Ólafur Arnalds: Bath Forum

26.09.18: Ólafur Arnalds world is one of travel, he informs the audience in between one of the songs he performs tonight. When not touring he takes a break from his career by travelling more. The places he visits often influence the music he makes and on this occasion it was Nyepi the Balinese “Day of Silence.” He informs the audience that he found it amusing today when he found himself having a hot bath, on Hot Bath Street, while in Bath. On another occasion, he talks about his first visit to Bath around 2007 when he was the drummer in the hardcore punk band Fighting Shit.

It takes a leap of faith to imagine the guy in front of us who tonight is playing beautiful, fragile and evocative music once thrashed out punk in a small pub in Bath, but he also informs the audience that his grandmother was the greatest musical influence on the young Ólafur. The metal-loving Ólafur would sit with his grandmother to listen to Chopin’s work whenever they had visited one another. At her deathbed, Arnalds said “She was just lying there, old and sick, but very happy and proud. Listening to a Chopin sonata. Then I kissed her goodbye and left. She passed away a few hours later.” The final song tonight is Lag Fyrir Ömmu (Song for Grandma) and it all makes sense now.

 

Today I stumbled upon Hugar

A beautiful collection of songs from Iceland. Hugar are Bergur Þórisson & Pétur Jónsson. Haunting and uplifting tunes, which provides an evocative soundscape to relax too. Þórisson & Jónsson have been playing together for many years in all kinds of different bands but in early 2012 they decided to form a group of their own where they could experiment.

The album is available on Bandcamp on a name your own price basis. The other instrumentalists are, Ólafur Arnalds – Drums, Pétur Björnsson – Violin, Sólveig Vaka Eyþórsdóttir – Violin, Guðbjartur Hákonarson – Viola, Hrafnhildur Marta Guðmundsdóttir – Cello, Björgvin Ragnar Hjálmarsson – Clarinet and bass clarinet.

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