This original soundtrack recording from the famed Italian composer Ennio Morricone is an extraordinary chapter in his vast discography. The film was known in the U.S.A. as The Cold Eyes of Fear and was directed by Mario Girolami. Scarcely known up until its 2000 reissue, the recording is most notable for featuring the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. This group was in fact the avant-garde project that Ennio Morricone cut his teeth on during the early '60s. The outward-bound ensemble was formed in Rome and are often compared to M.E.V. and AMM, as they were similar collectives of avant-garde composers with inspired interests in noise and atonality, which they drew from 20th Century Classical and avant-garde music . John Cage, Gianto Schlesi, and Mauricio Kagel's approaches were the basis of the collective, which included in their ranks Franco Evangelisti, Egisto Macchi, Giancarlo Schiaffini, and Giovanni Piazza, among others. These abrasive sounds -- mixed with a total free improvisation ethic that was informed by free jazz -- culminated in a music that predated free improvisation and noise music. With this battery of sound textures, Ennio Morricone composed these scores, which defy both the purist avant-garde approach of the group and the funky beat and garage pop sounds that they rub up against. Late-'60s Italian cinema scores do not come more highly recommended than this. This juxtaposition of ideas is simply intense. Far ahead of its time as listening music, yet as a score the tension and atonality perfectly parallel the film -- a mixture of high tension and pop trash. It is certain that composers such as John Zorn took pointers from this experimental phase of Ennio Morricone's work.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane
|Gli Occhi freddi della paura, film score|