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Ólafur Arnalds performs live at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City. (NPR)

Olafur Arnalds, Live In Concert

May 7, 2013

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How can music be happy and sad at the same time? Listen to Olafur Arnalds and you'll hear it. Depending on your mood, the tone changes, and a song that may have been uplifting one day sounds like an elegy the next. It's spacious, undeniably beautiful work. Much of the music performed in this concert, recorded on April 18 at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, is drawn from the Icelandic musician's recent album For Now I Am Winter.

I was knocked out by a trio performance of Arnald's music at SXSW, but this show re-imagined his magnificent work with a small orchestra: 28 musicians known as Ensemble LPR, along with guest singer Arnor Dan. Arnalds challenged the group in unusual ways, sometimes asking its members to play from memory and emotion rather than looking at their scores. The result is a night of thrilling, unforgettable music.

Personnel

  • Ólafur Arnalds, grand piano, laptop
  • Ensemble LPR
  • Viktor Orri Árnason, conductor
  • Arnór Dan, vocalist
  • Rubin Kodheli, cellist

Set List

  • "Sudden Throw"
  • "Brim"
  • "Brotsjór"
  • "For Now I Am Winter"
  • "A Stutter"
  • "Tomorrow's Song"
  • "Reclaim"
  • "Hands Be Still"
  • "Only The Winds"
  • "Gleypa Okkur"
  • "Old Skin"
  • "We (Too) Shall Rest"
  • "This Place Was A Shelter"
  • "Carry Me Anew"
  • "Near Light"
  • "Lag Fyrir Ömmu" (encore)

Credits

Producers: Denise DeBelius, Bob Boilen, Amy Schriefer; Director: Christopher Farber, Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Alex di Suvero, A.J. Wilhelm; Special Thanks to: (le) Poisson Rouge; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins

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