©1992-2001 The Living. Net

In Dal loggione (1979) the spectator of a performance, most probably an opera, narrates from the gallery of his unrequited love for the woman he observes down below in the company of her husband. The chorus of this piece is charged with pathos as the lover, while sharing Conte's typical sense of self-mockery, abandons himself in his declaiming to the sublime power of the music as it "flows into the soul" of his beloved. In the very same instant it becomes both the overpowering soundtrack to his feelings while giving a kind of cathartic relief from his anguish. "E allora viva la musica che ti va/ fin dentro all'anima, che ti va/ penso di credere che finirò/ sempre di vivere di te…/para-punzi-punzi-pun, para punzi para-para-punzi-pun" (And so hurrah for the music that goes to you deep into your soul, that goes to you I think that I believe that I will end up always living of you para-punz…).

Again we have another example of the artist's imaginative approach (though here some credit might also have to be given to Fabi, the principal arranger). The complexity of the effect is achieved with great originality through the use of a male backing-vocal line of a pseudo-operatic character that unexpectedly supplies the solemn connotations of lyric opera while suddenly bringing into the scene the performance taking place on stage. The solemnity of the situation is then broken and ironically mocked by the "para-punzi-punzi-pun" of the end.

Whether in the original conception of a piece or in its later arrangement, the composer is delving into particular and well-established genres and musical stereotypes; be they from jazz, film music or even opera, as we see here, but also from Latin-American music, European folk and generally anything else to his liking, incorporating their associations into the final rendition.

2.4 "Gusto cinematico"

One of the consequences of this process is a stylised and stereotyped feel that gives many of his songs a peculiarly cinematic flavour, in the sense that the music revels in a certain theatricality drawing on all kinds of sources for its scenic effects. By no coincidence film scores themselves have a tradition of crossing all musical boundaries in order to borrow what most suits them and Conte is himself a theatre and film soundtrack composer. In an off the cuff interview, he touched on this aspect of his work: