After more than a year, the long and thoroughly rewarding way towards making The Well-Prepared Piano a reality, we are finally here. The album will be released everywhere on the 23rd of November, and its an understatement to say I am pretty excited. It’s been an excited time, filled with sessions, weird sounds, hours and hours of Bach and an unbelievable amount of fun. For a person like me who equally loves the worlds of new- and classical music, this project has been feast. Endless thanks to Backlash and #BeBeethoven for supporting the project, no matter how weird it must have sounded at first. Also thanks to Ingibjorg Fridriksdottir, Michael Rauter, Johann Guenther and Katya Abramkina for contributing preparations, brushing and more.Read More
I am happy to introduce my latest endevour - The Well - Prepared Piano! It is a project where I perform music by J. S. Bach on many new, altered versions of the piano. These new instruments are developed together with other musicians, composers and artists and each will explore different concepts and ideas. So far I have had exciting sessions with, among others: Peaches, Ingibjörg Fridriksdòttir, Black Cracker, Laurent Chetouane and Michael Rauter. The first concert with this material will take place during the 10th PODIUM Festival Esslingen in May. A selection of instruments will also be featured on my first solo album, to be released on Backlash Music in September 2018. You can read more about the project here
I am very happy to be a participant in PODIUM Esslingens BeBeethoven program, together with eleven other exciting artists. The fellowship last for three years, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to spend time and energy on some exciting new projects. The first two I present as a part of BeBeethoven will be ready for the PODIUM festival already this May, with the first of several recordings to be realised with funds from the project scheduled for release already in September this year.
So far the process has been extremely stimulating, with some truly special sound emerging during the working sessions that already took place. I will start sharing the upcoming projects here on the website as soon as possible.Read More
It was great to be a part of the Delt med Tveimur festival together with Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir. Alongside duo pieces by Adams, Xenakis and Sciarrino we also got to commission a new piece from Bára Gísladóttir. Playing completely new music is always a very exciting process, especially when the piece requires the adaptation of as many new skills as this one (among other things I had to wash, paint and whip the piano). Apart from sounding great, the new score is visually stunning and filled with delicious, intuitive impossibilities.
The concert was produced and broadcast live by the Iceland National tv and radio (RUV). The curator of the festival was Berglind Tómasdóttir (http://berglindtomasdottir.com/).
Here is the full performance: https://soundcloud.com/baragisla/prussian-blue
This summer has been great, with visits to several festivals with many different projects. First of was a traveling piano festival in northern Norway, hosted by the local MiN - ensemble. The festival first took place in Narvik and then once more in Mosjøen. The idea of the festival was to present the vast spread of solo piano repertoire produced throughout the last 250 years. Luckily, the group also invited us to take part in a chamber music event with their musicians, in my case to play an absolutely marvellous piano quintet by american composer Leo Ornstein.
After this I reconvened with the old Khaos gang to do one last performance of Laurent Chetouanes piece at the Malta Festival in Poznan, Poland. I'm very happy to have been a part of this project and it ended up being a very rewarding experience throughout, with many of the thoughts and ideas still going strong in my mind.
Then after a series of concerts with LightOut at Skillinge Teater in Sweden, it was time for the 10th anniversary edition of my own PODIUM festival in Haugesund, Norway. This was a profound pleasure as alway with great musicians, a great audience and lots of friends everywhere. My enjoyment got an extra boost with record audience numbers and two great first performances of commissioned pieces by Michael Rauter and Ingibjörg Fridriksdottir.Read More
Very excited about this new piece written for me by the amazing and consistently crazy Ingibjörg Friðriksdóttir! I will perform the piece for the first time at the PODIUM festival in the end of July.
Here is a small except from her written introduction to the piece:
Hulduorka is a 20 minute composition for solo piano. The piece was inspired by the concept of cosmic acceleration, which is described as a force greater than gravity. The concept is considered one of the most significant unsolved mysteries in astrophysics, Astronomers have compiled evidence indicating that humans, animals, houses, planets, stars, galaxies etc which are all things we perceive as "the universe", represent a mere 4% of whats actually out there. They use the term "dark" to describe the rest of its contents. This darkness possesses mysterious energy that behaves differently than all other energy. This energy is seen as a property of space itself, because it fails to dilute as space expands.As more space comes into existence, more dark energy appears. As a result, dark energy causes the universe to expand at an accelerating rate. However, dark energy is only a hypothesis. More is unknown than known, so it may also not exist.Read More
The last weeks I had a fabulous time visiting two great chamber music festivals: The Scaldis Festival in the Netherlands and the PODIUM Festival Esslingen. The repertoire included great pieces like the Bartok Violin Sonata no. 1, Tanayev Piano Quintet, Bach Goldberg Variations and many more, with some truly great musicians.
A very interesting project to take part in was the closing concert of the PODIM Esslingen where baritone Dietrich Henschel performed Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn together with a movie by Clara Ponse. I was excited to get the chance to do a few of the orchestra arrangements myself, which is alway allot of fun.
Two fabulous festivals filled with incredible people that I would not have missed for the world.Read More
Last week a text I wrote summarising the process behind my Goldberg Project was published in the online journal of the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, Þræðir. Writing a summary of a project in this way is new to me, but it feels natural given the amount of idea work Johann and I put in during the process.
The full text with pictures and excepts from the recordings will be made available om my website soon.Read More
After more than a year since last time, it was great once more to return to the always fabulous world of music making in complete darkness. With fellow Light Out - members Steven Walter and Magnus Boye Hansen it was a surprising joy to do this again, and great to get confirmation that we are far from done with this concept yet.
Out new program premiered in Waiblingen in beginning of February. There are always a fair amount of nervousness connected to the very first performance of a new program and this was no exception. The lack of security in the form of sheet music, sight or visual communication is especially present when you dont really know if what you are trying to do is really possible. However this turned out the be our perhaps best launch ever, with everything going smoother then any of us had dared hoped for.Read More