You know when you find a piece of music or artist that you discover or find out about that not many others do? That feeling of passion for the artist and the enjoyment of its secret is purely a favourite of mine. I have listened to Ludovico Einaudi for about 3 or 4 years now. An ex-boyfriend of mine used to be a fantastic pianist and used Einaudi’s work to inspire him. This is how I came around to find this wonderful musical creature.
Surely you’d be thinking, why am I sharing this precious piece of information with you? Like my lecturer Simon Poole stated ‘if you find a piece of music yourself and then everyone finds out about it – you generally dislike it because it’s now ‘mainstream’ or because your mum sings along to it and that’s just not cool’.
That’s the magic with Einaudi – there are no lyrics! Greg James previously blogged and played Einaudi’s record on his show on radio1 the other week. This at first infuriated me because soon, many of my peers at university or friends at home would listen to him and rave about him like I have done for many years. However, then I realised. The pure magic that Einaudi creates would be heard by every single person listening to the radio at that time.
I would explain his classical piano music as delicate, precise and suited for any mood. Generally, I find that his album ‘Le Onde’ is a beautiful one for working to. It is enough for the faint ear to concentrate on without too much interference into thought and of course, work. The inspiration that the music makes you generate, is really mind blowing. I would urge anyone to listen – give it a go – it may be your best piece of work yet.
If you told a teenager or a university student to listen to classical music whilst doing work – let alone whilst doing anything – they would generally ignore you or laugh in your face…right? This is where Einaudi is different. I performed a piece of dance to this music and have also used it in drama pieces, as well as suggesting his music to other performers. Everyone’s reaction was the same – What was that piece of music you used? Who is the performer of the song you used? It seems to receive a completely interested and intrigued audience. I was exactly the same when I was first introduced to it and many others at the time such as Sigur Ros, Yann Tiersen and more of the same genre. At the time, I was 16 and probably into the likes of Rihanna, Sean Kingston & The Kooks. Don’t get me wrong, all artists are great in what they do, but, I feel the artists I mentioned previously are ‘zagging’.
‘Zagging’ is a coined term by Marty Neumeier which expression follows as this: When everybody is zigging…zag’.
You will see this pattern a lot in music today. Lady Gaga zagged. Sure, her songs are pretty much a work of art with a fantastic voice like many other female artists in the music world today, but what makes lady gaga different is that she zagged. Elaborate costumes, weird actions, controversial videos. The list is endless for the pop diva. She zagged and has become extremely successful with it. If you follow her story, little Stefani Germanotta, was just a singer in her own band gigging up and down America trying to get a break. Then she evolved herself into Lady Gaga with the entire ‘weird’ package behind her and she became successful overnight. Her music didn’t change. She wrote one of her most beautiful songs ‘Speechless’ whilst ‘being’ Stefani Germanotta and released it as Lady Gaga – however the arrangement when performing this song seems to be one of her most normal.
Nikki Minaj…hasn’t she just tried to ‘zag’ but by completely copying Lady Gaga? Elaborate costumes, weird actions…hold on a minute, doesn’t this sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong, Nikki is still definitely extremely successful but who gets talked about most? Nikki Minaj is zigging along to Lady Gaga. If she zagged, well things might be different for her.
The Avant garde to mainstream debate kicks in here. I said that people like Einaudi, Sigur Ros and Yann Tiersen were all zagging at their time of release. Sigur Ros’ albums consisted of weird, compelling noises as songs and a funny Icelandic man called Jonse singing in an extremely high pitched tone over it. Fantastic, dynamic and surprising – an eclectic mix of songs on the self-titled album. However, the band soon became less Avant garde and became mainstream. It used to be that you could probably only buy their albums on their website or in a small underground record store tucked away in Camden market. Now it seems, through the media, that Sigur Ros are no longer Avant garde and simply used in every sad or emotional scene or advertisement on television.
I am afraid that Ludovico Einaudi could become mainstream now that Greg James has played his music on air. I was almost angry when this happened to Sigur Ros and some awful dance Ibiza remix came out called Popiholla (instead of the infamous moving piece of music called Hopipolla). However, I do not fear this will happen to Ludovico Einaudi. His pieces of music are moving, easy listening and designed to be that way. It would certainly be a challenge for anyone to create a trashy dance version of his perfect songs (please no attempts!) I would like him to become more mainstream, in the terms that everyone has a little bit of Einaudi in their lives. It makes me calmer, it thought provokes me and just makes my day whenever I listen to it. Please, just spare a little time for Ludovico Einaudi…
by Lauren Troiano - of BMB