FRACTURED AIR

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Posts Tagged ‘Ólafur Arnalds

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E01 | January mix

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fracturedair_jan17

Welcome to the first mixtape for 2017.

January’s edition opens with the welcome return of Oklahoma’s finest The Flaming Lips with their latest studio album “Oczy Mlody”, released this month on Bella Union. Fellow indie greats Dirty Projectors also return, with Dave Longstreth’s soul-stirring lament “Little Bubble” – the follow-up to last September’s “Keep Your Name” – which makes the Dirty Projectors’ forthcoming full-length one of the most eagerly anticipated albums for 2017.

“Elwan” (translates to “The Elephants”), the new album by Malis’s beloved Tinariwen is sure to be found on many end-of-year lists come this December. The music again draws from Tinariwen’s homeland, a Saharan mountain range between north-eastern Mali and southern Algeria, which has been transformed into a conflict zone. “Elwan” was recorded at Rancho de la Luna studios in the desert of California’s Joshua Tree National Park during 2014, and again in 2016, in M’Hamid El Ghizlane, an oasis in southern Morocco, near the Algerian frontier.

Other intriguing new releases come from the Montreal-based group Avec le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche who release their exceptional second album “Pas Pire Pop, I Love You So Much” via Constellation, the follow-up to the band’s 2014 debut “Zubberdust!”. Having formed in 2011 in Montreal, Avec le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche features singer/songwriter Jean-Sebastien Truchy (of Fly Pan Am) as well as members of numerous other groups including: Panopticon Eyelids, Pas Chic Chic, Red Mass, Set Fire to Flames.

Of course, new releases only always paints one tiny portion of the wider picture, with so many exceptional re-issues always being repressed and made anew. This month sees Light In The Attic begin an exhaustive re-issue campaign for the music of Brazilian icon Erasmo Carlos, the first three albums showing an unparalleled appetite for fusing countless styles of music into his own unique, singular sound, heralding Carlos’ place as one of the most gifted songwriters from the seventies.

“Tumblers from the Vault (1970–1972)” by Syrinx (re-issues last year on RVNG Intl) was our favourite re-issue from 2016. Syrinx consisted of composer and keyboardist John Mills-Cockell, saxophonist Doug Pringle, and percussionist Alan Wells. Syrinx’s self-titled debut arrived in 1970, followed in 1971 by ‘Long Lost Relatives’, which is highlighted as the first album on Tumblers From The Vault.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E01 | January mix

 

 

01. The Flaming Lips“There Should Be Unicorns” (Bella Union)
02. Syrinx“Syren” (RVNG Intl)
03. Erasmo Carlos“26 Anos de Vida Normal” (Light In The Attic)
04. Mr. Tophat & Robyn“Disco Devato” (excerpt) (Smalltown Supersound)
05. Tinariwen“Sastanàqqàm” (Anti-)
06. Avec le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche“Alizé et Margaret D. Midi moins le quart. Sur la plage, un palmier ensanglanté II” (Constellation)
07. Awa Poulo – “Dimo Yaou Tata” (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
08. Roberto Musci“Water Music” (Music From Memory)
09. MJ Guider“White Alsatian” (Kranky)
10. Gareth Dickson“Atmosphere” (Discolexique)
11. Steve Hauschildt“Same River Twice” (Kranky)
12. Run The Jewels“Thursday in the Danger Room” (feat. Kamasi Washington) (Self-Released)
13. Plankton vs. Defcon“Jealousy” (Karaoke Kalk)
14. Lee Hazlewood“For One Moment” (Light In The Attic)
15. Duane Eddy“This Town” (Ace)
16. Molly Burch“Try” (Captured Tracks)
17. Patience“Wait For You” (Night School)
18. Bézier“Widows Tears” (Cin Cin)
19. Copeland & Gast“Sisters of Control” (All Bone)
20. Tangents“Jindabyne” (Four Tet Remix) (Temporary Residence)
21. Ólafur Arnalds“Árbakkinn” (ft. Einar Georg) (Mercury Classics)
22. Dirty Projectors“Little Bubble” (Edit) (Domino)
23. Odd Nosdam“Daliman OG” (Glue Moon)
24. April Stevens“End Of Desire” (Cherry Red)
25. Mica Levi“Children” (Jackie OST, Milan)
26. Daniel Lanois & Rocco DeLuca“Low Sudden” (Anti-)
27. Allred & Broderick“The Ways” (Erased Tapes)

Compiled by Fractured Air, January 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

 

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E7 | July mix

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fracturedairmix_july16

July 2016 opened with world-renowned German composer Nils Frahm’s magnificent “Possibly Colliding” weekend of music at the Barbican Centre, London. Curated by Frahm, the special lineup featured live performance, conversation and film screenings where the headline act was Frahm’s monumental sold-out Barbican show, comprising his “most ambitious concert to date.”

