Ludovico released ‘Elements’ last year and has been steadily touring the live performance around the world, selling out shows from Italy and across Europe, to Canada. “Everywhere has been very good because mainly everywhere I play is sold out,” Ludovico says.
“Wherever we go the problem is people asking when we will come back,” he laughs, “and everywhere they ask if I could do not one but two venues. In Montreal, Canada we played two sold-out shows, but we could have done six.”
Taking inspiration from elements of nature, art, science and even mathematics, the intricate, minimalist compositions on ‘Elements’ have been brought to life visually through a multimedia display harnessing a vivid lighting design. “The visual aspect, apart from the drawings that have been made on the cover of the album, there is this great lighting designer I work with from Italy,” Ludovico says.
“We use different layering and overlapping to bring the static drawings to life in different ways. At the same time, the important thing is not to have too much. It’s important for me to identify the right thing, because if the visual is too much it would be distracting from the music, so there has to be balance and it’s very delicate between the two.”
Australia also holds a familial connection for Ludovico, whose grandfather Waldo Aldrovandi immigrated to Australia before World War Two. Waldo was a pianist and composer in Italy during the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini, and was forced to flee after defying the demands of the National Fascist Party. “It was in the ‘30s and it was when Italy was already under fascism with Mussolini,” Ludovico explains.
“So it was a time when the orchestra conductor was obliged, and he refused, to perform the fascist song before the introduction of the concert, and so did my grandfather.
“Due to difficulties with the government he went first to Great Britain for a while then from there with an opera company he went to Australia for a tour. Things became more problematic in general with the starting of the war and that made it difficult for him to come back. Then the war started and he settled down in Australia… he died in Sydney in the early ‘50s.”
Following his enduring passion for the natural world, Ludovico made headlines earlier this year in June when he leant his support to a video raising awareness to the plight of the Arctic region.
Boarding a floating platform, he performed ‘Elegy For The Arctic’, a song he composed specifically to highlight the fragility of the beautiful but endangered wilderness. “It’s an extremely powerful part of the world, but at the same time you can feel it is very fragile,” he says.
“It was great because there’s a majestic feeling of being there alone on a platform with the piano and playing for the ice. I played for the ice and also, there was a little seal which was popping its head out of the water here and there to say ‘hello’ and see what was going on.”
Ludovico Einaudi ShowsWed 8 Feb - Adelaide Festival Centre
10-11 Feb - QPAC (Brisbane)
Mon 13 Feb - Perth Concert Hall
Tue 14 Feb - Arts Centre Melbourne (Melbourne)
15, 19 Feb - Sydney Opera House