LUDOVICO EINAUDI – Playing To An Audience Of One Seal In The Arctic

Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi discusses his dislike of Wagner, love of AC/DC and playing on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean with Rip Nicholson.

LUDOVICO EINAUDI interviewed November 11, 2016
For Street Press Australia [VIEW HERE]

While the classical pianist’s name may not strike keys outside of the classical milieu, rest assured his music has pervaded the mass market. Soundtracking his music into our collective consciousness since 1988 through contributions to film (Black Swan) and television (This Is England ’86), Einaudi has earned the accolade of the most-streamed classical artist today. His Spotify has close to 800,000 followers and in October last year he held all top ten positions on iTunes’ classical singles chart, the first artist to ever do so. He is the giant of his genre, reaching beyond his generation.

But on this early morning in Milan, the northern Italian metropolis capital of design and fashion, Einaudi is discussing more meditative matters, like the qualities of classical versus contemporary music. And it turns out Einaudi has an ageless and equal appreciation for both Russian compositions and classic Australian rock.

“In your 20s there is a time where together you could enjoy both Tchaikovsky and AC/DC.”

“In your 20s there is a time where together you could enjoy both Tchaikovsky and AC/DC. Of course, when you get older you could be more patient in listening to the details. Now, if I listen to a track of AC/DC today I can enjoy it in a different way to when I was in my 20s. I can enjoy a bassline in a new way,” offers Einaudi, before stressing that one’s approach to classical music must remain simple and intuitive. “Personally, I am not a big fan of Wagner, or some symphonic music of the late 19th century,” he confides. “I prefer to listen to other things that are more stimulating to my soul.”


His new album Elements embarks on a fascinating journey through the fundamental forces of nature, sonically quantifying the likes of the periodic table, Euclidean geometry and Kandinsky’s writing. Einaudi’s exploration of the natural world hasn’t been exclusively academic, however. In June last year the pianist and his instrument were plonked up on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean with the fading Wahlenbergbreen glacier for a backdrop. There, on behalf of Greenpeace, Einaudi performed Elegy For The Arctic as the ice noticeably deteriorated around him. “It was an incredible experience to be there inside the natural theatre in the bay surrounded by the glacier. Also, we had a little mascot seal that was coming out of the water to say hello.”

Combining his seemingly discrete scientific pursuits, Elements is Einaudi’s effort to better define the fundamental principles governing music itself. “Almost every discipline has its search for the elements,” says Einaudi. “I started to investigate this theme from creation to the elements in the different fields of mathematics, geometry, science,” he explains. “I was interested in noticing the different processes in the investigating and analysing of the different fields that human beings have been trying to understand and give order to the chaos of the world.”


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