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For Now I Am Winter

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The major label debut of Icelandic composer Olafur Arnaldss features 12 original breathtaking surreal tracks.

On this album, composer Nico Muhly provided orchestral arrangements, and for the first time Arnalds introduces vocals to his soundworld. Icelandic singer Arnor Dan can be heard on four tracks.

Fresh off lauded performances at Iceland Airwaves, including an intimate KEXP live broadcast performance, Arnalds continues to steadily build a reputation as one of the worlds most bright and able young composers. On his past outings and last studio album ...And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness, the basis was almost always piano and strings with electronic embellishments. Now the dynamic has shifted, with Arnalds thinking in terms decidedly more poppy than before. I think its by far the best thing Ive done. Im really happy that I made this decision to try something different.

The concept of evolution and seasonal change is one which has been ever-present in his music. Here it continues both musically and conceptually - a personal evolution as a composer and, for the first time, as a songwriter.

Purveying a neo-classical style with an array of influences which range from electronica to minimalism, Arnalds is an artist who draws from a variety of sources whilst maintaining his own unique sound. Since the release of his 2007 debut, Eulogy for Evolution, the26-year-old, has put his name to a variety of projects. Since 2009 he has scored films and TV shows including Another Happy Day, ITVs upcoming drama Broadchurch and the Vanessa Hudgens-starring feature film Gimme Shelter, as well as having tracks featured on the soundtracks to Hollywood hits The Hunger Games and Looper. Hes also released two EPs each composed in a week; Found Songs in 2009 and Living Room Songs in 2011.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sudden Throw
  2. Brim
  3. For Now I Am Winter
  4. A Stutter
  5. Words of Amber
  6. Reclaim
  7. Hands, be Still
  8. Only The Winds
  9. Old Skin
  10. We (Too) Shall Rest
  11. This Place Was A Shelter
  12. Carry Me Anew


Product Details

  • Performer: Arnor Dan, Nico Muhly
  • Conductor: n/a
  • Composer: Olafur Arnalds
  • Audio CD (April 2, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury Classics
  • ASIN: B00B5DWI2O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,448 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
For those who have been following the recordings and performances of Icelandic composer and artist Ólafur Arnalds ths new recording will bring some surprises. Though only 26 years old Ólafur Arnalds is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer who started as a drummer for a series of metal bands in his native Iceland. His entry into the neo-classical field was somewhat accidental. Now in this new set of works he is joined by the talents of classically oriented composer Nico Muhly and vocalist Arnór Dan Arnarson and the result is an orchestration of Arnalds `music that is mind expanding and very atmospheric and moody.

Critic Matt Cibula has phrased it best and it is only fitting to quote him here: `First, become afflicted. Unclench your well-lined fists, open the door in the brick wall that surrounds your heart. Let the sadness of modern life wash over you like a waterfall, like a cold shower, like a breakup, a breakdown, a breakthrough. It takes a lot of control to keep it together in these times, and a lot of self-discipline to keep that control together. Just let it go; not all the way, because that way madness lies; just for a few minutes. Secondly, put on your best walking boots and go outside. The air is still a little chilly up here, especially in the mornings, although it's probably better wherever you are, but it's full of spring, of renewal, even hope: Easter, Passover, Spring Break, Opening Day. Let the sun hit you in the eyes so you have to squint; let the soft rain moisten your hair; see the rabbits and the sanitation workers do their early-morning jobs. Shops are opening, school buses are warming up, but the machine is not fully operational yet. Thirdly, allow yourself to truly feel this record.
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Make no mistake, this is a wonderfully composed album. I do love it.
HOWEVER, my gripe is with the sampling of the tracks. I prefer instrumental music, sans lyrics. Listening to the sample tracks available before I purchased, I THOUGHT that was what I was buying. In fact, quite a few tracks have lyrics which I could have done without.
This is a personal preference, so you may have no problem with this.
The Lyrics are not bad, I just wish the sample tracks actually represented what you are buying.
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This was my first experience with Arnalds' music, but it will not be my last. The sound is mesmerizing, with haunting vocals that rise up our of the instrumental music. Sometimes I play the CD and give it my full attention, which is rewarding, and at other times I play it as atmospheric background while reading something serious. While I bought the CD in the midst of a very dark and cold winter, it still sounds good in the spring.
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Haunting, unique, soothing, disturbing...one of the most original albums I've ever heard. I had learned of Olafur Arnalds through watching the British show "Broadchurch" and buying the music written for the show by Mr. Arnalds - I listen to it so often, especially while I'm lying in bed, to be transported to some otherworldly yet internal eternally mysterious place. This is music that touches places within that you may not have known you even possessed, or were afraid to feel. Not some electronic repetitious muzak, but something of true talent expressed here.
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After being introduced to Arnor Dan's voice through the Zankyou no Terror OST by Yoko Kanno, I just had to buy more of his work because it just wasn't enough. This album is a collaborative piece by Olafur Arnalds and Arnor Dan and it sounds so gorgeous.

Personally, I've always wanted to explore more Icelandic music because I've been a longtime fan of Bjork since I was young.

This album does not disappoint and I love listening to it on sunny fall days when I'm driving. It makes the world seem quiet and peaceful. ^^
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Tone poems that paint beautiful, ethereal, spare landscapes. The haunting vocals from Arnor Dan add another dimension to the already surreal soundscape. Iceland must have a way of working itself into one's soul so deeply that it and you become one, indistinguishable. Listening to Sigur Ros always made me feel this way, and now this music reinforces that thought. I listen to this album on days when I need to calm the storm inside my mind, and it works beautifully for this purpose. The music transports me to another, peaceful place. The spareness of the music clears the mind.
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One must be in the mood to relax, chill, absorb, this music so get in the mind set before you plug in. I found the recordings to be well mastered. One constant stream of sound may douse some fires but I appreciate it for the artistic endeavor.
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I've been an Olafur Arnalds fan for many years. This album is a culmination of all things that are great about his music. Phenomenal instrumentation with the additional bonus of vocals by Arnor Dan make this an album not to miss!

I especially love that the title track gives us the singing debut of Olafur -- his voice paired with Arnor Dan is a beautiful mix. Do yourself a favor and check this album out. It is great for any type of mood or event. And if you haven't already, be sure to pick up all of Olafur's other works as well as checking out other projects that Arnor Dan is a part of!
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