Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Albums For Life: Joint 100: Olufur Arnalds: 'Found Songs' & 'and they have escaped the weight of darkness'


In April 2009 Arnalds created 'Found Songs', a 7 song series; recording a song a day for 7 days and instantly making each track available via Twitter and his website, with over 300.000 people downloading it for free.
He would do the same thing in 2011, recording 'Living Room Songs' in his own home.
I also admire the beautiful 'and they have escaped the weight of darkness' which (maybe controversially) I'm making joint 100 as 'Found Songs' is more an EP than an album. The first recording is not as warm sounding as the later stuff (the strings can get a bit shrill) but it was with 'Found Songs' that I found Arnalds so, despite the production's failings, I hold the album close.
The approach is minimalist, neoclassical with the odd intrusion of beats; Christ, if that doesn't put you off... but the music's simplistic melodies ('Three Blind Mice' seems a big influence) and cyclic arrangements induce calm and an almost hypnotic melancholia; the street on which I live... 
Olufur's albums often hit the turntable when I've had a challenging day... particularly useful for when I'm out of scotch...
Below you'll find Arnald's lovely 'Lost Song' from 'Found Songs'
I've followed that with a live version of 'Gleypa Okkur' from 'and they have escaped the weight of darkness'.







A lot of modern music is over-arranged perfection, art squeezed lifeless.
Sometimes it's nice to hear a few mistakes; to know that real people are involved. 
It's inspiring when improvisation produces something unplanned and serendipitous.
There's some magic here in this final video, a performance by Olufur Arnalds and collaborator Nils Frahm, who also works with the excellent Peter Broderick (who you can spot in the audience at 3.56).
More of that talented fellow (much) later.
















3 comments:

  1. I like these Trevor and can hear a kind of affinity with some of your own work, I think?

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  2. You mean the three blind mice bit Seamus?
    I wish I could afford the orchestra!
    Well worth investigating the work of Arnalds, Frim, Broderick and (more of whom later) Max Richter.
    All make similarly affecting music.

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