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3 November 1987 (age 29)
Mosfellsbær, Höfuðborgarsvæðið, Iceland
"Beautiful in the same way the arctic is."
Fragile, emotional, classical indie music would maybe be the best term to describe Ólafur Arnalds’ music. Combining classical instrumentation with an indierock aesthetic there are obvious comparisons to Sigur Ros, but Arnalds is sculpting his own epic, string-laden compositions.
Only 21 years of age, Ólafur hails from the suburban Icelandic town, Mosfellsbær, just a few kilometres outside Reykjavík. He as immersed himself completely in the world of delicate symphonic compositions in a near weightless orchestral undertaking. Mixing strings and piano with loops, ambiance, electronics and beats. Debut album 'Eulogy for Evolution' takes the listener on a journey, representing different periods in life, from birth to death. The follow-up 5-track EP ‘Variations of Static’ so far has only been available as a limited tour edition. While keeping the classical foundations of his debut album, here Arnalds incorporates crackling electronics and the dead voice of a machine; like vague memories of tradition lost within the digital age we all live in.
This winter Ólafur and his live string quartet performed at unique venues in the UK including the oldest custom-built concert hall in Europe, the Holywell Music Room in Oxford, before he continued playing mostly sold out shows throughout the rest of Europe. Over five hundred people came to see O´lafur at the State-X Newforms Festival in Den Haag alongside Aphex Twin as well as at Iceland Airwaves with Amiina & Jóhann Jóhannsson in Brussels. In March he will cross the Atlantic for a few showcases in Boston, New York and Toronto promoting the debut album release in North America. But he will return for an extensive European tour this summer including eight UK dates in June and a few festival performances as well as his first ever Asian dates.
Ólafur is already working on his second full-length record and a string arrangement for Erased Tapes friends 65daysofstatic. His debut album ‘Eulogy For Evolution’ will soon be available in the US, Canada, Asia and the rest of Europe via Erased Tapes Records.
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