Weird Day

Weird day.

Hot weather, back to work, student protests. All a bit chaotic.

So, as per every long-haul flight I take, it’s Ludovico Einaudi to the rescue. And he’s donned a superhero’s costume in the shape of his new album, which, now I’m back home, I have downloaded, post haste.

Here’s the official video from Walk, off his last album:

Nice and calming when set against the ridiculousness of the day. Or indeed at any time.

Ironically, my favourite track off the In A Timelapse album is Run. It’s kind of like Walk, but unsurprisingly, it’s faster, with contrapuntal Vivaldi and Pachelbel-esque overtones. It’s still beautifully relaxing though.

The new album is called Elements (as you’ll know if you’ve been here before) and, at first listen, seems to be a step into the more contemporary, with more electronica and deeper bass. I’m looking forward to giving it more attention before reporting back.

Night

New song from new album time. And today’s artist is Ludovico Einaudi.

This is the first track from the new album Elements, and it sounds like LE has subscribed to the “Here’s what made me popular, so why change it?” masterplan. Well done him.

Incidentally, you can have heaps (or more) of fun by being Ludovico and playing Night yourself, here.
Even before hearing the real thing, I wasn’t that far off, thus proving my point about how deliciously samey this new track is.

6000 miles…album of the year update

We’re almost halfway through the year (cue comments like: “doesn’t time fly?” and “Christmas only seems like yesterday”) and if previous years are anything to go by, I’ll probably have forgotten what’s already happened so far when it comes to looking for my favourite album of the year in December.

So, herewith an ongoing (i.e. may be updated at any time) recap of the early contenders, in no particular order.

Delta Machine – Depeche Mode
Classic “back to their roots” stuff from Gahan et al. Much improved on their recent offerings. Really good. Really, really good.

Diary – The D.O.T.
My goodness, but this has been taking up a lot of airtime in my car. It’s one of those albums where you actually hope for traffic so that you can get to listen to it a bit longer. Don’t Look At The Road and Blood, Sweat And Tears (brilliant video here) are particular favourites, but it’s all so very listenable. And I think I will do that right now while compiling the rest of this post.

Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
It took a lot to get me to even listen to this. Hyped things usually have to be hyped for a reason and thus, I tend to avoid them. In addition, as someone who caught the tail end of disco first time around, I have a completely understandable pathological hatred for all things disco.
But wait. This is updated, experimental disco, with busy electronic bits decorating it. And it’s just ever so slightly mad. Even “serious” songs like Touch have an element of self-deprecation about them. It’s fun, and for that reason, it’s rather addictive.

In A Time Lapse – Ludovico Einaudi
Yeah. Incongruous, I know. But Ludovico slipped this one in early on in the year and it’s typically classy. And while some might argue that it’s typically typical as well, do I really have to take the time to explain once again that there’s really no need to fix stuff what ain’t broke? It follows on perfectly from 2009’s Nightbook, and there’s definitely a place for this calming, take-me-away-from-the-madness music in my life (probably more often than I’d like to admit). Here’s the video for Walk, a perfectly representative piece from the album.

Of course, all of the above could pale into insignificance come October, when the new Morten Harket offering is due to be released. Once again, he’s teamed up with Swedish producer Peter Kvint (Andreas Johnson, Britney Spears) and recently described what they’re doing as

…possibly the best stuff that I’ve ever done.

which, when you’re a fan of the other stuff that he’s done, sounds rather promising.

But, in the meantime, what did I forget? What else should I consider?
Your suggestions are more than welcome (terms and conditions apply).

UPDATE: New Pet Shop Boys album next month is surely set to complicate things further.

Le Onde

It might not seem like a big deal for many people, but I didn’t enjoy being stuck in hospital, even though it was just for a couple of days. I was bored, sore, drugged, a bit scared. It wasn’t nice.

What kept me going was Ludovico Einaudi – more specifically his music – and even more specifically, his “Greatest Hits” collection Islands. One favourite track therein is Le Onde which translates as “The Waves” and it’s no big surprise to me I like it. As I said before I went in, the thing I’m looking forward to more than any other (save maybe from avoiding future excruciating abdominal pain) is getting back down onto the beach for some blustery walks near the sea.

Sadly, while I wanted to share the goodness of Le Onde with you, I couldn’t find a decent version online. Sure, there’s plenty of Einaudi stuff on Youtube, but I don’t expect you or anyone else to enjoy staring at a picture of an album cover for 5½ minutes (pretty though it may be).
The music is evocative, delicate, powerful – it deserves more than that.

So I did my own version:

 

The music is Einaudi’s (obviously – that’s the point of this whole thing).
The images are mine – taken in and around beautiful Cape Agulhas, South Africa. (Flickr)

And sure, it’s not professional in any way, shape or form. I have neither the software nor the talent to produce a masterpiece.
But it sums up what the music means to me. And that’s what’s important, right?

In addition, it gives you something to look at while you enjoy a few moments of calm in your otherwise hectic day.
You will feel better after watching this.  

Please feel free to let me know what you think. Be gentle. I am a sick man.