Possibly Colliding felt not only like a celebration of the visionary artist’s cherished songbook (thus far) but rather a distillation of the most ground-breaking moments of today’s contemporary music scene. The angelic, hushed solo piano pieces were interwoven with the sprawling and sublime synthesizer-led pieces and many live collaborations – cellist Anne Müller, Nonkeen (with the addition of gifted drummer Andrea Belfi), London-based vocal ensemble Shards, and the André de Ridder-led stargaze ensemble – rendered new versions of Frahm’s towering body of work and offered new insights into the gifted composer’s sonic sphere.

During July we were delighted to be invited to participate in Irish actor Cillian Murphy’s curated IMMA Summer Party happening at the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin. Murphy’s music lineup featured performances by celebrated German composer and pianist Hauschka, gifted Irish fiddle player and composer Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Irish-based indie band Meltybrains? Some selections from our DJ set appear in this month’s mixtape.

Limerick-born and London-based composer Áine O’Dwyer has long been one of our most cherished and favourite contemporary musicians. O’Dwyer has released records on such independent labels as: Mie Music, Second language and Fort Evil Fruit, while her versatile talents are evident in her rich and varied recorded output to date, which have featured: live recordings for pipe organ, music for harp and voice and music for solo piano.

This year’s Le Guess Who? festival features special guest curators – including the inimitable L.A. songwriter Julia Holter – who has invited Áine O’Dwyer to this year’s lineup in Utrecht which takes place on 10–13 November 2016.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E7 | July mix

To Read/listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2016/07/27/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s01e07-july-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Woodkid & Nils Frahm“Winter Morning II” (with Robert De Niro) (excerpt) (Ellis OST, Erased Tapes)
02. Peter Broderick“Carried” (Erased Tapes)
03. Nonkeen“Diving Platform” (R&S)
04. Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler“A Road” (Thrill Jockey)
05. Áine O’Dwyer “Falcon” (Second Language)
06. Jherek Bischoff“Headless” (The Leaf Label)
07. Agnes Obel“Familiar” (Play It Again Sam)
08. Jonny Greenwood (Copenhagen Phil, André de Ridder)“Future Markets” (There Will Be Blood OST, Deutsche Grammophon)
09. Radiohead“Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief” (XL Recordings)
10. Kedr Livanskiy“Razrushitelniy Krug (Destructive Cycle)” (2MR)
11. Lil Silva “Jimi” (Good Years)
12. DJ Shadow“The Sideshow” (feat. Ernie Fresh) (Mass Appeal)
13. Underworld“I Exhale” (Universal Music Group)
14. Floorplan“Music” (M-Plant)
15. Róisín Murphy“Simulation” (Permanent Vacation)
16. Hot Chip“Night and Day” (Daphni Mix) (Domino)
17. Junior Boys“Big Black Coat” (Robert Hood Remix) (Jiaolong / City Slang)
18. Peder Mannerfelt“Perspectives” (Peder Mannerfelt Produktion)
19. Aphex Twin“CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]” (Warp)
20. Ólafur Arnalds“RGB” (LateNightTales)
21. Julianna Barwick“Someway” (Dead Oceans)
22. Julia Holter“Finale” (Leaving / Domino)

Compiled by Fractured Air, July 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E6 | June mix

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fracturedairmix_june16

We’re delighted to present two exclusive tracks by the world-renowned Berlin-based contemporary classical music collective stargaze. Founded by German conductor André de Ridder, stargaze comprise a network of classically trained European musicians who have performed and collaborated extensively in a wide variety of contexts to date.

The German-based collective have worked with some of the most acclaimed and forward-thinking contemporary music-makers, including: Julia Holter, Nils Frahm, Bryce Dessner, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Shara Worden, Owen Pallett, These New Puritans and many more; and have appeared at prestigious festivals and venues including: the Holland Festival, Barbican Centre London, Acht-Brücken-Festival at Cologne Philharmonie, Crossing Borders Festival, Wonderfeel Festival, Kaltern Pop Festival, Berlin Pop-Kultur, Rewire Festival (NL).

Another vital element of the stargaze repertoire in recent years has been amassing their considerable collection of instrumental works. These have included: Deerhof Chamber Variations by Greg Saunier; string quartets by Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner as well as David Lang’s composition Death Speaks; Mica Levi’s Under The Skin and Richard Reed Parry’s Music for Heart and Breath.

Presented exclusively for June’s mixtape are stargaze’s analogue arrangements of Boards of Canada’s EP “Hi Scores”, performed live at Motel Mozaïque in Rotterdam during April 2016. Arrangements are by Aart Strootman.

Staying in Berlin, also included in June’s mixtape is the highly acclaimed Hamburg-born and Berlin-based guitarist and composer Martyn Heyne who released his gorgeous debut solo E.P. “Shady & Light” this year (available as a free download from http://martynheyne.com). Heyne has long been associated with countless musicians in the independent music scene as they have recorded at Lichte, Heyne’s Berlin-based home studio (Sarah Neufeld, Nils Frahm, Lubomyr Melnyk, Peter Broderick). Heyne was also a touring member with Danish group Efterklang during their 2013 “Piramida” tour.

