Featured Artist: Ólafur Arnalds

Okay, I’m gonna come clean–I don’t like classical music that much. I know, I know, I should because I’ve played the violin since forever, but honestly…I have a hard time connecting emotionally a majority of classical music. Maybe it’s the harpsichord that bugs the heck out of me, or maybe it’s the piano accompaniments that really only serve to fill sonic space, or maybe I just haven’t worked hard enough to find out which classical artists I would like. 

I mean, I sure wasn’t looking for Ólafur Arnalds. And I love him. So maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough. That’d be fair.

I happened upon Ólafur Arnalds in philosophy class last semester.  Our professor had made split us into groups to choose something to define “Beauty,” and one group played his piece “3055” as their example.

Whether or not Ólafur Arnalds could possibly be the answer to Plato’s question of What is Beauty, I fell in love immediately with his music.

Think classical music with a contemporary twist–Arnalds brings in drums, nature sounds like wind and creaking wood, and the most delicate piano arrangements you may have ever heard. This is music to play while studying, sleeping, or showering at night, when you’re feeling sad, lonely, or peaceful, when its rainy outside or right after the sun comes out of the clouds on a spring day.

And the guy used to be in a metal band.
Recently, he scored the soundtrack for Another Happy Day. I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t know if I will, but the soundtrack is, in one superficial word, fabulous. In more words, I’d say that the simplistic yet elegant arrangements featuring piano and strings are sweet, somber, haunting, can-I-touch-the-depths-of-your-soul flat-out beautiful. In different words, I’d say it’s one of the prettiest film scores I’ve heard lately, and I believe it’s too amazing for you to pass up.

One thought on “Featured Artist: Ólafur Arnalds

  1. Looking forward to checking him out. The piece that stole my heart and caused me to fall in love with classical music is Litszt’s Nocturnes.


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