Music – Olafur Arnalds

Last Thursday beneath the baking 90 degree sun, we made our way to The Cedar for a special evening: Olafur Arnalds. Olafur is an Icelandic musician and composer, whose work can be loosely described as neo-classical / electronic / ambient / ethereal / haunting / melancholy / sparse. In other words, it pulls at every emotion and sets you on a roller-coaster, that can drop and rise with no warning.

This was our third time seeing him in concert in Minnesota, and it was well worth the wait. Set in a dark and open room, the stage contained a piano, a couple of chairs, and a notebook. Olafur played the piano and managed the back beats, layering, and composition (using an iPad) as a complement to the violinist and celloist. To see this music being played live, to see the emotion and physical movements of the musicians, creates a sense of wonder, respect, and supplies many “wow” moments.

I recognized most of the songs he choose to play, and gave in to the dim lights, soundscape, and warm temperatures, to close my eyes and truly feel the music sweeping into me. The concert was everything I had hoped for, and after the first song, I was already anticipating his next return here.

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