Franco Battiato (Jonia 1945 - ): italian Songwriter/Performer/musician

Battiato begins his career in the eary 70s and his first recordings (Fetus, Pollution, Sulle corde di Aries, Clic, Madamoiselle le Gladiator) track closely the development in modern and classical experimental music.

In 1978, he wins the K. Stockhausen award with L' Egitto prima delle sabbie.

Hi approach to an easier kind of (rock?) music is marked by the recordings that reveal him to a larger audience:

  • L'era del cinghiale bianco (Age of the White Boar - 1979)
  • Patriots (id. 1980)
  • La voce del padrone (His master's Voice - 1981)
This last recording tops the italian charts for over a year, selling more than a million copies.

Battiato continues his musical activity to this day, alternating his activity as a "rock" musician with his presence as an author of classical pieces:

  • La Genesi (1987)
  • Gilgamesh (1992)
  • Messa Arcaica (1992)
  • Il cavaliere dell'intelletto (1994)
Battiato's music is never trivial and has always been influenced by the extra-european tradition (particularly islamic - he broke the cultural embargo by performing in Baghdad about a year after the end of the Gulf war). But his attention to the musical scene is much wider, encompassing the 19th century lieder tradition as well as the french and italian chanson d'auteur of the 50s and 60s.

He has a long standing attention for the mystic side of life and religion (particularly sufism)

Battiato's lyrics are also very significant, often meaningful and deep, sometimes surprising to the point of silliness (by his own admission), for instance:

A Bach e a Sinatra preferisco l'insalata
A Vivaldi l'uva passa che mi da' piu' calorie

I like salad better than Bach and Sinatra
And raisins more than Vivaldi, on the account of calories

(From Patriots)

Songs of Franco Battiato on E2