Whenever I hear a new-to-me piece of music that catches my attention, I seek out the title/artist using the Shazam app, and then refer back to the saved titles on the app when going on the modern, online equivalent of my 70s record shopping trips (see post on “Orpheus,” January 13, 2020, for more on that). When I raved about Shazam to him some years ago, a cousin’s husband told me I was only about ten years late getting onto it!
Shazam identified the solo piano tune, “Dietro Casa” by Ludovico Einaudi. It sounds to me like a somewhat simple piece, yet it is captivating nonetheless. The title, according to Google Translate, means “behind the house.” Einaudi describes the album Una Mattina as being about things in his life which, in relation to this song, infers he’s writing about spending time in the backyard.
There’s a peacefulness to the piece; it brings a sense of enjoying precious leisure time with loved ones and, to me, it evokes the fragility of those moments — and of life itself.
I find solo piano quite mesmerizing; the tone of a very fine instrument, the style of the performer, the movement of his or her hands, and the way they seem to move their bodies to get the notes just right and, perhaps most of all, how the single instrument calls for all of the listener’s attention.
It also can be very powerful when placed thoughtfully in a film, and can either complement or counter what’s being portrayed on the screen. In doing some reading about the song, I learned it appears on the soundtrack to the 2006 film, This is England, a story about schoolmates in 1983 in a subculture of skinheads, racism, nationalism and division. While I haven’t seen the movie, elements of the story strike me as similar to the incivility, exclusionism and inhumanity that have resurfaced in many parts of the world during recent years.
Thinking in the context of global current events, the piece is a wonderful counterpoint to the negativity that pervades the world; it adds some much-needed calm.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Please enjoy.
There’s an official video of the composer playing the piece; it’s quite different from the studio-produced, soundtrack version (not official) which I prefer and have used here, but I hope you like the piece, either way.