Ludovico Einaudi: Nuvole Binache
Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi was born in Turin, Italy in 1955. Einaudi began to compose his own music when he reached his teen years, with his main musical tool being a guitar. He decided to study formally and gained a place at the prestigious Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, where he was awarded a diploma in composition in 1982. One of Einaudi’s most influential tutors was composer Luciano Berio, with whom he learned how to orchestrate music effectively.
Einaudi’s music has transitioned and developed over many years, from traditional classical forms to multimedia uses such as film and TV. He has composed advertisement music for organisations such as British Airways, BBC, Amazon and Sky. His music is known and commended often for its ambience, minimalism and accessibility.
Einaudi is primarily known for his solo piano works. His albums Le Onde (1996), Eden Roc (1999), I Giorni (2001), Una Mattina (2004) and Divenire (2006) have achieved international success. Most of Einaudi’s albums are collaborative with other musicians including the likes of Djivan Gasparijan, Ballaké Sissoko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The piano lies at the centre of many of Einaudi’s works, however his creative use of other instruments such as harp, strings, kora and synthesizers makes his music even more dynamic.
Translating into ‘White Clouds’, Nuvole Binache is one of Einaudi’s most commercially-successful works. Originally featuring on his 2004 album Una Mattina, this piece for solo piano is amongst similar works, which is described by the composer as:
“If someone asked me about this album, I would say it is a collection of songs linked together by a story. But unlike my other albums, it doesn’t belong to a time in the past. It speaks about me now, my life, the things around me. My piano, which I have nicknamed Tagore, my children Jessica and Leo, the orange kilim carpet that brightens up the living room, the clouds sailing slowly across the sky, the sunlight coming through the window, the music I listen to, the books I read and those I don’t read, my memories, my friends and the people I love.”
As with many of Einaudi’s piano works, it is the minimalist approach that catches the ear of his dedicated listeners. The sequence of opening chords sits at the core of this work and the statement returns later in the piece. The syncopated melody in the right hand is accompanied by the ebb and flow of the accompaniment which sits neatly underneath. There is a feeling of nostalgia throughout, which may be accentuated by Einaudi’s fluctuation between the major and minor. The idea of Nuvole Binache is that you can watch the clouds go by, just thinking about whatever you want, and this music will be the perfect accompaniment.
Often associated with peace and mindfulness, Einaudi’s works are still incredibly popular around the globe today, with many performing his works in concert halls. His simple yet effective framework of composing has become an accessible gateway for many to get into classical music – that certainly cannot be denied!
Ⓒ Alex Burns
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