Finally, June also saw the release of Irish songwriter Brigid Mae Power’s masterful self-titled album (her first for U.S. independent Tompkins Square). The album was recorded in 2015 with Peter Broderick at The Sparkle, his hometown studio in Portland, Oregon.

 

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E6 | June mix

To Read/listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2016/06/27/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s01e06-june-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Brigid Mae Power“Watching The Horses” (Tompkins Square)
02. Sarah Neufeld“Chase the Bright and Burning” (Paper Bag)
03. The Flaming Lips “The Observer” (Warner Bros.)
04. s t a r g a z e“Everything You Do Is A Balloon” (live at Motel Mozaïque, Rotterdam, 09/04/16)
05. Arthur Russell“Instrumentals – 1974 Volume 1” (Rough Trade, Audika)
06. Oliver Coates“Innocent Love” (PRAH Recordings)
07. Jessy Lanza“It Means I Love You” (Hyperdub)
08. Moderat “Finder” (Monkeytown)
09. Jamie xx & Four Tet“SeeSaw” (feat. Rome) [Club Version] (Young Turks)
10. Kiasmos “Swayed” (Erased Tapes)
11. Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm“23:52” (Erased Tapes)
12. Boards Of Canada“Sunshine Recorder” (Warp)
13. Radiohead“Full Stop” (XL Recordings)
14. Explosions In The Sky“The Ecstatics” (Bella Union)
15. MJ Guider“Lit Negative” (Kranky)
16. Julee Cruise“Mysteries Of Love” (Warner Bros.)
17. Angel Olsen“Intern” (Jagjaguwar)
18. Martyn Heyne“Brandung” (http://martynheyne.com)
19. Roslyn Steer“Of A Sunday” (Kantcope)
20. Bob Dylan“Final Theme” (Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid OST, Columbia)
21. s t a r g a z e“Nlogax / Turquoise Hexagon Sun” (live at Motel Mozaïque, Rotterdam, 09/04/16)
22. Bill Fay“The Sun Is Bored” (Deram, Decca)
23. Amiina“Kola” (Lighthouse Version) (Sound Of A Handshake)

Compiled by Fractured Air, June 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

Mixtape: With the Dark Hug of Time

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With the Dark Hug of Time [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/with-the-dark-hug-of-time-a-fractured-air-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Nordic Affect ‘Clockworking’ [Sono Luminus]
02. Masayoshi Fujita ‘Tears of Unicorn’ [Erased Tapes]
03. Julia Kent ‘Tramontana’ [Leaf]
04. Cork Gamelan Ensemble ‘The Three Forges’ [Diatribe]
05. Jerusalem in My Heart ‘A Granular Buzuk’ [Constellation]
06. Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld ‘With the dark hug of time’ [Constellation]
07. Roll The Dice ‘In Deference’ [Leaf]
08. Dawn of Midi ‘Dysnomia’ [Erased Tapes]
09. Lower Dens ‘Quo Vadis’ [Ribbon Music]
10. Micachu & The Shapes ‘L.A. Poison’ [Rough Trade]
11. The Fall ‘Early Days of Channel Führer’ [Narnack]
12. Helen ‘City Breathing’ [Kranky]
13. Time Is A Mountain ‘Alicetti’ [Repeat Until Death]
14. Musette ‘Send In The Clown Clones’ (excerpt) [Häpna]
15. Roslyn Steer ‘Gently’ [KantCope]
16. Rafael Anton Irisarri ‘Will Her Heart Burn Anymore_00’ [Self-Released]
17. Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm ‘Wide Open’ [Erased Tapes]
18. Ellll ‘Now’ [Unreleased]
19. Holly Herndon ‘Home’ [4AD]
20. Julia Holter ‘Night Song’ [Domino]
21. Eleni Karaindrou ‘The Weeping Meadow I’ [ECM]

The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

You can follow Fractured Air on Twitter HERE or on Facebook HERE.
http://fracturedair.com

 

 

Label Of Love: Erased Tapes

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2013 marked the fifth anniversary of the London-based record label Erased Tapes. For the last five years the label have introduced to the world some of the most innovative and original artists making music today. To mark their fifth anniversary, the label released a very special limited edition vinyl box-set last year – the ‘Erased Tapes V Collection’ – which includes previously unreleased recordings by it’s extensive roster of musicians.

