In a Time Lapse - Ludovico Einaudi
Ponderosa Music & Art
Ludovico Einaudi makes beautiful music. Those of us who are old enough to remember will shudder at the label. Beautiful Music used to be a euphemism for Easy Listening - the format, Muzak - the brand, or Elevator Music - the painful end product. Fortunately, all that is far enough in the past that today, hopefully, beautiful music can be taken at its word. The Italian alt-classical composer’s latest album of acclaim, In a Time Lapse, reflects on the movement of time; the past, present and future but mostly, the moment. “In concert, I bring the tempo of the music to a place where it’s almost stopped, when it’s very close to silence, to peace”, Einaudi explains. “Other moments, life comes pouring back, and the music becomes very emotional and powerful, and I share the emotion with the musicians.” Playing with the perceived passage of time of is what being In a Time Lapse is all about. My first listen brought a palpable sensation of time being manipulated. It’s like being surrounded not by a buzz, but a slow, steady and focused envelope. The compositions are strikingly melodic and accessible, yet challenging enough to compel you to engage with the deceptively simple designs. The piano pieces are enhanced through delicate layers of strings and electronics which ultimately add spaciousness and broad dynamics. Einaudi has been knighted by the Italian government and his work is shaped, not only by his deep cultural roots in Northern Italy but by his connection to global artists, electronica and European classical styles. The composer pondered his relationship to his art in a recent interview. “I need to have that deep connection to everything I do, because it gives me no satisfaction to write music just because it’s music. It has to move me emotionally or spiritually, as well as the intended audience.” In a Time Lapse somehow manages to freeze the moment to allow that connection between artist and listener, and that’s a pretty neat trick. Standout tracks include ‘Life’, ‘Waterways’ and the title.