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Ólafur Arnalds - some kind of peace

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some kind of peace

Ólafur Arnalds

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Language available : english

With 2018's re:member, composer Ólafur Arnalds pushed technological boundaries, using custom software and an algorithm as a major part of its design to trigger two player pianos with his own live keyboard work. The album's blue-shaded cover art suggested the paper punch-hole patterns of such programming. Two years later, some kind of peace features a similarly blue-tinted cover, this time a close-up of Arnalds' face. A more-personal album inspired by a friend's comment that we can't control what life brings, only our own reactions to it, its songs share themes of human vulnerability. There's still an electronic presence on the album, which also relies heavily on piano as well as strings. The twinkling first track, "Loom," is one of three collaborative entries, this one featuring electronic artist Bonobo. Soft, distorted keyboard and bell-like piano timbres, bass, and high-pitched voice samples paint a wistful, rhythmic harmonic palette on the song, which closes on the delicate interplay between piano and strings. Almost club-friendly but decidedly soft-spoken, it's joined by two other songs, "The Bottom Line" with Josin, and "Back to the Sky," which features a brittle, cracking vocal delivery by Icelandic singer JFDR. She's supported on the track by intimate strings, spare, downtempo beats, and sustained tones that blend in with the strings. Appearing midway through the mostly instrumental track list, it includes the lines "Then when stars align/With some kind of peace/I could be loved by you." The instrumentals -- all calm and meditative -- range from "Woven Song," a borderline sprightly piano piece with strings and a sample of an icaro (a South American healing song), to solo piano works like the sentimental "We Contain Multitudes." Even with the occasional programmed drums, some kind of peace is a consistently tranquil set, with enough shape and variety to the tracks to stave off ambient or easy listening claims.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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some kind of peace

Ólafur Arnalds

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1
Loom
00:03:47

Bonobo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Simon Green, Producer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Ólafur Arnalds, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion, ComposerLyricist - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

2
Woven Song
00:03:10

Ólafur Arnalds, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

A Mercury KX Recording; ℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

3
Spiral
00:03:21

Ólafur Arnalds, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

4
Still / Sound
00:04:13

Ólafur Arnalds, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

5
Back To The Sky
00:03:23

Josh Wilkinson, Unknown, Other - Ólafur Arnalds, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Jófríður Akadóttir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - JFDR, Author, MainArtist - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

A Mercury KX Recording; ℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

6
Zero
00:04:26

Ólafur Arnalds, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion, ComposerLyricist - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel - Sandrayati Fay, Voice, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

7
New Grass
00:04:02

Ólafur Arnalds, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

8
The Bottom Line
00:04:02

Ólafur Arnalds, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Arabella Rauch, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Josin, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

9
We Contain Multitudes
00:03:18

Ólafur Arnalds, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

10
Undone
00:05:03

Ólafur Arnalds, Producer, Piano, Recording Engineer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, Electronic Percussion, ComposerLyricist - Karl Pestka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Zino Mikorey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Unnur Jonsdottir, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sigrún Harðardóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Björk Óskarsdóttir, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hafsteinn Þráinsson, Recording Engineer, Studio, Writers Association, StudioPersonnel - Sandrayati Fay, Voice, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 Ólafur Arnalds, under exclusive license to Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited

Album Description

With 2018's re:member, composer Ólafur Arnalds pushed technological boundaries, using custom software and an algorithm as a major part of its design to trigger two player pianos with his own live keyboard work. The album's blue-shaded cover art suggested the paper punch-hole patterns of such programming. Two years later, some kind of peace features a similarly blue-tinted cover, this time a close-up of Arnalds' face. A more-personal album inspired by a friend's comment that we can't control what life brings, only our own reactions to it, its songs share themes of human vulnerability. There's still an electronic presence on the album, which also relies heavily on piano as well as strings. The twinkling first track, "Loom," is one of three collaborative entries, this one featuring electronic artist Bonobo. Soft, distorted keyboard and bell-like piano timbres, bass, and high-pitched voice samples paint a wistful, rhythmic harmonic palette on the song, which closes on the delicate interplay between piano and strings. Almost club-friendly but decidedly soft-spoken, it's joined by two other songs, "The Bottom Line" with Josin, and "Back to the Sky," which features a brittle, cracking vocal delivery by Icelandic singer JFDR. She's supported on the track by intimate strings, spare, downtempo beats, and sustained tones that blend in with the strings. Appearing midway through the mostly instrumental track list, it includes the lines "Then when stars align/With some kind of peace/I could be loved by you." The instrumentals -- all calm and meditative -- range from "Woven Song," a borderline sprightly piano piece with strings and a sample of an icaro (a South American healing song), to solo piano works like the sentimental "We Contain Multitudes." Even with the occasional programmed drums, some kind of peace is a consistently tranquil set, with enough shape and variety to the tracks to stave off ambient or easy listening claims.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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