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry
With contributions by: Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm

olafur_foundsongs_craigcarry

Last year marked the fifth anniversary of the hugely influential record label Erased Tapes. It is amazing to think that in such a short space of time the label has released some of the most ground-breaking and vital music of recent times, with recordings by artists such as Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds and A Winged Victory For The Sullen, amongst many others. Fittingly, on their anniversary year, the label released ‘Corollaries’, the new album by legendary pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, whose pioneering Continuous Music has inspired a generation of musicians. In the same year, Frahm’s highly-anticipated live record ‘Spaces’ documents and effectively captures the pulsating energy of the Berlin composer’s utterly transcendent live shows. 2013 also saw the release of London-based singer-songwriter Douglas Dare’s debut E.P. ‘Seven Hours’ and Peter Broderick’s ‘Float 2013’, newly remastered by Nils Frahm. The box set features exclusive, previously unreleased recordings made by the label’s incredible roster of artists. What makes it all the more exclusive is the fact that the compilation wouldn’t be digitally available until the end of the year (24th December, 2013 to be precise). A must have for music-lovers everywhere. The lovingly assembled and designed box-set (designed by Torsten Posselt at FELD Berlin) is dedicated to its beloved audience – the early Erased Tapes music explorer. I look forward immensely to the next five years as the roster of gifted talents continue to journey into new and unknown horizons of possibilities and wonderment.

The first 7″ contains the electronic wizardry of Rival Consoles (‘Daddy’ feat. Peter Broderick) and Kiasmos’ euphoric minimal techno soundscapes (‘Driven’). Ryan Lee West AKA Rival Consoles creates beguiling electronic creations that encloses an organic sound within the artist’s minimal analogue framework. ‘Daddy’ is a haven of electronic bleeps and glitches that conjures up the sound of German electronic music and the indie-electronic sounds of B. Fleichsmann’s Morr Music output. The opening notes of lazer-guided synths drives the moonlight ballad into a late-night tale of inner-contemplation and reflection. The addition of Broderick’s vocals heightens the track’s exploratory dimension. The vocal shifts in register and loops in layers across West’s similarly evolving synth melodies. Towards the song’s close, Broderick’s fragile voice asks “Daddy, can I call myself a man now?” where the organic and synthetic are combined that traverses directly into the human space.

Kiasmos is the brainchild of Ólafur Arnalds and Bloodgroup mastermind Janus Rasmussen from the Faroe Islands. The starting point usually is an electronic beat supplied by Rasmussen, that would, in turn be dissected by Arnalds and before long, a timeless melody is constructed that perfectly compliments the electronic voyage. ‘Driven’ is a killer-track that loops forever and is allowed to live and breathe, as the layers float majestically into the atmosphere. Think Holden’s ‘The Inheritors’ record as a reference point. The latest release, ‘Thrown’ E.P. contains the two stunning tracks ‘Thrown’ and ‘Wrecked’ with exclusive remixes by FaltyDL and 65daysofstatic.

Berlin composer and cellist Anne Müller’s enchanting ‘Walzer für Robert’ opens up a whole new world of joyous sound that is nothing short of captivating. The intricate arrangements of cello strings is blended effortlessly with Frahm’s healing piano notes. The dancing melodies is reminiscent of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Take This Waltz’ where the listener is taken to the streets of Vienna and left to “yield to the flood” of the composition’s beauty. This piece of music represents the first glimpses of sunlight as a new day slowly unfolds with the promises of hopes, dreams and happiness. An essential record to own (and one of Erased Tapes many hidden treasures) is ‘7 fingers’ – the collaboration between the like-minded souls of Nils Frahm and Anne Müller. Having seen both artists live in various incarnations – Müller’s central presence to singer-songwriter Agnes Obel’s deeply affecting songbook, and Frahm’s solo shows – I long to witness both artists on stage together. With a new record currently being worked on in the trusted surrounds of Frahm’s Durton Studios, a follow-up will soon see the light of day.

On the flip-side is new signing New World’s End Girlfriend. Hailing from Nagasaki, Kyushu, Japan, the Japanese composer creates music that seems to contain all myriads of samples and fascinating sounds. The cut ‘Bohemian Purgatory Part 2’ (N.S.K.G. version) moves between house, techno and mish-mash of doo-wop/funk, breakbeat free-jazz and classical. It’s unlike anything you have heard ever before. The Erased Tapes album ‘Seven Idiots’ represents a new and unique voice in avant-garde/contemporary music that defies categorization. World’s End Girlfriend further highlights the label’s continual strive to push the sonic envelope and explore vast plains of sound.

The third 7″ represents the centerpiece to the Erased Tapes V collection. An exclusive new track by Portland-Oregon born artist, songwriter and composer, Peter Broderick is a joy to behold. ‘Give Me A Smile In 5’ offers a snapshot of Broderick’s beguiling songbook that has graced us with its presence these past several years. The opening lyrics evokes a foreboding mood, sung beneath swirling piano notes: “A fight was fought off the battlefield / Oh where is my brother, where is my brother?” The poignancy of Broderick’s songcraft and sheer emotional depth thus created leaves me endlessly dumbfounded. ‘Give Me A Smile In 5’ evolves into a dub-infused odyssey of vintage Burning Spear that adds a new dimension to the Mark Hollis-esque soundscapes (affecting harmonies, layered strings and subtle electronics) that creates an utterly timeless artistic creation. A profound sadness and openness of honesty permeates throughout the achingly beautiful lament.

