Celebrated pianist and film composer Ludovico Einaudi's music has been a mainstay on KCRW over the years, and he's been a frequent guest on our air. His family has a rich history in Italy; Ludovico's grandfather was the first elected President of Italy in the years following WWII after the fall of Mussolini.
Einaudi is quarantining with his wife in a tiny Swiss Alps town called Samedan, a few hours from where he lives in northern Italy.
I recently caught up with him, and below are highlights from our conversation and a couple of his piano pieces that he feels might resonate at this time. They were influenced by his adventures in Mali, where time moves at a different pace.
Ludovico on staying in Samedan:
I planned to come here with my family for two days of holiday, and then the situation got immediately bad and we decided to stay here rather than going back to Milano. In the north of Italy, the situation of the virus is very bad. [It’s] where the focus of the virus exploded, especially in Lombardy, the region around Milano. It's the worst place where you can be in Italy now.
Ludovico on observing a silver lining during this time:
There is one thing that I see as a positive in all this negativity. There is this feeling of silence, of everything that is so calm, that the world is — since I don't know how many years, for the first time in a while — is clean. The waters are starting to be clean, the sky is blue. The pollution is going down well.
And I wonder if there could be a way to keep part of this situation after.