The Artist as an Einzelgänger

In this post I would like to explore some artistically personality traits as inspired by the compositions of Giorgio Morode.  The album Einzelgänger was first produced in Germany in 1975 and contained some electronic experimental soundtracks that at the time of its release attracted almost zero attention.

The Englishman Bellotte was in charge of the lyrics, and his passion for literature drove him to organize those early records around big themes that are at the core of most artists’ personality traits;

  • THE LONE WOLF is the closest English translation of an Einzelgänger. It indicates a person who avoids human interaction and who roams around outside the pack.
  • WHY is a constant in an artist’s work and daily life. The artist is always curious; about everything. The news, latest scientifically insights, other cultures, mysticism… aiming for understanding the meaning of life.
  • THE APOCALYPSE is the feeling of imminent doom that hampers most artists. It’s also the main drive of their creative activity. When an artist cannot express those feelings anymore, it leads to an internal process of self-destruction. Either because they will try to sedate the pain they feel by substance abuse or just slide into insanity.
  • LOVE is the catalyst an artist needs to keep faith in humanity. Without love, the artist is lonely and their work risks to become disconnected of the reality; it risks to become sterile.

The cause of Morode’s and Bellotte’s artistically break through was that their music got accidentally in sync with the zeitgeist. Their sound engineer put a reference pulse on a track of the tape of a just recorded tune,  resulting  that each part of the tune linked up to exactly the same tempo. Around the same time they teamed up with an, at that time unknown, American singer, Boston-born LaDonna Gaines who, after her marriage with an Austrian actor, took his name: Sommer. Later on in her career she would anglicize her name to Donna Summer. Moroder and Bellotte both pay tribute to Summer’s intuitive feeling for what a song required.

In July 1977, they released the single “I Feel Love” that was a global smash, dividing modern pop history into Before and After.  By stripping out the flowery aspects of disco, the musicians gave “I feel love” a streamlined drive. It pointed the way forward and blazed the path for genres such as Hi-NRG, Italo, house, techno, and trance.

They were the lucky artists, since most artists happen to remain more or less out of sync with their contemporary environment and either will never reach public acclaim, or only do so posthumously; the examples are countless.

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