“But when I face my loving mother
I feel ashamed, I feel the shame
I think about the end of thinking
With a smile, with a smile”

The gorgeous piano music of Nils Frahm is next. The previously unreleased ‘Little Boy In A Space Suit’ is delicately beautiful like a flower blooming in spring. Listen closely and you hear many found sounds hidden deep beneath. The soft touch of fallen leaves, sunlight pouring through a forest of trees. I’m transported to Virgina Astley’s first studio album ‘In The Gardens Where We Feel Secure’ such is the composition’s powerful magic to seep into the pools of one’s mind, and linger there, now and forever-more. One of my favourite Erased Tapes release comes from Oliveray – the collaboration between Nils and Peter – with the appropriately titled, ‘Wonder’. Released in 2011, the record has become a trusted companion and daily soundtrack for me. A wonderful sense of magic fills the space as the instrumentation of piano, violin, celeste, pump organ, guitar, voice and whistles unleashes heart-warming emotion into the surrounding stratosphere. I remember Nils one time telling me how his favourite thing in the world is the Bill Wells and Tape 12″ collaboration, entitled ‘Fugue’ (that I think was introduced to him by Peter!) It’s clearly evident upon listening to ‘Wonder’ that a similarly breathtaking sense of journey is attained here. A couple of glorious cover versions are dotted across the album; an acoustic guitar-based version of Efterklang’s ‘Harmonics’, and the Tiny Vipers song ‘Dreamer’ (written by Jesy Fortino). ‘Wonder’ is a sonic marvel that ceaselessly reveals hidden details of divine beauty.

The fourth 7″ comprises ‘Hanau Bridge’ by Codes In The Clouds and The British Expeditionary Force’s ‘End Of The New End’. Hailing from Dartford, England, Codes In The Cloud create enthralling guitar-based post-rock creations, reminiscent of Scotland’s Mogwai and Texans Explosions In The Sky. The intensity of the band’s guitar instrumentals stops you immediately in your tracks. On the flip-side, The British Expeditionary Force’s ‘End Of The New End’ is a piano-based heartfelt pop voyage that recalls the experimental pop of Why? and Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. “I try to swim out the mess I’m in, I try to swim but I’m wading further in” is a lyric of the final verse that brings the indie-electronica infused ballad to a delicate close.

The closing 7″ is a timeless exploration into the heart of contemporary neoclassical music. Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds provides a formidable creation in the form of ‘Happiness Does Not Wait’. The piano-based melody forms the central theme that soon is joined by an uplifting string section that forms the ideal counterpoint. Having released a plethora of shape-shifting records on the London-based label (much like Peter Broderick), Arnalds represents one of the most compelling and distinctive voices in modern-classical music today. Arnalds’ debut album ‘Euology For Evolution’ was released back in 2007 and since then an array of indispensable efforts have seen the light of day, from ‘Found Songs’ and ‘Living Room Songs’ to 2010’s   ‘…And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness’ and ‘Another Happy Day’ O.S.T.

The enriching Erased Tapes V collection culminates in a live performance of ‘String Quartet No. 2: III’ by A Winged Victory For The Sullen Chamber Orchestra. The Michael Nyman piece (originally taken from his recordings with The Balanescu Quartet) is wonderfully interpreted here as a gorgeous haven of windswept strings float to the surface. This performance was taken from the band’s concert in Brussels’ Ancienne Belgique as part of the label’s anniversary tour. Certainly, a piece of music as moving as this is a joyous celebration of the Erased Tapes journey so far. A Winged Victory For The Sullen is the stunning collaborative project between Stars Of The Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and L.A. composer Dustin O’Halloran. The band’s current self-titled album is one of the label’s crowning jewels and later this year will see the long-awaited follow-up.

The closing note on the inner sleeve of the ‘Erased Tapes V Collection’ reads: “At the end of all music happiness will be erased.” Over these past five years, the listener and early Erased Tapes music explorer alike, are blessed to have come across such a gifted family of music-makers that have served a trusted companion to each of our endless numbered days.

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The limited edition box-set ‘Erased Tapes V Collection’ is available now on Erased Tapes.

http://www.erasedtapes.com

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Quotations.

“I can still remember the first song I ever wrote. My fingers were so small I could only do one chord on the guitar and I had to lay it on the floor to be able to play it because I couldn’t reach around it. I made a song out of that one chord and played it for hours on end, driving my whole family crazy. I guess from that point on I just kept exploring.”

—Ólafur Arnalds (taken from our interview in April 2013)

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“In Continuous Music, the piano is your lover, the piano is your slave, the piano is your glorious friend, it is your angelic friend. The piano is sort of like your breathing and it is a beautiful thing. I want every pianist to know that every piano on the face of this earth is their friend, so they do not fear the piano, but come to it with joy and say: “My dear friend, let’s make this music.”

