Able to put words into motion without any lyrics at all, Ludovico Einuadi is more than just a composer. Bearing a finely tuned understanding of the human composition of connection and emotion, Einauldi weaves the threads of his sonic tapestry, stitched together by fragments of human experience, elements of nature, and an acute perception of time. The result is emotive, melancholic music that feels somewhat distant, yet extremely close. There is, of course, the argument that all music is intrinsically linked to emotion which begets the question of why the Italian composer may have authority over this matter. The return argument would substantiate the specificity of emotion that he is able to not only capture, but also evoke from his listeners. Where lyrics allow audiences to grasp relatability onto words themselves, Einauldi relies only on notes and melodies to home the spectrum of human emotion and experience, which he does so to such a degree of accuracy, it is hard to deny the universal power of music.
Einuadi’s own universal power has taken him from Turin, his home town, to prestigious stages across the globe, from London’s Royal Albert Hall, to a much smaller surface but just as applaudable, NPR’s Tiny Desk. Within the tight spandex of composers, Einaudi is one of the few to break the classical crust and offer an unpretentious hand to the average listener, painting minimal yet cavernous soundscapes that have, incredibly for it’s genre, been played on BBC Radio 1, gone viral on TikTok, and charted in the official UK charts. Upon asking why this might be, Einauldi’s reply is simple and unostentatious, “there’s no barrier when you listen to music”.
Taking his earliest inspirations from his mother, who was an amateur pianist herself. “It was like having a sort of fireplace going on all the time, it was very delicate the way she was playing”. Not only her maternal presence, but also her musical one, allowed the the foundings of Einaudi’s emotive connection to music, “it was a source of very delicate emotions that she was giving to us”. Translating this into his own sonic language, he explains, “the piano was acting my emotions, my ideas, I was creating a sort of aura with the piano”. It was during this moment of his life, whilst studying music at Conservatorio Verdi, that he realised he was “creating a sort of sound that was different”.
This singularity very quickly metamorphosed into a worldwide, ubiquitous presence. ‘Le Onde’, Einaudi’s debut album, justifiably attained gold status within his home country, silver in the UK, and went on to assert the applicability of his compositions to a universal backdrop. ‘Le Onde’ – ‘The Waves’ – also asserted another thing, Einauldi’s subtle, yet inexorable, synergy with nature. Upon asking why and how, he explains, “I connect harmonies and melodies with the complexity and the simplicity that nature has… it is like you are putting water on a shape that is dirty and after a while the shape becomes very clear”. Despite the simplicity of his explanation, he goes on to reassure, “that something doesn’t happen very often, but when it happens, it’s very beautiful”.
The following albums – ‘I Giorni’ (‘The Days’), ‘Una Mattina’ (‘A Morning’), ‘Devinere’ (‘To Become’) – veer towards that emergent aspect of nature itself, time. “I think the relation with time is incredibly connected with the idea of music because in music, you create a variation on time”, he profoundly explains. “You change the perception of time with music”. It is synonymous to human existence to live within and experience both nature and time, respectively, so it is a testament to Einaudi to make these so invariably digestible despite the hardships they might inevitably bring along the way.
Bridging these album releases, Einuadi took to the international stage, and was warmly welcomed. Transcending barriers of culture, race, gender and age, his evocative soundscapes successfully engaged the masses, with his outspread fingers connecting beyond the ivory. In 2022 alone he sold out three nights at London’s eventim Apollo followed by three nights at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Beyond imprinting in the walls of impressive recital halls and auditoriums, Einaudi has even performed in the Arctic Ocean in Norway, in aid of GreenPeace and his own environmental interests. “I have to say that it has never been completely easy for me because it’s not just like you’re performing music, you’re performing also your emotions”, he says. “I tend to be very dive into the music and forget about the idea of being a performer”.
Although a solo architect of his live performances, his shows rarely leave him feeling alone, “I see that the people get incredibly involved in the concerts”, he continues, “everyone, in a way, connects the music to their backgrounds and stories”. A cathartic experience for all, he adds: “it’s beautiful to see how a melody can bring people together”.
Interweaving this melodic dexterity into some of the biggest scripts of the past decade, Einaudi’s compositions have delicately cusped the emotive intentions of Hollywood screenwriters. The most recent example of this being, ‘Underwater’, his first solo piano album in 20 years, which homed soundtracks nestled within Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe winning films Nomadland and The Father.
The ‘Underwater’ album serves as one of the positives to permeate the sponge of the pandemic, a time when freedoms were absorbed but creative ones enhanced. Born in the mountains, where Einuadi was based at the time, the project’s vast compositions were conceived from the minuteness of “an idea a day”, ultimately culminating in, “a diary of music”, he explains. This diary took its first breath, above water, as a 12-track opus in April of this year, its existence a subtle nod to the unanimous daunt that swept the globe, “the title reflects that time that was the feeling of a world that was suddenly underwater”.
Speaking on the return of a solo album after two decades, he aptly states, “I like the intimacy of solo instruments” but if given the opportunity of an assistant to his own sonic narrative, with glistening excitement he confidently declared he would enlist the vocal aid of Coldplay’s Chris Martin, “he has a very refined way of writing songs and I like his voice!”.
Behind being one of the most notable composers to grace our generation and the multiplicity of his accolades, Ludovico Einaudi is a simple man. An individual who creates relatability through his music, he’s equally relatable in his spare time. “I love to go to the market in the countryside, I love to cook vegetables”.
Ludovico Einaudi will be coming to the UK this October:
18 Birmingham Resorts World Arena
19 Cardiff International Arena
21 Leeds First Direct Arena
22 Liverpool M&S Bank Arena
Words: Jessica Lamb