"I am not a Hero, I am a Composer"
In 1933 Eisler fled his destructive homeland to find safety abroad; in 1948 the Committee on Un-American Activities forced him out of the USA back to his destroyed homeland. The polarities of attraction and rejection were reversed in exile
In Hollywood he composed for the film industry while at the same time criticising it in his book Composing for the Films. His film music may have been successful but his serious music was ignored. Sometimes he made money, but his income was continually swallowed by debts. In the songs he wrote in Hollywood he laments the barbarism of his native country and the desolation of his refuge
This is the story of an unsettled life in exile, of the rules of the Hollywood game and of the political background to Eisler’s persecution, with interpretations of his compositions, his “art to inherit” and his aesthetic of the displaced form
Previously unknown sources, including the report of Eisler’s first unpublished interrogation by the Committee, are reproduced and evaluated, creating a multi-faceted picture of a melancholy fighter who longed for things to be straightforward but was characterised by contradictions.