Thursday, 4 November 2010

Olafur Arnalds

The first artist that we will explore is Olafur Arnalds. He is a composer from Iceland. I really like his piece 19:53 from his album Eulogy for Evolution. As with many of his pieces it creates a very epic atmosphere. The piano and violins always seem to speak volumes. The second half of the piece, from around 4:07, is the most exciting (to me). The rhythm quickens.

Arnalds sound is very romantic and impressionistic all at once. Yes, I mean the Romantic period. He uses clear notes to engage the audience, provoking thought and emotion. He often uses huge swells of sound and chromaticsim to create anticipation and even more emotion. I often feel like there is an underlining sadness in his pieces. The notes seem to tug at my heartstrings sometimes. They tell a different story for everyone that listens. From 5:35 on his use of the violins is so drammatic, although I wish he would've taken it even farther. We feel the tension building up, ready to bubble over. I think the piece is better felt when listened to with earphones. It becomes more personal and of course louder. I really like 6:02 where the violins rapidly ascend the scale.

There are so many Olafur Arnalds's songs that I adore. The first piece by Arnalds that I spoke of was Ljosio. It is equally as beautiful. I realize that the violins are the instruments that resonate most with me in his compositions. I feel that Ljosio has a different tone. It's lighter and the video that accompanies it is so beautiful and figurative. There are so many pieces that you can explore and enjoy. There are also many other Icelandic artists. I will definitely talk about more of them. So go ahead and enjoy some Olafur~ :)

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