—Lubomyr Melnyk (taken from our interview in March 2013)

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“That’s all I want to do, it’s not really about the musical concept but what it does to the listener. So throughout the album, it’s mostly about that, it’s a little bit like translating music into psychology and the other way around and to see how to structure that where people feel they can’t escape the experience, they want to be part of it and really want to know what’s coming next. They feel like anything’s possible. I’m working on that basically.”

—Nils Frahm (taken from our interview in January 2014)

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“When me and Nils play music together something magical happens. There is this energy in the air … a kind of energy that makes you think that anything is possible.”

—Peter Broderick (taken from our interview in October 2012)

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Five Questions with Ólafur Arnalds.

(i) Favourite moment from the last 5 years?
OA: It’s hard to pick one. But I think premiering ‘For Now I am Winter’ for a sold out Barbican Hall earlier this year was pretty close to the top! Not just because how great the show was for me but also because my family traveled to London for the show and it was an emotional moment for us.

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(ii) Most proud work to date?
OA: Must not one always be proudest of his latest work? I am pretty proud of the new album anyway!

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(iii) A dream collaboration for you?
OA: Jon Hopkins, Imogen Heap.

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(iv) An ambition for next 5 years?
OA: Balance life and music. Or combine the two better in a way that can provide for a healthy lifestyle. And of course to make like 7 more albums and 10 more soundtracks!

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(v) Five words to describe Erased Tapes?
OA: Love, compassion, ambition, selection and friends!

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Five Questions with Peter Broderick.

(i) Favourite moment from the last 5 years?
PB: There are too many to pick one! My tour in europe with Nils Frahm in 2009 was a special one …

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(ii) Most proud work to date?
PB: An unreleased collection of songs based on some very vivid dreams I had in 2009-2010.

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(iii) A dream collaboration for you?
PB: Scoring Miranda July’s next film.

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(iv) An ambition for next 5 years?
PB: Spreading the love through music! Practicing my instruments, working hard to become a better musician and person.

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(v) Five words to describe Erased Tapes?
PB: dedicated, organized, visionary, passionate, loving.

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Five Questions with Nils Frahm.

(i) Favourite moment from the last 5 years?
NF: My first big tour with Peter Broderick in 2009.

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(ii) Most proud work to date?
NF: It is always an artists recent work, so: ‘Spaces’.

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(iii) A dream collaboration for you?
NF: Put me in a room with these ladies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ4LCejQg8o

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(iv) An ambition for next 5 years?
NF: I will work hard on keep surprising myself.

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(v) Five words to describe Erased Tapes?
NF: All tapes will be erased.

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The limited edition box-set ‘Erased Tapes V Collection’ is available now on Erased Tapes.

http://www.erasedtapes.com

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Chosen One: Ólafur Arnalds

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Interview with Ólafur Arnalds.

“I can still remember the first song I ever wrote. My fingers were so small I could only do one chord on the guitar and I had to lay it on the floor to be able to play it because I couldn’t reach around it. I made a song out of that one chord and played it for hours on end, driving my whole family crazy. I guess from that point on I just kept exploring.”

— Ólafur Arnalds

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry

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The arrival of a new Ólafur Arnalds release is always a special occasion. The gifted, young Icelandic composer has been continuously making ground-breaking music, constantly pushing the sonic envelop, ever since his 2007 debut ‘Eulogy For Evolution’. The new record is entitled ‘For Now I Am Winter’ and represents a new and glorious chapter in the Arnalds songbook. As ever, intricate arrangements of strings, piano, and electronics are gorgeously fused together, creating divine modern classical music and beguiling ambient soundscapes. Arnalds is akin to an artist of the floating world – forever soaking up life’s inspiration that surrounds him, and exploring new territory with each turn. This exploration in sound is truly in fruition on ‘For Now I Am Winter’, where new sonic terrain is covered. The graceful minimal melodies and intricate arrangements remains at the core of Arnalds’s shape shifting works. The Icelandic composer is experimenting further with faster tempos, more use of electronics, and addition of vocals. ‘For Now I Am Winter’ is a work of beauty and showcases Ólafur Arnalds’s undeniable genius.

Born in the suburban Icelandic town of Mosfellsbær, a few kilometers outside of Reykjavík, Arnalds has been responsible for a wide array of compelling and innovative releases; from scores for film (‘Another Happy Day’), groundbreaking studio albums (‘…and they have escaped the weight of darkness’ (2010), ‘Living Room Songs'(2011)) and collaborations (‘Stare’ EP with close friend, Nils Frahm). ‘For Now I Am Winter’ is a lyric to the title-track of the album, sung by Arnór Dan. The title resonates powerfully for the heavenly music composed, arranged, and produced by Arnalds. The gorgeous tones of piano, soaring strings, and compelling electronica possesses an otherworldly realm to truly transcend space and time. As ever, the music of Arnalds casts light on the darkness.

