Ludovico Einaudi talks about nature, creativity and Bruce Springsteen on the occasion of the publication of a set of rare pieces and unreleased songs.
Via a video call framed by a view of the French Alps, Ludovico Einaudi appears, partly obscured by a mist that lies gently over the lush wine region of his native Italy.
In his recording studio in the north of the country, the classical pianist and composer spent the bulk of his time in splendid seclusion.
He maintains a musical diary and writes a piece of music every day, often just a sketch, which he enters into a weighty red notepad.
We’re talking about his song diary on day 191.
“Before everything changed, I felt the need to connect more deeply with nature,” he says.
“For me, the universe was a bit too wild.
All has been so fast in recent years that focusing on the beautiful opportunities we have and taking a slower course in our lives can only be healthy.
“We have a good moment to decide to change things now.”
Born in the cultural and financial capital of Turin in northern Italy, Einaudi’s father was Giulio Einaudi, a revered publisher, and his grandfather was Luigi Einaudi, the former Italian president.
As a child, his mother, Renata Aldrovandi, played piano for him, and her father, Waldo, was a pianist, opera conductor and composer who, after World War II, emigrated to Australia.
Since Einaudi, 64, started in the late 1980s to release music, his popularity has followed the pop playbook rather than the classical artist.
He has found unparalleled popularity with a young generation of streaming listeners, averaging a million streams a day and two billion streams total.
And his cinematic, atmospheric music regularly tops the world’s classical music charts.
“I grew up listening to a lot of popular music because I always liked it to be more direct,” he says.
“There’s a kind of immediate connection with someone playing an instrument and writing and performing a song.
Often it can be a masterpiece when you play music that was composed 100 years ago… But often a letter from over 100 years ago is hard to read and take all the dust off it and look at it with a new eye, a new vision.
Einaudi is one of the most influential and famous musicians of all time, but the classical community has never completely embraced him – possibly because of his crossover appeal.
“He admits that he was aware of early critics asking, “Do you want to do this for sure? “When, as a young man, he began.
He remembers, “I listened to the voices, but I was never pushed to do anything I didn’t want to do,”
“I never did anything for commercial purposes, and it’s probably even better now because I don’t have to deal with anyone, so I don’t have the voices around me,”I’ve never done anything for commercial purposes, and it’s probably even easier now, because I don’t have to deal with anyone, so I don’t have any voices around me.
It’s a good opportunity for me to have. I just feel the currents of how every day my life shifts and how I react with what I do with my music to that.
Einaudi listed several unlikely names when asked about his influences, including Radiohead and Eminem.
He’s excited to talk today about contemporary classical greats, world music, and Bruce Springsteen, who performed his car drives on the soundtrack.
“I listen to classical contemporary music from Arvo Part to Philip Glass,” he offers.
At the same time, I love to listen to folk music from all over the world, African music, and particularly Malian music.
“I played with great musicians from Mali, too.
“And I was driving in the country two days ago, listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, so it just depends.
“I don’t have a plan, and there’s nothing predictable about what I listen to.”
After reading a review that compared the songs to the tale of Nomadland, the 2020 film he recorded that won the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, he was drawn to the American singer-1982 songwriter’s album.
“I enjoyed it very much,” he says.
Many years have passed since I listened to the song.
“There’s something you’re searching for, and you find something else.
“You search and discover something you didn’t have in mind.”
Seven Days Walking has recently been completed by Einaudi – seven albums captured in seven months, each inspired by a series of winter hikes he has taken in the Alps.
He also compiled Einaudi Undiscovered, a series of items that are rare and unreleased.