Echo Location: Ludovico Einaudi’s Ambient Chamber Music

Ludovico Einaudi orchestrates new refinements in ambient chamber music.

You can also hear an Audio version of this blog, with music.

Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi heeds a dictum of ambient chamber music pioneer, Harold Budd. He declared that he wanted to hear music that’s so beautiful it hurts. Divenire On albums like Divenire, Ludovico Einaudi’s music is unabashedly beautiful and maybe a little romantic, but there’s something that keeps him from becoming sentimental and that’s probably his studies with the dean of the Italian avant-garde, Luciano Berio. Berio’s combination of acoustic and electronic sound and his cerebral approach tempered by Italian romanticism had it’s impact on Ludovico Einaudi. As a classical composer who didn’t look down on popular music Berio showed Einaudi that the ivory tower wasn’t the only place to make music.

Ludovico Einaudi: There was something that, in common between us because he has strong love for, for folk music and also popular music, he transcribed also some from the Beatles and he was interested in African music, so I think he was understanding what I was doing even it was very different from what he was doing.

Like Berio, Einaudi experiments with technology, creating ambient electronic accompaniment and using loops of his piano to created haunted echoes in his work on trackes like “Uno” from Divenire.

Ludovico Einaudi on Echoes

Ludovico Einaudi on Echoes

Now in his mid-50s, Ludovico Einaudi, is as likely to record with African kora player, Ballake Sissoko as work with German electronica artist Robert Lippok.

Ludovico Einaudi: In contemporary music, the music has to be connected with life. And it’s impossible to think it’s a music that is not in touch with the world and what’s happening in the streets.

Einaudi is in his mid-50s and a child of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but he deploys those influences in subtle ways. The guitar loop to his song, “Eden Roc” recalls the delayed guitar lines of U2‘S “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

Eden Roc Ludovico Einaudi is only now getting exposure in the US after years of selling out concert halls in Europe. He’s become a defingin voice in ambient chamber music sitting comfortably among composers like Michael Nyman, Arvo Pärt and Max Richter.  Classical elegance, modernist sensibilities and a simple harmonic language combine with breathtaking and often heartrending melodies for emotionally powerful music.  Last year’s CD, Divenire made several top ten lists last year including the number 2 slot on 25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2007.  He’s just released Live in Berlin.   Anyway, we have to love somebody who calls an anthology of his music Echoes: The Einaudi Collection. A complete interview with Ludovico Einaudi runs tonight, September 17, on Echoes. This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Music.

You can also hear an Audio version of this blog, with music.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

  2 comments for “Echo Location: Ludovico Einaudi’s Ambient Chamber Music

  1. If you’re a fan of Ludovico Einaudi’s previous work, check out his upcoming album ‘Nightbook’ — a musical meditation on the transition between light and darkness, the known and the unknown. It is released October 19th.

    Here’s a short video by Einaudi about Nightbook:

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