BAFTA winning Icelandic composer, musician and producer Ólafur Arnalds announces his fourth solo studio album, re:member, out on Mercury KX on 24 August. The highly anticipated record features Ólafur’s ground-breaking new software, Stratus, which transforms the humble piano into a unique new instrument. He is currently performing his new material on a huge worldwide tour.
The Stratus Pianos are two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos which are triggered by a central piano played by Ólafur, and are the centrepiece of his new works. The custom-built software is born out of two years of work by the composer and audio developer, Halldór Eldjárn. The algorithms generated from Stratus were also used to create the innovative album artwork.
On the album Ólafur uses these methods reinvigorate the compositional experience, feeding back into the creative process in a completely new way. As Ólafur plays a note on the piano, two different notes are generated by Stratus, creating unexpected harmonies and surprising melodic sequences.
Speaking of the album, Ólafur says, “This is my breaking out-of-a-shell album. It’s me taking the raw influences that I have from all these different musical genres and not filtering them. It explores the creative process and how one can manipulate that to get out of the circle of expectations and habit.”
Ólafur’s uplifting new music uses the Stratus Pianos as well as string quartet, synths, electronics, live drums and a string orchestra recorded at London’s Air Studios. Plummeting the listener into a subversive world full of unexpected moods and emotions, Ólafur explores foreign musical soundscapes in every facet of re:member.
The brand new single, unfold, welcomes the listener with the sound of a stream twisting and flowing across rocks and feature vocals from British singer, songwriter and producer, SOHN. It is accompanied by a brand new music video which celebrates moments of reawakening.
From the very first note, the album takes the listener on a beautiful musical journey, constantly evolving and enlivening. The record concludes with a track called nyepi – meaning the Balinese ‘Day of Silence’, celebrated on New Year’s Day where everyone shuts themselves off from the outside world.
Yet Ólafur is not shutting himself off – he is inviting the listener to be part of his creative process. Even in his live shows, the audience becomes part of the performance as Ólafur uses a loop machine to capture people singing and seamlessly weaves it into his compositions. He says, “I want to inspire a community of creators with my music.”
Internationally celebrated for his haunting musical style, Ólafur captivatingly combines elements of ambient, classical, electronic and even elements of pop and rock. re:member follows the success of his innovative musical project Island Songs (2016), and two previous improvised projects Found Songs (2009) and Living Room Music (2011), both of which involved the daily release of new works over a seven-day period. Ólafur has also been praised for extensive soundtrack work, more recently composing the score for ITV’s Broadchurch, for which he won the 2014 BAFTA for Best Original Music.
Ólafur is currently on a huge worldwide tour – performing over 40 shows, after having recently sold out London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall. His spellbinding performances will bring together past, present and brand-new material in a fresh light.
2. unfold (ft. SOHN)
6. they sink
11. ekki hugsa
2018 tour dates:
14th June Barcelona, Sonar Festival
21st June San Francisco, Regency Ballroom *sold out*
22nd June Los Angeles, The Cathedral Sanctuary *sold out*
23rd June Chicago, Thalia Hall *sold out*
24th June Toronto, Luminato Festival *sold out*
28th June Quebec, Palais Montcalm
29th June Montreal, Jazz Festival *sold out*
30th June New York, Le Poison Rouge *sold out*
1st July New York, Murmrr Theater
26th Sept Brighton, The Dome
27th Sept Bath, Forum
28th Sept Birmingham, Town Hall
29th Sept Edinburgh, Assembly Rooms
30th Sept Manchester, Albert Hall
1st Oct Dublin, National Concert Hall *sold out*
2nd Oct Cork, Opera House
5th Oct Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie *sold out*
7th Oct Kurhaus, Wiesbaden
8th Oct Ludwigsburg, Forum
9th Oct Wroclaw, Narodowe
10th Oct Leipzig, Gewandhaus
11th Oct Berlin, Tempodrom
12th Oct Prague, Lucerna
15th Oct Linz, Posthof
16th Oct Milan, Auditorium di Milano Fondazione Cariplo
17th Oct Zurich, Volkshaus
21st Oct Lyon, Auditorium
22nd Oct Bordeaux, Theatre Femina
23rd Oct Toulouse, Halle aux Grains
24th Oct Paris, Salle Pleyel
25th Oct Antwerpen, Queen Elisabeth Hall
27th Oct Nijmegen, Concertgebouw De Vereeniging
28th Oct Groningen, Oosterpoort
29th Oct Rotterdam, Schouwburg
30th Oct London, Palladium
31st Oct London, Palladium
18th Dec Reykjavík, Harpa
More dates will be announced worldwide in the coming weeks.
05.10. Hamburg, Elbphi
07.10. Wiesbaden, Kurhaus
08.10. Ludwigsburg, Forum
10.10. Leipzig, Gewandhaus
11.10. Berlin, Tempodrom