Ólafur Arnalds

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About Ólafur Arnalds

Wistful melodies, haunting strings, and subtle electronics are key elements in Ólafur Arnalds' music. The Icelandic composer explores the hinterland between classical and pop, a style sometimes described as post-classical. Born in 1986 in Mosfellsbær, Iceland, Arnalds found early fame when he supported the Icelandic band Sigur Rós on tour. His albums are often creatively presented, such as 2009's Found Songs, from which Arnalds released a song a day over the course of a week, and Living Room Songs (2011), where homespun videos presciently foreshadowed subsequent pandemic formats. Pianos are an important aspect of Arnalds' soundworld: he collaborated with pianist Alice Sara Ott for 2015's The Chopin Project—reimagining pieces by the Polish composer—and regularly works with pianist/composer Nils Frahm. He has also created Stratus, his own system of self-playing and semi-generative keyboards (heard on 2018's re:member). Aspects of Arnalds' work over the past decade are brought together in 2020's collaborative album some kind of peace.

Mosfellsbaer, Iceland
November 3, 1986
Classical Crossover

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