For this weeks 'digging deeper' we've delved into the brilliant world of cinema and soundtracks. Our friends at Carbono Record in Lisbon recently brought to our attention the awesome soundtrack to the controversial cult Portuguese Science Fiction film "Os Abismos da Meia-Noite", directed by António de Macedo in 1983.
The film has never received a video or DVD release, but can be viewed below - however sadly there are no subtitles available. "Os Abismos da Meia-Noite" is a trippy magical, low-fi sci-fi adventure, blending parallel worlds, ancient legends and alchemy. Director Antonio Macedo was one of a number of Portuguese filmmakers using sci-fi and fantasy as a critique of modern life, thus was always battling against the Portuguese censorship prevalent at the time. Macedo died in 2017 at the age of 86, with a career as a director spanning over four decades, with his last film ‘O Segredo das Pedras Vivas’ released in 2016.
Originally, there were only 500 copies of the 1st edition soundtrack pressed, with a gatefold cover. A number of these (unplayed) dead stock LPs where found in a warehouse, 36 years since the film was released! Now thanks to Carbono we have can present this sought-after gem on our website.
The soundtrack was recorded by Portuguese composer António de Sousa Dias who studied at the Lisbon Conservatory and University of Paris VIII, with an interest in jazz, electronics, musicology and computer programming. De Sousa Dias wrote many scores for cinema and TV alongside working with the theatre groups ColecViva and Opus Sic. He was appointed as a teacher of composition and electro-acoustics at the Escola Superior de Música in Lisbon. His soundtracks and theatre scores are known to embrace a wide range of generic style but had a heavy lean to dramatic focus.
The official soundtrack for 'Os Abismos Da Meia-Noite’ has a 70’s psychedelia vibe, using elements of lush orchestrations, jazz / funk and easy listening instrumentals, alongside sonic electronics and soundscapes. De Sousa Dias is still composing soundtracks for films, documentaries and TV to this day.