Review by Charlie Tennant with Photography by Bimal Tailor

The master of minimalism brings his latest craft, ‘Seven Days Walking’, to life.

In a rare string of UK dates, Ludovico Einaudi is joined by Federico Mecozzi on violin and Redi Hasa on cello for seven sold-out nights at London’s prestigious performing arts hub, The Barbican Centre.

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The trio recently worked together to produce the composer’s most ambitious project of his 30-year career, one that has been deemed the first of its kind for any classical artist. ‘Seven Days Walking’ was inspired by the polaroids Einaudi took during his winter-time walks through the Alps near his home on his 2018 break. These polaroids sparked an idea to produce a piece of music for each aspect of his journey.

There are seven albums being released over a seven month window, with the first instalment exceeding over two million streams on the first day of its release. By the end of the week, the UK’s record industry trade association, BPI, observed a sudden surge in classical music streaming as a whole and it was deemed ‘The Einaudi Effect’. With the new album becoming the fastest-streamed classical album of all time, it was a true journey to experience the new crafts in a live environment.

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Seeping minimalism right from the off, Einaudi emerges from the shadows, unnoticed until the first notes of Low Mist are played. With no spoken word and silence from the audience, this was a relaxed and gentle introduction that begins the journey through the first of four sequences. I was amazed to see how the pianist deconstructed his own pieces for live performance and instead of clear cut edges, he intertwined the aspects of his walks together to create a seamless experience; I suspect that each night the pieces were pulled around and dissected differently, meaning no sequences would be played the same way twice.

Merging subtle variations of Gravity and A Sense of Symmetry, we still only see silhouettes of the musicians, emphasising a true sense of mystery and minimalism. Adding to the sensual journey, the visuals in the background reflect that of the aural experience with small smatterings of colours and patterns.

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Moving through waves of rhythm, colour and emotions, we arrive at The Path Of The Fossils roughly half way through the night. This dissected and extended performance sees a passionate, progressive performance where the instruments and the artists connect with each other through an advanced companionship. What’s really intriguing is Mecozzi’s folk-twist during the piece where he switches from luscious bows to intense plucking, building to a rich crescendo and a gentle piano-driven conclusion of which the pianist is renowned for.

Returning to stage alone after a short moment, Einaudi performs some of his much awaited and acclaimed pieces from his extensive repertoire. Concluding the night, Redi and Mecozzi return to stage to join Einaudi and perform Experience, from the artist’s 2013 album ‘In A Time Lapse’. An apt piece to part ways with an audience who truly connected with the experience that Einaudi and co provided tonight.

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It’s evident that Einaudi has gone full circle, returning to writing melodic and blissful piano pieces and fuelling them with the passion and experimentalism he has developed from his toe-dip into electronic and collaborative pieces. From somebody who loves to play Einaudi’s music, I was inspired by how he dismantled his iconic pieces and fused his new blend of attitude and personality into them.

Akin to the introduction, the artists walked off stage following a long applause and standing ovation, with no words spoken. The man of no words painted pictures tonight that speak a million for themselves.

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