Tag Archives: Italy

Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse (2013)

Ludovico Einaudi - In A Time Lapse (2013)

Ludivico Einaudi is an Italian composer and pianist. His compositions are often dark and introspective and, in many ways, he espouses minimalism, which leads to comparisons with Erik Satie, and also, through his use of strings complementing the piano on this album particularly, to Arvo Part. He has composed numerous soundtracks for a wide range of films and TV programmes, including Shane Meadows’ This Is England and Ricky Gervais’s Derek.

Beginning with the calm Chorale, this album is never rushed: violin notes are long, sustained and deliberate, and the piano melodies are ruthlessly explored. Time Lapse adds an element of modern technology, as subtle electronics are added to the mix, though never distracting. Life itself is reflected in the track of the same name as Einaudi’s music inexorably builds and builds through reproduction with variation.

And that is one key factor in Einaudi’s work on this album; the trance-like repetition of a theme in each track. A kind of neo-baroque style, with the intensity building as the track goes on. Brothers is a great example of this; a simple piano lick is played quietly, almost insignificantly, with hints of the repetition coming through the melody and foreshadowing the rest of the track, subtle spiccato strings enter as the melody grinds onwards, increasing in intensity. A beat begins and the piano melody escalates, while the bass notes continue onwards. The beat stops, the strings take the forefront before the beat comes back for a magnificent finale.

Newton’s Cradle shows a darker side to Einaudi’s compostitions, and a more soundtrack-like quality; and Experience exemplifies his style with a fantastically intense crescendo evoking the relentless coming of a high tide, with waves crashing all around; whereas Underwood is a beautifully gentle introspective strings-led piece.

I think fans of the aforementioned Satie and Part would get a lot out of this album, as would those who like the soundtracks of Clint Mansell.

A great album from one of the best composers of our time.

Favourite tracks: Brothers, Newton’s Cradle, Underwood.

Spotify link: Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse
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Sinouj - Were (2012)

Sinouj describe themselves as Afromediterranean; I could tell you that one member comes from Tunisia, another from Spain, etc. but to do so would also do a disservice to the culturally blended sound that they strive to and succeed in achieving.

Part of Sinouj’s charm is a core of late 50s, early 60s style Jazz/bebop, which has been expanded to incorporate more modern technology (for example, hints of electronics at the start of title track Were and on Haka Aka), the juxtaposition of alto sax against Asian violins to give a truly global feel, incorporation of Arab–African rhythms and middle-eastern melodies, and even funk on tracks like Mahgreb Cosmos.

This is a really lovely album, especially for fans of Jazz, who might be a bit put off by the experimental blasts of bands such as Led Bib, Polar bear, and their ilk. The whole is unique, but evokes Coltrane at his most melodic on tracks such as Wech, has a cover of the classic Mulatu Astatke track, Yerkemo Sew, which drew my attention to the album in the first place.

That they chose to cover Ethiopian Jazz legend, Astatke, I think, gives some indication to the sound that you will hear from Sinouj. And boy do they treat it extremely well!

Somehow Sinouj have just got everything just right; the balance is perfect. Were, at the same time, sounds modern and classic, global and homely, unique and comfortably recognisable.

Favourite tracks: Haka Aka, Wech, Mahgreb Cosmos

Spotify link: Sinouj – Were
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