. La Luce (01:01)
14. Casa Sul Mare (00:33)
15. Angoscia Il Ospedale (01:49)
16. Dammi Mille Baci Poi Cento Ancora (05:15)

Total Duration: 00:41:48

(written 01-08-2020)
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(total of 1 votes - average 4/5)

Released by

CAM (regular release 1993)