While Ludovico Einaudi is best known for his provocative, melodic piano works, heard everywhere from adverts to films, `Nightbook' creates a different feel, described as `musical meditation on the transition between light and darkness, the known and the unknown'. His use of electronic sounds, not so much heard in previous works, amplifies the use of the piano - his main focus- `projecting it like a shadow in all directions'.
The minimalistic style is still unmistakeably Einaudi, however. The haunting, beautiful melodies which define his work still permeate each and every piece, demanding attention and having an impact on a listener. Some tracks feature just solo piano, in others we also hear soaring cello passages which reach straight into the heart.
One track in particular, called `Lady Labyrinth', takes the listener through a powerful journey. A distinctive, repeated piano motif and sailing cello melodies create rich, dark harmonies, whilst a driving percussive rhythm urges the piece forward.
In contrast, other tracks soothe into a dreamlike state, with propulsive quaver movement - a widely used minimalist style- and eerie, whispering electronic sounds. These textures gradually build, creating an enormous sense of tension, which then slowly fades into a shadowy whisper. But Einaudi has mixed this new sound with some beautiful solo piano tracks to which you can easily sit back and let the lush chords and floating melodies drift over you - a clear change to some earlier intensity and emotion. It is clear why this album is described as contrasting light and darkness.
This album will affect any listener, with pieces that will stay in the mind long after hearing. The feeling and conviction with which Einaudi always plays is impossible to ignore. This collection is a gradual progression in his work - it is not the first time he has taken advantage of electronic sounds, however, it is the first time he has used them to such powerful effect, relying in earlier work more on acoustic instruments.
This music is for those who want to be taken on an emotional journey, guided through light and darkness, calm and intensity.