Concert Series: Ólafur Arnalds

My personal favorite song from his re:member repertoire: which recalls the lightness of being, of life, of living in the moment. I think this best encapsulates his work as it showcases his talent in capturing a range of moments, textures, feelings & sensations.

This is a visual and musical masterpiece, depicting grief, loss of innocence, growth etc in a poignant fashion.

After visiting the unforgettably stunning Iceland, I was especially intrigued about the artist, Ólafur and the impact the fascinating landscapes might have had on his music. His new album, Re:member which tunes I had sampled, was an intriguing mix of layered and perspective-shifting scales which soundscapes I had not experienced previously. The layers of complexity are what I gravitated to - seemingly intangible but sound-sweeping and life-giving music.

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The set at The Commodore Theatre mainly focused on Re:member material. “It explores the creative process and how one can manipulate that to get out of the circle of expectations and habit.” It was an intimate and intriguing set with lilting and beautiful music and soundscapes which were so relaxing to the soul, especially when one closed their eyes. Listening to the cacophony of melodies soothed the disquiet and opened one’s perspective to new sensations and experiences. It is hard to describe how his music makes one feel - you really have to experience it to understand it - it really is quite brilliant and allows emotions + sensations to resurface.

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He was minimalistically clad and rather soft-spoken with an awesomely self-deprecating sense of humor, but definitely chose to let his music and humble presence take centre stage.

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An exquisite demonstration of this contemporary musician’s craft - there was something intangible and translucent about his music. The stage lighting, sparse instrumentation and selected musicians added to the entire vibe and experience. My dad used the word “esoteric”.

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He ended the set with a song dedicated to his deceased grandmother who had inspired him to delve deeper into his craft of music.

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A unique and heart-rending experience to be etched in my memory for some time. Once again, a good reminder of how unspoken music connects us all universally.

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