Touching Extremes reviw by Massimo Ricci

Bernardo Sassetti – Alice (TA 001)

“Alice” is director Marco Martins’ opera prima, a movie dealing with the anguish and solitude of a father whose daughter has mysteriously disappeared. He looks for her everywhere, to the point of placing many cameras throughout Lisbon in the hope of finding out where she is. Due to this search, his existence becomes a necessary routine, the only way to feel that she’s still with him, because he’s sure that, by interrupting this circle, he would lose her forever. Bernardo Sassetti realized the movie’s soundtrack with his customary sensitiveness, deciding to limit the timbral palette to three colours – his piano, Rui Rosa’s clarinet and Yuri Daniel’s double bass – thus creating what’s probably his most “minimalist” album, an opus that lives beyond its commentary scope and touches deeply with its simple structures and dejected melodic sketches. As a matter of fact, one of the main themes is a clear homage to the Philip Glass of “Glassworks” and “Koyaanisqatsi”, but Sassetti adds spice by subjecting the chromatic line to a 7/4 structure that melts its hypnotic quality down a little. Rosa and Daniel’s intense participation to the music’s sad intensity complements the author’s almost obsessive figurations in splendid fashion, letting us have a glance at the complex system of dazed gestures and desperate, if silent mournings of a man whose loneliness is concrete and burning. The sounds of the city appear every once in a while to highlight and, absurdly, enhance this incessant sorrow. If I’m not wrong, only a Portuguese version of the movie exists on DVD; while we wait for a larger distribution, getting yourself a copy of this beautiful score is certainly easier – and, of course, recommended.

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