Album opener ‘Sudden Throw’ begins with delicate notes of piano and hushed ambient textures. The piece builds on a repeated piano note that is soon accompanied by a breathtaking orchestral arrangement. The dynamic and feel to this piece of music serves as the perfect prologue to the magical journey of ‘For Now I Am Winter’. The orchestration on ‘For Now I Am Winter’ is arranged by Nico Muhly, who is similarly responsible for some of the most innovative modern classical compositions of the 21st century. The orchestral arrangements were performed by members of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Atli Örvarrson. All tracks were composed, arranged and produced by Ólafur Arnalds. Four compositions were co-written by Arnór Dan, who adds vocals to the divine stratosphere of sound.

The title-track breathes heart-wrenching soul. ‘For Now I Am Winter’ is laden with digital warmth of electronic beats, piano and strings. I feel the song shares the spirit of James Blake’s ‘Limit To Your Love’, where the searching vocal line is awash in an ocean of ambient bliss. ‘A Stutter’ is built upon a returning piano triad. The three piano notes meander delicately around the cosmic space of ambient soundscapes, and emotive strings. I love just how Arnór Dan’s voice effortlessly melts into the music, and as the strings build to a swirling crescendo, the voice and music become one. ‘A Stutter’ is one of the album’s centerpieces. The strings gradually fade into the foreground,as a stream of harmonies wonderfully filter into the headspace. Magic is created. A record that comes to mind is ‘L’Absente’ by Yann Tiersen, where many guest vocalists are interwoven amongst Tiersen’s divine compositions of piano, violin, and accordion. The endearing voice of Arnór Dan is reminiscent of Lisa Germano’s breathtaking voice. The result is nothing short of life-affirming.

‘Words Of Amber’ is a mesmerizing solo piano piece. I am immediately transported to the Erased Tapes back-catalogue of work; from Arnalds own previous work, Peter Broderick and Nils Frahm. The piano is played in the quiet still of night, as the soft dampen tones rise and fall with each deft touch of Arnalds’s hand. ‘Reclaim’ begins with brooding film-score strings, that could be ‘Camille’ by Georges Delerue. This song for me, epitomizes the adventurous spirit of Arnalds, and the innovative nature of the sublime work of art that is ‘For Now I Am Winter’. Worlds of sound are infused here, from pop structures, ambient touchstones to ground-breaking chamber music. Think Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis in collaboration with Canada’s Owen Pallett, and you are somewhere close. The dynamic changes on the slow ambient work of ‘Hands Be Still’. I hear the distant echoes of Arnalds’s collaborative work with Nils Frahm here. The minimal melody serves the central motif to this cinematic piece of music, that returns throughout. Delicate strings bring this piece to a gentle close.

‘Old Skin’ is the return of Arnór Dan on vocals. The parts form one cohesive whole, as a myriad of sounds are joyously fused together, and the sound is distilled in Dan’s lyric of “this world collides”. ‘Only The Winds’ is based on a beautiful piano melody. A gorgeous kaleidoscope of sound unravels before your very eyes. I hear the influence of Arnalds’s film score work during this magnificent piece. Three minutes in, emotive strings ascend into your consciousness that is reminiscent of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s work. A sacred dimension is tapped into here, where soft pulses of ambient touches evolve into meandering piano melodies and soaring strings, performed by members of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. ‘Only The Winds’ is my current favourite. The strings gently rise to an achingly beautiful crescendo alongside guiding electronic beats. The strings exude a world of emotion, where I am left dumbfounded by its sheer beauty and supreme spell. An extraordinary piece of music.

‘We (Too) Shall Rest’ is the shortest cut on the album, at two minutes in length. A gorgeous ebb and flow of solo violin comprises this reflective piece, which exudes a feeling of solitude – the quiet moment where you’re alone with your thoughts. ‘This Place Was A Shelter’ is stunningly beautiful. Nico Muhly’s orchestral arrangement dances around with the layers of piano and electronic beats, forming an otherworldly, expansive sound. ‘Carry Me Anew’ contains divine ambient soundscapes that breathes solace and hope. A new horizon is forged, as a sunrise slowly forms on the early morning sky, with the break of a new day.

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‘For Now I Am Winter’ by Ólafur Arnalds is out now on Mercury Classics.

http://olafurarnalds.com

http://www.mercuryclassics.com

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Interview with Ólafur Arnalds.

Please tell me about your new album ‘For Now I Am Winter’. What were your objectives from the outset when working on this new record?

I actually set out to try and do something different than what i had previously done. I felt that I was getting to the point where I would start repeating myself or being predictable so I wanted to explore new areas and see if I could learn something from it.

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I love the album title, ‘For Now I Am Winter’ and cover artwork. What was the inspiration behind this title and artwork?

