2019 is going to prove an exciting and intense year for fans of Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi. Already a prolific artist, Einaudi is to spend the rest of this year releasing one album every month for seven months, under the umbrella title Seven Days Walking.
Just released is Seven Days Walking: Day One, the first part of the project which Einaudi recorded in Germany last autumn. It features the talents of Federico Mecozzi on violin/viola and Redi Hasa on cello, alongside Einaudi himself on piano. The simple combination between the percussion of the piano, which carries the melody, and the strings which add melancholic support, results in the usual intoxicatingly moving compositions.
Einaudi explains the concept for the albums in the trailer below, but Seven Days Walking will examine the same journey in the Alps, where time and weather create differences each time, making it a new experience every time the path is taken. The two opening Low Mist tracks are subtle, gentle pieces that evoke the stillness of early morning in the countryside. The distinctive approach of the rolling notes of Gravity, which builds into a crescendo, create a much more thrilling piece that is the first to encourage the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end.
Other highlights include Golden Butterflies, which conjures images of the insects in flight. The strings add a summery warmth to the erratic movement suggested by Einaudi’s keys. It masterfully merges into a more structured segment later in the movement. A Sense of Symmetry is beautifully understated, with piano and strings pairing up effectively.
The longest piece on the album is The Path of the Fossils, which slowly builds into a dramatic segment with all instruments growing louder the further into the journey the traveller wanders, until stopping to admire the view at the summit.
The albums that will follow will cycle through the days, until a full ‘week’ has been released, comprising seven journeys. A box-set of all seven albums, entitled Seven Days will be released in the autumn.
The album rounds out by returning to the opening theme, with Low Mist Var 2. It is quintessential Einaudi: intertwining repeated threads with piano and strings in harmony, creating and sustaining a sense of the transcendent.
There is a lot of spectral beauty to be found on this pastoral album. It is a respite from the business and crowdedness of life, taking the listener to places of more beauty, solitude and tranquility than daily life generally affords us. In that direction, surely, lies a large portion of Einaudi’s appeal.
There may be some tracks that more successfully transport you to places of nirvana than others – that is often the case with Einaudi’s work. Some compositions, Fox Tracks is an example, don’t carry you on as much of a voyage as you would have liked. Regardless of that, the overall effect is successful. Seven Days Walking: Day One is an absorbing and exquisite body of music, with moments that may well make you tearful and glad to be alive.
For more details about the Seven Days Walking project, see Seven Days Walking.
Track list: 1. Low Mist Var 1 2. Low Mist 3. Gravity 4. Matches 5. Cold Wind Var 1 6. Golden Butterflies 7. Fox Tracks 8. A Sense of Symmetry 9. The Path of the Fossils 10. Ascent 11. Low Mist Var 2 Record label: Decca Release date: 15th March 2019 Buy Seven Days Walking: Day One