I’ve heard his name come up often over the last year or so, but for some reason I never listened to his music. That is until someone suggested I find something of his to play on the piano, and I was amazed. Einaudi creates his own unique, colorful world through his music, and I want to share that world with you today.
Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi (1955) wasn’t the only musician in his family. His mother was a pianist, and her father – Waldo Aldrovandi – was also a pianist, opera conductor and composer who moved to Australia after World War II. As a teenager, Einaudi began composing with his folk guitar before going to the Milan Conservatory of Music. He spent his first years post music school (the early 1980s) composing in traditional forms (where he wrote several chamber and orchestral pieces). However, he started searching for a more personal means of musical expression and began experimenting with multimedia, dance, and minimalism in his compositions.
*Fun fact: His soundtrack for the movie Fuori del mondo was nominated for an Oscar! Here’s the title track he wrote for the movie:
Einaudi is known for his unique style – one that incorporates classical, pop, rock, and folk music to create something new. It’s minimalist – he uses lots of repeating patterns to create an atmosphere – and introspective, causing the listener to stop and feel.
Einaudi originally wrote I Giorni (“The Days”) as a piano piece, but here’s a live version with an orchestral accompaniment. I think this piece characterizes Einaudi’s style:
But not all of his music has a pleasing and blissful ambiance. Check out this piece called Newton’s Cradle. It is certainly beautiful in its own right, but its cinematic drama tells a different story:
And this haunting work called Elegy for the Arctic is a call for action, which he shoots in a body of water full of ice:
What I like about this piece is its combination of classical influence (the chords in particular) with minimalism.
Do you have a favorite Einaudi piece? Let me know so I can listen to it!
*Check out this wonderful article here to read more about Einaudi, his past, and his music.