The title originally comes from Arnór Dan’s lyric to the title track. It was just something he started singing out loud when we were in the studio. Later, I felt like it perfectly described my whole view of this whole album. It says that even though now is winter, it is not endless. There is always spring after the winter. Light after the darkness. The cover artwork was designed by Jónas Valtýsson, as most of my other records.

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I can see how this record ‘For Now That I Am Winter’ is a big step for you, where you are trying something different. I can make a parallel with your friend and colleague Peter Broderick who similarly changes direction on his artistic path, especially his recent (and wonderful) album ‘These Walls Of Mine’. Discuss please your feelings of wanting to try something different and what differences you see between ‘For Now That I Am Winter’ and previous works?

It is a very experimental process. I never decided what i wanted the album to sound like but rather experimented until I found things that I was into and wanted to explore further. Those included vocals, more electronics and faster tempos. I think the songwriting itself stayed pretty similar, but the production changed a lot. So the melodies are still very minimal but the arrangements is large and busy.

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The piece ‘This Place Was A Shelter’ from the new album is stunningly beautiful. The intricate layers of strings, electronics and piano form this otherworldly expansive sound. It reminds me of Jóhann Jóhannsson. Can you shed some light please on the composition and arrangement of this piece of music?

I think it comes from the oldest idea of the record actually. I made that drum beat a long time ago as I was experimenting with electronics, but it never became a real song until very late in the process. It was probably one of the last songs I finished writing for the album. The piano chord progression is very simple and the same throughout the whole song as it was created with the beat and actually forms an uncompromisable part of the drum beat. So the whole movement in the song comes from the string quartet and orchestra. The orchestral arrangement was made by Nico Muhly and kind of dances around the melodies that I had already in the string quartet and piano.

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You are an incredibly gifted multi-instrumentalist and composer with so many awe-inspiring and compelling releases already under your belt. What were your first musical memories and can you remember what stage in your life that you began your fascination with sound?

I can still remember the first song I ever wrote. My fingers were so small I could only do one chord on the guitar and i had to lay it on the floor to be able to play it because i couldn’t reach around it. I made a song out of that one chord and played it for hours on end, driving my whole family crazy. I guess from that point on I just kept exploring.

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I love the amazing ‘Living Room Songs’ album. What struck me is how the songs were recorded live in the living room of your Reykjavík apartment, creating a new song-one per day, for a week. Can you discuss please this particular project and how the recording process developed over the course of seven days?

The idea behind this (and the similar Found Songs) was to take all the ideas i had in the back of my head and throw them all out at once so I could start with a clean slate with the new album. I was very into the idea of inviting people into my living room and making the experience interactive and personal. At the end of the week though I was getting rather tired and struggling more and more to find good ideas.

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In 2012 you played 43 concerts in 13 countries. What concert(s) for you do you remember as being the most special for you, personally?
Discuss please the live performance dynamic and how you feel your music evolves as it is transported from the studio setting to a live setting?

I don’t think I can mention any specific show as the most special one, everyone is different and good in it’s own right. Even bad days have good shows. When playing Live i don’t necessarily try to recreate the moods of the albums but rather try to create something new and special. Something that can only be experience in that place at that moment.

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I absolutely love your collaboration with your close friend and colleague, Nils Frahm on the Erased Tapes E.P ‘Stare’. It is simply astonishing ambient music that I have revisited many times. You spent time in Nils’ Durton Studios in Berlin and later, the same was done in Reykjavik. Can you discuss how these musical ideas you both had and shared, developed into this final ‘Stare’ E.P and what it was like collaborating with Nils?

Well actually we are just friends and don’t look at this project like we do our own solo projects. So basically we just meet up and order some pizza, have some beer and chocolate and talk about everything and nothing. Sometimes musical ideas come out of that and then we might create something. We never really met up for the sole purpose of making music, but as it is both of our main interests, that’s usually what we end up doing.

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You have scored many films. How does this side of making music change from making music for your own albums? For example, when composing music for ‘Another Happy Day’, did you have a framework in mind regarding themes, director’s notes?

I’m still learning my way around film composing. I recently finished an 8 part miniseries for ITV called Broadchurch and I feel that I learned a lot from that and can finally actually call myself a film composer! Now I try to spend a couple of weeks just writing themes on their own before I even start writing to the images. It’s hugely important to have a good ‘database’ of themes and ideas before you start. But when writing for Another Happy Day I was very inexperienced and probably jumped into the deep end of the pool too soon and just wrote it like i was writing an album, one song/scene by one. I still love that sound track though! Lots of good stuff came out of that.
It’s interesting because with films you already have a framework set out for you, and often some notes from the director. Everything needs to fit into this world that the film has already become. So in a way you have less freedom but that’s also good. It forces you to get more creative with your limitations, and you learn a lot from that.

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‘For Now I Am Winter’ by Ólafur Arnalds is out now on Mercury Classics.

http://olafurarnalds.com

http://www.mercuryclassics.com

For the many other records by Ólafur Arnalds on the Erased Tapes label, please visit:

http://www.erasedtapes.com

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