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In Italy, the genre of documentary film has represented a particularly fertile field for a critical review of the musical contribution to cinema at least since as early as the 1950s. The Italian public television RAI used to broadcast disturbing paranoiac dramas, weird documentaries on the bottom of the sea and indigestible so-called “educational” movies. ESP was a television series produced by Rai in 1973, directed by Daniele D'Anza, and aired from Sunday, May 27 1973 to Sunday, June 17, 1973 on the National Program. It was centered around Extra Sensory perception and paranormal psychic phenomena, and the music was made our beloved Maestro and personal hero Egisto Macchi. Compositions are often spooky and tense, with dark instrumentation and a wonderful ear for an odd tuning or unusual phrasing.
There is no doubt that Macchi’s musical contribution is one of the most significant in the panorama of Italian documentary production, in both qualitative and quantita- tive terms. It would nevertheless be arduous to trace a complete picture of his activity in this field, for this would involve discussing several films which no longer exist and, according to records drawn up by Macchi himself, the number of his documentary film scores is well over a thousand.
Egisto Macchi, often remembered as a member ofGruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, the historic Italian improvising collective (that also included Franco Evangelisti and Ennio Morricone, among others), was a major figure within the contemporary music field from the fifties to the eighties. The life path of Egisto Macchi seemed to be devoted to the multiplicity of aesthetic choices and musical expressions. While tracing his life and work, one notices an interesting duality based both on a very inclusive approach towards all kind of expressive needs and full control of the level of communication.