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Ólafur Arnalds

Ólafur Arnalds, Iceland Airwave Stream, November 13th, 2020

Nov 13, 2020 Ólafur Arnalds
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Okay, a quick recap for those just joining us in 2020: things still suck, and are poised to get worse. At least we have music, right?

Like many festivals who canceled live shows name of not killing people with a deadly virus, Iceland Airwaves went digital this year for a special two-night event, featuring sets from Reykjavík artists, including Vök, Mammút, and Hatari. On Friday night, Ólafur Arnalds delivered a haunting thirty-minute set, once again proving why he’s one of the most exciting modern composers.

Bathed in soft, multi-colored lights that slowly moved across the room, Arnalds led his clutch of string players through six songs, drawing heavily on his recently released album some kind of peace. There was as sense of storytelling through his willingness to reinvent his material for a live audience. (As Arnalds told Under the Radar during this week’s Why Not Both podcast interview). Although his newest batch of recordings trend percussive (evoking his side project Kiasmos with Janus Rasmussen), this was a predominately string affair, allowing the listener to sink into the slow-moving beauty of his work. While one performance may not change the world (let’s face it—we need a lot of changing right now), Arnalds provided listeners with a rare moment of beauty and rest. It was the kind of creative restoration that feels revolutionary, even as the world continues to shake.

Listen to Ólafur Arnalds’ Why Not Both Podcast Interview.

Get tickets to Iceland Airwave’s live streams.


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