For Now I Am Winter
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For Now I Am Winter
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. ^^
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.
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. Don't worry about what kind of music Ólafur Arnalds makes. It's pop, but it's not; it's classical, but it's also electronic; it's jazz and it's rock and it's ambient and it's none of these things and all of them. Categories melt, boundaries are clearly meaningless. In the right light, that will be okay.'
Few could phrase it better. This is new music and it invites appreciation. Grady Harp, April 13