Composing the music for several movies including ‘Untouchable’, ‘Doctor Zhivago’ and ‘Acquario’ (the latter of which won the Grolla d’oro for Best Soundtrack in 1996) as well as several successful solo albums, concert pianist Ludovico Einaudi is an inspirational individual. And one who fellow artiste, photographer Vincent Urbani had the pleasure of sitting down with to talk inspirations, aspirations, concepts and creating, between taking these elegant portraits that is. Producing music that “…has a visionary power and turns everything it touches into a memorable scene.” According to Urbani, “It’s impossible not to include it in the script of your own life”.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you follow a precise scheme, or do you prefer to lock yourself in your studio and play non-stop until you get what you want?
Well, actually it’s a mix of both ways. Having a deadline (not a very close one) helps me focus on my music, but I don’t really follow any precise time schedule. Some days it takes me hours, some others just minutes, but in the end, I always reach what I have in my mind. It’s not a linear process, it’s a mix of a lot of elements and ideas.
The titles of your albums are always very peculiar: Cloudland, Nightbook, In a Time Lapse…Do you choose the title before starting to work on a new album? Or do you do that in the end, when all the songs are ready?
The only title I decided before the composition of the songs was Le Onde, because it was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s book. All the other times, I looked for the title inside my music, trying to read between the lines of my new songs. It’s not easy to find the key concept for all the tracks of the album. Sometimes it’s even harder than the composition itself.
Tell us more about the concept of your last album In a Time Lapse.
In a Time Lapse tells about the desire to stop the time of our lives; the perfect moments that we don’t have the possibility to enjoy to the fullest because they are too fast. Music can slow and freeze time, giving to our days the importance they really deserve. That’s what this album is about.
Do your Italian roots inspire your music?
Well, my music has an Italian heat. It’s full of emotions. I definitely can’t define my music as a cold one.
Is there a director that inspires you and that you would like to work with for a soundtrack?
I really like Terrence Mallick (The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line). His movies are very deep and I’d love to work with him.
Do you like any particular composer (or singer)?
I spent months listening to Bach, but I really enjoy modern groups like Radiohead or U2 too.
Is there a book that really impressed you?
Oh yes, Walden by Henry David Thoreau. The way he wrote this masterpiece really fascinated me. He spent two years in the woods to write this wonderful diary. He got out of the city to live in perfect harmony with nature and to report every sound, colour and experience. He was living in this diary.