Interview: Giacomo Dell’Orso on Working with Nico Fidenco on the Emmanuelle Films, Dell’Orso’s Special TG. (1975), and the Origin of the Oscar Lindok Alias
Born in 1930 in the city of Ofena, in the central Italian province of L’Aquila, Pietro Giacomo Dell’Orso has been making music most of his life: composing, arranging, conducting, and producing, in addition to playing keyboards, Hammond organ, and leading his own group, Giacomo Dell’Orso and his Orchestra. He has recorded over 150 soundtracks and as a writer, orchestrator, or conductor. Dell’Orso’s career straddles the genres of film soundtracks and library music, the latter often under the alias Lindok or Oscar Lindok. Married to vocalist Edda Dell’Orso, the younger brother of Giacomo is Gianni Dell’Orso, a composer, arranger and record producer who founded GDM Music, a label specializing in music soundtracks.
Nico Fidenco’s Soundtracks for John Il Bastardo & the Emanuelle Films
Q: When you were studying physics in school, was there a part of you that also wanted to be a professional musician?
A: During the university days, I was also an organist. I thought of becoming a full-fledged concert pianist, in addition to teaching mathematics.
Then one day, my brother [Gianni Dell’Orso] called and asked me to orchestrate and direct the music of Nico Fidenco for the film John il bastardo. This was in 1967, the same time time Edda had her first success with Ennio Morricone.
Nico Fidenco’s “La ballata di John (John il bastardo),” featuring Saverio Moriones on vocals, music composed by Fidenco and Gianni Dell’Orso, and conducted by Giacomo Dell’Orso, is on YouTube:
Q: Were you ever an official member of I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni?
A: When Edda began singing with the choir of Franco Potenza in 1960, I would sometimes accompany them. And so it was that I entered the world of pop music! Before then I only cared for classical music.
My knowledge of music enabled Potenza to use me as a singer and as his replacement. This continued in 1963 when Edda joined I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni. Naturally, my interest as a vocalist was not as important as that of Edda. My main focus was the organ, as well as continuing to teach regularly.
Giacomo Dell’Orso conducted, directed and/or arranged music for Nico Fidenco’s soundtracks for Black Emanuelle, Emmanuelle In America, and Black Emmanuelle Orient Reportage in 1976 and Emanuelle Perche’ Violenza Alle Donne? and Emmanuelle e gli ultimi cannibali in 1977, Emanuelle And The White Slave Trade (La via della prostituzione) in 1978, and Porno Holocaust in 1981. In 1980, Giacomo Dell’Orso arranged the music for Fidenco’s TV theme for the Hanna and Barbera cartoon Fantasysupermega
Q: When you were working with Nico Fidenco on the first Black Emmanuelle film soundtrack, did you have any inkling how successful the series would be—40 years later and each film’s soundtrack has been recently reissued in CD and/or vinyl, including the Dagored 2014 vinyl reissue of the first album and a 2013 6-CD/1-DVD collection by Beat Records. How long it would take to complete the work on these soundtracks?
A: After the first few projects we did together, the working relationship with Nico became so perfect that just a few words were enough to understand one another. Even today when we work on a project (and it has been 50 years!), it usually requires a week or less to do everything.
Nico Fidenco’s “Emanuelle’s Theme 1” is online:
The Fine Machine & Oscar Lindok’s Orchestra, Both on CAM
In 1972, Giacomo Dell’Orso released La Pace on Italy’s Fly label. The same year his Orchestre Giacomo Dell’Orso, with Claudio Gizzi and Mario Migliardi made My Favourite Tones, another library music album, for Picci. Giacomo Dell’Orso also released two LPs for CAM in 1972, The Rhythm Of Life, credited to Oscar Lindok’s Orchestra, and Habitat, credited to The Fine Machine.
The Fine Machine’s “Skin-Deep,” composed by Donimak (aka Nico Fidenco) and Oscar Lindok (aka Giacomo Dell’Orso), is on SoundCloud:
The artists behind the Oscar Lindok’s Orchestra’s The Rhythm Of Life, which CAM reissued with two different covers in 1972, include composers Giacomo Dell’Orso, Gianni Dell’Orso, and Nico Fidenco, with an uncredited Alessandro Alessandroni and Edda Dell’Orso also providing vocals.
In addition, Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi are listed as uncredited composers on the Discogs entry for Oscar Lindok’s Orchestra’s The Rhythm Of Life. None of the principals are certain about this last part, however.
Q: What do you recall about making Habitat credited to the one-off group The Fine Machine in 1972?
