12 Songs From Home

12 Songs From Home

One evening in April 2020, at the height of Italy’s lockdown, Ludovico Einaudi waited until his family had gone to bed before taking out his iPhone to record himself at the piano. 12 Songs From Home is the result—an intimate record of a solitary artist, performing pieces from his most acclaimed solo albums. Since the start of Italy’s quarantine, the pianist and composer had been streaming concerts from home to thousands of fans. “I started to enjoy these connections because I had to cancel my concerts,” he tells Apple Music. “So for those audiences, and also for the many others that had to stay at home, I played a few times.” Einaudi then had the idea of creating a snapshot of those concerts. “I thought that it would be nice to remember the moments that we all shared. So I decided to revisit some of my repertoire over the past years—music from the late 1990s up until now. And I made a collection of 12 songs from different periods. It was a very simple idea.” The opening track, “A Sense of Symmetry,” from his 2019 album series Seven Days Walking, introduces us to Einaudi’s upright piano, which he confesses hadn’t been tuned in a year. “There’s even a note that doesn’t work on it,” he says. “It’s almost like a honky-tonk!” And yet it’s the piano from which many of his greatest ideas have blossomed—a musical homecoming, in more ways than one. “Oltremare” (from the 2006 album Divenire) follows, its rippling textures punctuated—like the rest of this collection—by the sounds of creaking floorboards and a shifting piano stool. “It feels like you are in the room with me,” Einaudi says, “and it’s fantastic that a very portable technology like a phone can enable you to communicate worldwide, but is also able to record an album.” The title track from Einaudi’s 1996 album Le Onde is one of the most touching moments on 12 Songs—this was the piece that perhaps did more than any other to bring Einaudi into his listeners’ hearts, and here it offers them solace in this time of trouble. “Music can heal your soul, and it can elevate your soul, too,” he says. “In a situation like this, we need things that take us away, to help us feel something different in our soul. And music is one of the things that takes us away to a different dimension—in a fantastic way.”

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