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Songbook Review: Underwater
Ludovico Einaudi
Cover image of the songbook Underwater by Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi
2022 / Hal Leonard
64 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Underwater sheet music book is the companion to Ludovico Einaudi's 2022 album by the same name. The recording is Einaudi's first solo piano album in twenty years and was created during the pandemic lockdown when he was isolated at home in Italy. Quoting Einaudi: “I felt a sense of freedom to abandon myself and to let the music flow in a different way. I didn’t have a filter between me and what came out of the piano, it felt very pure. I call it song writing and not composing, it was a fresh approach for me.” The album reflects on freedom from the boundaries of our everyday lives while it creates an artistic expression about a time when the world was quiet. It is interesting to note that Einaudi is the most-streamed classical artist of all time!

One thing to note is that Einaudi recorded the album with his piano prepared/felted, a technique where felt or another soft cloth is placed between the strings and hammers of the piano to soften the sound of the hammers hitting the strings when the piano keys are pressed/played. This gives the piano a much less percussive sound and an atmospheric echo-y effect that often allows the various sounds of the piano action to become part of the music. Unless you want to do something similar to your piano, the sound is going to be different from the recording no matter how perfectly you play the notes. That said, this is a fun songbook to play!

All twelve of the pieces from the recording are included in the songbook, which is published by Hal Leonard. It is printed in the standard 9"X12" format (rather than the 8 1/2"X11" format of downloads and some independently published songbooks). All of the pieces are quite easy to play and have quite a bit of repetition. There are no reaches of more than an octave, so this sheet music is very suitable for smaller hands. There are no complicated rhythms, so most intermediate pianists should be able to master most of the music with little trouble. More advanced pianists should be able to just pick up the music and play it for enjoyment. I should also mention that if the music is played without any expression, it can become monotonous, so have fun with it!

The book is available from SheetMusicPlus.com, Amazon, Hal Leonard, and many other sheet music outlets.

The titles of the pieces, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

Luminous - Key of Db (5 flats)/ C# Minor (4 sharps) - 4 pages
Rolling Like a Ball - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 5 pages
Indian Yellow - Key of D (2 sharps)- 5 pages
Flora - Key of A Minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Natural Light - Key of Db (5 flats) - 6 pages
Almost June - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 3 pages
Swordfish - Key of D Minor (1 flat) - 4 pages
Wind Song - Key of B Minor (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Atoms - Key of C# Minor (4 sharps) - 3 pages
Temple White - Key of F Minor (4 flats) - 5 pages
Nobody Knows - Key of G (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Underwater - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 3 pages
August 15, 2022