A: Not a lot. I do remember the whole album was completed within a couple of days. We did not view it as being too important at the time.
Q: Although she is not credited on the Habitat LP, it seems those are Edda’s distinct vocals on “God Is Infinite.” What was the inspiration for this eerie, experimental track?
A: In a situation like this, the music is often not paired with a specific film or project. The titles were given later, sometimes by the publisher. This offered a lot of latitude for the creative use of composition titles, such as “God Is Infinite.”
The Fine Machine’s “God Is Infinite,” composed by Oscar Lindok (aka Giacomo Dell’Orso) and featuring Edda Dell’Orso, depicted above on the cover of her 1983 CAM album An Homage to Ennio Morricone (arranged by Giacomo Dell’Orso), is on YouTube:
March 2016 Update: The Fine Machines’s Habitat LP Reissued by Cinedelic Records
Cinedelic Records has just reissued The Fine Machine’s Habitat, limited to 500 vinyl copies, including 100 in multicolor.
The vinyl-only release ships 21 March according to the Cinedelic website.
The Origin of Giacomo Dell’Orso’s “Oscar Lindok” Alias
In 1973, Giacomo Dell’Orso directed the orchestra and composed half of the tracks on the CAM compilation album Stati d’animo Vol. 1 (Situazioni varie) (CML 034) in addition to making Come Upstair for Picci, under the name Oscar Lindok and His Friends (GLA 2007). In fact, Giacomo Dell’Orso, using the alias Oscar Lindok, is credited with composing the music for The Fast Machine, another Picci LP made around this time period (GLA 2006). In 1974, Giacomo Dell’Orso, using the alias Oscar Lindok, released Eruzioni on Fly (AS 61).
Q: What is the story behind your alias “Oscar Lindok”?
A: I am not sure why but I was asked to choose a pseudonym. So, I chose “Lindok” from a comic strip in the newspaper I was reading. “Oscar” was added later by Nico.
Q: It seems some of the copies of your Come Upstair LP on Picci are sold without a proper cover—including the one this correspondent bought last year. Are you aware of this?
A: It was the choice of the record label Picci.
Oscar Lindok and His Friends “My Way To Mexico,” credited to Nedo Benvenuto and Sandro Brugnolini, is on YouTube:
Q: For smaller labels like Ellecci, Fly, Picci, and Pro Civitate Christiana, were these albums usually commissioned works?
A: We were asked to make background music for television. This model remains the same as last month, for example, I did a CD for GDM.
Q: Albums like La Pace, Eruzioni, A me stesso con simpatia, and much of your 70’s output, are out of print and pretty much only available to music fans willing to pay big bucks for the few copies of the original LPs still in circulation. Is there anything you as the artist can do to prod the proper legal rights holders to reissue this music and make it available in some format (digital download, vinyl or CD)? I ask because I sincerely believe there is an untapped market which now either goes without because of lack of availability or due to excessive cost (or, the third scenario, fans make their own copies and share them—and they are often of inferior quality and you as the artist don’t have a direct benefit).
A: These are the publishers problems not ours. We do not count for anything unless the composer is not an important person like Morricone.
Lindok (aka Giacomo Dell’Orso)’s “Lipari” from Eruzioni is on SoundCloud:
Special TG. LP on Television News Reports for RCA
In 1975, RCA released the original cast recording of Dell’Orso’s Special TG. (SP 10057). The same year, Giacomo Dell’Orso’s A me stesso con simpatico was released by Ellecci (RCZ 3004)–reissued by Cinedelic Records in 2016.
Q: What is the background of your Special TG. cast album released by RCA, one of the few albums of this time period now available as a digital download (including iTunes)?
A: This album was ordered by RCA for a specific subject: television news reports. It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it. And it was a very satisfactory result.
In 1976, Giacomo Dell’Orso, using the alias Oscar Lindok, released Moderno Beat Vol. 2 (Various Images) on Cinevox.
Giacomo Dell’Orso’s “Impeachment,” the third track on Special TG., is on YouTube:
The previous year, Giacomo Dell’Orso played Hammond organ on Impressioni musical for Pro Civitate Christiana. In 1977, he released Nostalgia di uno notte on the Italian label Edizioni Paoline, an album he also played keyboards on in addition to composing, arranging, and conducting the music. In 1979, Giacomo Dell’Orso made a pair of albums for Edition Paoline, In principio l’uomo, with Maurizio Caporilli, and Cantero a Cristo, with Anna Maria Galliano. Experienced in the liturgy and Gregorian chants, he also released several additional religious themed albums for the same label including Un bel mattino – Canti per catechesi e celebrazioni d’iniziazione Cristiana, E’ bello dar lode a dip – 12 Salmi per la catches e le celebration dei ragazzi, and Come omni donna – Nuove canzoni all Madonna.
