You can sense the scent of the Mediterranean in Battiato’s music and the captive emotions and energy of his native Sicily. A cross-culture land of many natural and historical beauties, Sicily finds in his music a strong means to express itself. This is Franco Battiato life.
The interesting aspect of Battiato’s art is the fact his sounds are not typically Sicilian at all, but they still fully convey this amazing island’s essence, mélanged with the sounds of far away, exotic lands.
Battiato’s stage presence, his voice and appearance, are just as essential to his music, as they only add to the sounds and the poetry of his songs. He truly becomes the best expression of his own lyrics.
Franco Battiato life, his success
His massive mainstream success arrived very suddenly in the early 80’s with the record “La Voce del Padrone.” This record introduced sounds and styles never heard before in Italian music. For example, a classic sense merged with a futuristic ambiance. And it manages nevertheless to describe magisterially topics and situations strictly from the present.
Franco Battiato – permanent center of gravity (original).
In Battiato’s work, the listener takes part in a journey. It’s a literal trip around the world. After his first hit, he produced another, “L’Arca di Noe’ “, (Noah’s Ark). In this, he searches for new, unknown sounds from faraway lands became more refined, though the music was probably not as “fresh” as that of his previous record. This second success however gave him the money, power and total freedom to start experimenting. Without limitations, so he began a long musical trip. Eventually, iy led him to the most remote aspects of music. Finally, he explored opera and the classics, while developing some very modern pieces.
Although his popular success never fully matched that obtained in the 80’s, he truly began delivering one masterpiece after another. He collaborated with other singers, either in duets or just using their voice. One of his best artistic collaborations, no doubt, was the one with Italian singer Alice, whose very distinct voice perfectly matched his eclectic style.
Entering the world of cinema
As his art reached very abstract and intangible levels, he also started to develop a strong desire for visual concepts.
In light of his new artistic desires, the musician became a filmmaker. He directed two films which, just like his songs, contained a great deal of surrealism. Thanks to which the viewer would found himself enchanted, yet rooted in reality at the same time. The cinematic attempts of Franco Battiato life were not a hit. Since cinema is a complex media and Battiato failed to fully communicate his message, mistakenly thinking he could easily master the seventh art as gracefully as he could music.
In recent years Franco Battiato has taken on more social and political views, concerned about the cultural shift that our world is taking, and his attitude seems to respond perfectly to the needs of a confused, fatalistic population. Battiato offers in his music a very active connection to spirituality and to the search of one’s soul.
Franco Battiato life was inspiring to many generations of artists. His death in 2021 saddened everyone, from politicians to musicians. And, finally, his public. Life in Italy has dedicated Battiato a tribute and an article about his unforgettable albums. It’s time to discover this giant of Italian music.