“The perfect music to lift you up on moody days.”
I’ve been waiting for an album like this for years. Authentic, optimistic, organic and cold are the words which come up to my mind every time I am listening to this album.
Born in 1986 in Mosfellsbær – Iceland, Ólafur is a multi-instrumentalist with a background as a drummer in some hardcore/metal bands. From the first album (Eulogy for Evolution – 2007) until today with re:member, Ólafur managed to create innovative music from classical to electro indie-pop.
An Honest Music
Ólafur Arnalds says his music is simple. I think it’s not. But he also says that his music is all about finding what a note or a chord has to offer. re:member is the perfect example of it. The music coming from Icelandic artists or bands like Sigur Rós always sounds very…Icelandic. What I mean by that is that, if the Icelandic landscape (Mountains, Waterfalls, Rivers, Black Beaches…) could make sounds, it would sound like re:member for instance. I know it sounds bizarre but I had the chance to go there many times and being part of it feels the same as listening to the music produced by the locals. Ólafur Arnalds proved it to me again. It’s like magic.
re:member – A Unique Sound
Well, as genius as it sounds, Ólafur and Halldór Eldjárn have been developing a software called “Stratus” over the last two years – A software for two semi generative, self playing pianos they have dubbed The Stratus Pianos. The result is just wonderful. It uses MIDI values to make the two pianos playing different note sequences at a fast pace and it sounds like the rain thanks the sound of the hammers on the strings. Simply beautiful. You can hear the Stratus Pianos on pretty much all the tracks in different ways and it is such a great add-on to the music.
— Ólafur Arnalds (@OlafurArnalds) March 29, 2018
“You get ideas that you would never get otherwise, just because this inspired those ideas.”
What You See Is What You Hear
The album cover and its white dots has been generated by the MIDI notes created by the Stratus software. Each MIDI note you can hear on re:member are represented by a white dot. A thick dot means that a specific note related to this dot has been played with a higher frequency than a thin dot which hasn’t been played as often as the other. I just love the idea.
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To make the artwork for re:member @feldstudio developed a generative tool that creates hundreds of variations based on the notes played by my two STRATUS pianos. This means the artwork basically drawn by the notes you hear on the album. What you see is what you hear. On the final album cover, each dot corresponds to a piano note in the title track, re:member. The more thick white dots mean a higher frequency of that note being played. Thin dots mean that note is not played very often.
The winter is coming and it sounds like this album is going to be the one for me on cold/rainy days to lift up my mood and make me inspired. I also highly recommend you to have a listen when you’re feeling a bit stressed or anxious as it is a very relaxing album.
Tracklist: re:member | unfold | saman | brot | inconsist | they sink | ypsilon | partial | mementary | undir | ekki hugsa | nyepi