Q: You’ve always been interested in cutting edge music technology, buying various types of synthesizers, including one of the first Mini Moogs and the first expensive Emulator. In fact, you even invented an instrument. These days, what recent technologies catch your eye?
A: The last thing I have learned is the use of computers to record and transmit files that allows me to collaborate with other musicians to create a music CD or movie.
Among themes for TV and movies Giacomo Dell’Orso worked on is this 1982 RCA single for Nico Fidenco’s “Cyborg – I nove supermagnifici,” arranged by Dell’Orso:
A Look at Recent and Upcoming Projects
In 1978, Eurodisc released Giacomo Dell’Orso and Mircha Carven released 7”-inch single for the film Candido erotico which included Dell’Orso’s B-side instrumental for “A Devious Man.”
At the beginning of the Eighties, Giacomo Dell’Orso composed the soundtracks for Nerone e Poppea (1981) and Caligola e Messalina (1982), the latter featuring Edda Dell’Orso’s on vocals. In 2003, a CD reissue with the soundtracks of both films was released by Hexacord, a sub-label of GDM. This album is also available in most markets as a digital download, including retailers such as Amazon.com.
In 2011, Giacomo Dell’Orso appeared as a vocalist, part of Cantori Moderni di Alessandro Alessandroni, on Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi’s faux soundtrack Rome.
Q: As I mentioned a couple of years back to your wife, Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi’s faux soundtrack Rome is one of my favorite albums–and it still is. Did you enjoy working on this project? How much time did it take for your part in making the album?
A: It was a fun, if brief, as the vocals I contributed took a single afternoon only.
Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi’s “The Rose With A Broken Neck,” featuring Jack White on solo vocals backed by Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni (including Edda and Giacomo Dell’Orso), is on YouTube:
Q: What projects are you working on now?
A: I’m working with Alex Puddu from Copenhagen. We are creating a CD for the family.
In 2013, Alex Puddu released Registrazioni al buio, an album that includes three vocal tracks featuring Edda Dell’Orso and one with Giacomo Dell’Orso on piano, “Il mare dietro la porta.”
The follow-up to Registrazioni al buio, Alex Puddu’s In the Eye of the Cat, again featuring Edda Dell’Orso, was released at the beginning of the year on the Schema Easy Series label.
A live clip of Alex Puddu and Giacomo Dell’Orso working on an arrangement for “Il mare dietro la porta” from the recording sessions for Registrazioni al buio is on YouTube:
Oscar Lindok (aka Giacomo Dell’Orso) Online Audio Sampler
An audio sampler of the music of Oscar Lindok (aka Giacomo Dell’Orso) currently found on SoundCloud includes:
- The Fine Machine’s “Crazy Eel,” “Shut Paranoia,” “Hand Shake,” “Raging Beat,” “Wait For Me,” “Obsessing Promenade,” and “Skin-Deep” from Habitat (1972) CAM
- The Fast Machine’s “Born To Love You,” “Don’t Blame This World,” and “High Wind” from The Fast Machine (1972~1973) Picci
- Oscar Lindok and His Friends’ “Let’s Go To Manhattan” and “My Way To Mexico” from Come Upstair (1973) Picci
- Lindok’s “Lipari,” “Vulcano,” “Ustica,” “Egadi,” and “Marettimo” from Eruzioni (1974) Fly Record
- Oscar Lindok’s “Nerves” from Moderno Beat Vol. 2 (Various Images) (1976) Cinevox
Partial Discography of Giacomo Dell’Orso (aka Oscar Lindok) Discogs
2011 Interview of Giacomo and Edda Dell’Orso [in Italian] HERE
An earlier interview of Edda Dell’Orso on this site included a compilation of audio files featuring the legendary soprano that have been uploaded to SoundCloud. Several new tracks have been added since. The current tracks include the music of Giorgio Gaslini, Peppino De Luca, Gianni Oddi, I Marc 4, Bruno Nicolai, and Piero Piccioni:
And one final composition from Oscar Lindok (aka Giacomo Dell’Orso), “Sound 2000,” performed by the Neil Desmond Group on their Sweet And Lovely LP in 1971. This track is also credited to Sandro Brugnolini, Silvano Chimenti, Nello Ciangherotti, and Stefano Torossi.
The Neil Desmond Group’s “Sound 200,” composed by Oscar Lindok (aka Giacomo Dell’Orso) et al., is on YouTube: