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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 november 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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After touring all over Europe with his album re:member (perhaps his best - or at least boldest - release of 2018), Ólafur Arnalds found himself alone in his studio in Reykjavik during lockdown and used the opportunity to record his most intimate record yet. “Like everyone else, it forced me to take stock of what I was doing. By the time the pandemic hit, I'd already written half the album, so the rest flowed freely. The result is my most personal album to date. It moves away from big concepts and big ideas. It’s just me” explained the Icelandic composer. He offers up moments of intense weightlessness, levitation even, on tracks like the super-chilled opener Loom and Zero. With dreamlike synths, relaxing violins and compassion-filled pianos, Ólafur Arnalds sends out therapeutic vibrations on pieces where you can almost feel his consciousness expanding. Some local guests appear on this record, including the Icelandic singer JFDR on Back to the Sky which drips with Roya Arab-like sensuality. The album ends with a philosophical touch; Undone samples from a spoken word passage by the singer Lhasa de Sela, who died in 2010, bringing the concept of death to the forefront of the record. An album that doubles as a much-needed healing remedy. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 augustus 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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While the artificial intelligence tasked with composing music over these past few years have not produced anything particularly poignant, the Icelander Ólafur Arnalds has initiated a new relationship between man and machine with this album. Over the past two years he has worked on a software called Stratus, which allows two pianos to automatically play computer-generated music. But how does that work? Arnalds sits in his living room at the piano, equipped with the Moog Piano Bar, a device that transforms acoustic pianos into MIDI controllers. When he presses a note on his piano, the software generates a sequence on the other two pianos installed in the studio. "I’m basically playing the piano, but I’ve created a different instrument out of the piano", he explained in a video on his YouTube channel at the beginning of 2018. “And it often reacts in a very unexpected way. For example, when I play a C, the other pianos are going to play notes that I’m not necessarily expecting. So I’ll have a completely different reaction. Something like this really messes with the way you create stuff and affects the ideas that come out - you get ideas that you would never get otherwise.”He deploys this revolutionary method throughout the record, mixing his pianos with ethereal string sections, live percussion and beats that are co-produced by Bngrboy (notably with the addictive opening track that is sure to be a future classic). Above all, nothing sounds forced, everything flowing with an Olympic-level lightness. By using machines to change how we view human creativity, Ólafur Arnalds’ avant-garde creation paves the way for a new musical direction. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 16 maart 2015 | Mercury KX

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This week's entry in the very-much-like-nothing-you've-ever-heard-before sweepstakes comes from Icelandic electronic musician and composer Ólafur Arnalds and German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott, whose recording of Chopin waltzes inspired the project. What you get are recordings of Chopin piano compositions, plus original compositions by Arnalds based on motifs from Chopin. In one case, "Eyes Shut/Nocturne in C minor" (track six), the two are combined. Arnalds' pieces employ his own electronic keyboard textures, plus a live string quintet. On top of this, the pianos are vintage instruments hunted down in Reykjavik, and the ambience, if you will, was manipulated by recording in various venues and with various microphones there. And, on top of all this, Arnalds adds ambient soundscapes (noise, sounds of conversation, whispers, etc.) to the music. The ideas seem packed in a bit thick. The string quintet, for example, was a sound unused by Chopin, and it introduces an element that seems discordant with the source material. But there is a major X factor working in favor of this release: nobody has ever tried anything much like this, either with Chopin or with any other composer, and it just might be the beginning of something new and important. Check it out and decide for yourself! © James Manheim /TiVo
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Ambient - Verschenen op 5 december 2011 | Erased Tapes

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 oktober 2016 | Mercury KX

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Ambient - Verschenen op 4 maart 2016 | Erased Tapes

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 juli 2021 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Ambient - Verschenen op 10 mei 2010 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Verschenen op 29 oktober 2007 | Erased Tapes

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 februari 2021 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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In 2018, Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds pushed the boundaries of musical creativity within the studio with his album re:member, created with a software called Stratus, which allows two pianos to automatically play music generated by a computer. A year later he presented the live version, which he performed on stages all around Europe, from London to Lisbon via Munich, Amsterdam and Berlin. Although he doesn’t replicate his composition method on stage, he throws himself into improvisation, offering alternative versions of six of the twelve tracks from the album including the sublime Saman, recorded in the German capital, or the eight minutes of Undir. “For this album, I wanted to document all the new and often surprising forms that the songs of re:member take when I play them on stage”, explains the Icelander. This is a welcome extended edition of one of the best electronic albums of the decade. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Originele soundtracks - Verschenen op 30 april 2013 | Mercury KX

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This 2015 release is the first full-length soundtrack album for the ITV series Broadchurch. Expanding on the 2013 EP of season one highlights, it includes selections from the first two seasons of Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds' (Gimme Shelter, The Hunger Games) salient, BAFTA Award-winning score for the popular U.K. murder mystery show. With the exception of "So Close" and "So Far," which feature Arnór Dan on vocals, instrumentation is limited to piano, electronics, and strings, the latter recorded in a Reykjavik church for a natural reverberation. The music is widely considered to be a vital component of the show's foreboding atmosphere. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 april 2013 | Mercury KX

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Ambient - Verschenen op 31 augustus 2009 | Erased Tapes

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 augustus 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

While the artificial intelligence tasked with composing music over these past few years have not produced anything particularly poignant, the Icelander Ólafur Arnalds has initiated a new relationship between man and machine with this album. Over the past two years he has worked on a software called Stratus, which allows two pianos to automatically play computer-generated music. But how does that work? Arnalds sits in his living room at the piano, equipped with the Moog Piano Bar, a device that transforms acoustic pianos into MIDI controllers. When he presses a note on his piano, the software generates a sequence on the other two pianos installed in the studio. "I’m basically playing the piano, but I’ve created a different instrument out of the piano", he explained in a video on his YouTube channel at the beginning of 2018. “And it often reacts in a very unexpected way. For example, when I play a C, the other pianos are going to play notes that I’m not necessarily expecting. So I’ll have a completely different reaction. Something like this really messes with the way you create stuff and affects the ideas that come out - you get ideas that you would never get otherwise.” He deploys this revolutionary method throughout the record, mixing his pianos with ethereal string sections, live percussion and beats that are co-produced by Bngrboy (notably with the addictive opening track that is sure to be a future classic). Above all, nothing sounds forced, everything flowing with an Olympic-level lightness. By using machines to change how we view human creativity, Ólafur Arnalds’ avant-garde creation paves the way for a new musical direction. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Ambient - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2015 | Erased Tapes

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Originele soundtracks - Verschenen op 7 april 2017 | Mercury KX

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Electronic - Verschenen op 24 juni 2016 | Late Night Tales

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Originele soundtracks - Verschenen op 27 februari 2012 | Erased Tapes

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 13 december 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Artiest

Ólafur Arnalds in het magazine
  • Olafur Arnalds : futuristic music !
    Olafur Arnalds : futuristic music ! While the artificial intelligence tasked with composing music over these past few years have not produced anything particularly poignant, the Icelander Ólafur Arnalds has initiated a new relationsh...