FreeWheelin' Music Safari

The Safari encounters the Icelandic New Age Music of Olafur Arnalds!

So the soundtrack for this mornings activities which included a trip to Target was one of Echoes 25 Essential Albums for 2013 Olafur Arnalds For Now I Am Winter. The Echoes blog writes this about the album.

 Both sophisticated and edgy, Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds inhabits his own sonic universe, balancing emotions and mood on a laser’s edge of strings echoing out of frozen skies and electronics trawling the substrata. Read More

Now once again, the leader of this Safari does not know anything about this artist. So needing some background I visited his website and found lots of music and interesting information there was not much in the way of biographical information. So I was off to Wikipedia, where I read:

Ólafur Arnalds (born 3 November 1986) is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland.[1] Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from ambient/electronic to pop.[1] Ólafur was a drummer of hardcore/metal bands Fighting Shit and Celestine, as well as others. Continue Reading

and at his Facebook page I found…….

Born in 1986, Ólafur hails from the suburban Icelandic town of Mosfellsbær, just a few kilometres outside of Reykjavík. He has immersed himself completely in a world of delicate symphonic compositions generating near weightless orchestral pieces. Arnalds explores the crossover from classical to pop by mixing chamber strings and piano with discreet electronics which makes him a perfect fit for cinematic music label Erased Tapes. His motivations are clear: ‘The classical scene is kind of closed to people who haven’t been studying music all their lives. I would like to bring my classical influence to the people who don’t usually listen to this kind of music…open people’s minds.’  Read More

What Arnalds has created is an enjoyable sonic journey with lots of twists and turns, some nice occasional vocals. It was a great listen while shopping and I can see it as a good soundtrack for work or just sitting back relaxing and drifting. What was really impressive was listening to Oladur discuss the creation of each song. what you or should I say I is that there is a lot of thought and development that goes into the writing and developing  each track and Olafur does it well!!

Bob Boilen at NPR writes:

Apparently it took a former hardcore/metal drummer from Iceland to make my “quiet” album of the year. This is a stunning record of strings and loops, empty soundscapes and slow-building crescendos. The mostly instrumental record works as foreground and background and the few vocal pieces, including “Old Skin,” are simply lovely. Read More

So check out  Olafur Arnalds here’s the Official Video for “New Skin” and at the bottom of this page you can listen to Olafur talk about the thoughts behind the song! The lyrics are below the video!

P.S. Does anyone else see a resemblance to JFK on the album cover??

Where the woods would wear the wafting sounds of sea
Roves an oath, in search for something more to be
“Still hard for me”

Treading lightly, tightly shedding its old skin
Leaving trails of night for light to bring chagrin
While air grows thin

Wailing winds, alarm, in feathers it have dressed
Surrounding what’s left inside its chest
We too shall rest

Roaring lungs, as oath becomes through flight past trees
Only the rhythm of love escapes the harmonies
Leaving us a beat

In these hands I’ll hide, in these hands I’ll hide
While this world collides, this world collides
It’s not enough for me, it’s not enough for me
[x2]

In these hands I’ll hide, in these hands I’ll hide
(Where the woods would wear the wafting sounds of sea)
While this world collides, this world collides
(Where the woods would wear the wafting sounds of sea)
It’s not enough for me, it’s not enough for me

In these hands I’ll hide, in these hands I’ll hide
While this world collides, this world collides
It’s not enough for me, it’s not enough for me