Tonight I conduct the opera Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten in a semi-staged version in Harpa concert hall.
It's been an incredible ride these last few days and I'm very excited to get to perform this masterpiece for the first time in Iceland with a wonderful cast, chorus and orchestra. It truly is an amazing piece of music drama.
Toitoitoi and thanks to all involved!
Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands Íslenska óperan Reykjavik Arts Festival Harpa Reykjavik Concert and Conference Centre Stuart Skelton Judith Howarth Ólafur Kjartan Sigurðarson Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir Gardar Thor Cortes Jóhann Smári Sævarsson Ingveldur Yr Jonsdottir Viðar Gunnarsson Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir Lilja Guðmundsdóttir Snorri Wium ... See MoreSee Less
Next month I’ll be performing as conductor in new arrangements of Bow to String and Sleep Variations as well as The Night Gatherers by Judd Greenstein. The concert takes place at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in downtown St. Paul on May 6th. Get your tickets here.
Here is a recent interview I did with The Quietus about Over Light Earth mostly.
Bedroom Community announcement:
In new release news, we are chuffed to bits to announce the latest album from Daníel Bjarnason.
On this, his third album, Over Light Earth marks Daníel’s first solo release since 2010’s Processions, and third overall release after his and Ben Frost’s SÓLARIS collaboration came out in 2011. On Over Light Earth, the intensity the intensity of Daníel’s orchestral voice is captured through meticulous close-miking and multitracking, a recording process that sets this recording radically apart from that of conventional orchestral recordings.
The cover art for Over Light Earth was done by Winston Chmielinski. Check the high res version here. We are excited to be releasing the album on all formats including CD, digital and vinyl, which can all be pre-ordered today. Believe us when we say you are going to want the LP in your possession to understand how magnificent the final artwork is.
Over Light Earth comprises of three major works; the title work which was commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is Daníel’s sonic nod towards the work of the so-called New York School of painters like Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, whose canvases No. 9 (Dark Over Light Earth) and Number 1, 1949 inspired the two movements of Over Light Earth.
The second piece is aptly titled ‘Emergence’. The inexorable progresses of the underlying harmonies suggest a vast, preexisting form just coming into view, but while these harmonies keep steady somewhere beneath the audible surface of the piece, they’re manifested in a range of unstable attacks, hesitations and anticipations.
The third and final piece ‘Solitudes’, is an early work that is in fact Daníel’s first piano concerto, here reworked with electronics by Valgeir Sigurðsson and Ben Frost.
We are happy to reveal the tracklisting:
Over Light Earth I. Over Light Earth
Over Light Earth II. Number 1, 1949
Emergence I. Silence
Emergence II. Black Breathing
Emergence III. Emergence
Solitudes I. Holy
Solitudes II. Dance Around In Your Bones
Solitudes III. Echo & Pre-Echo
Solitudes IV. Selge Ruh
Solitudes V. T’aint No Sin
The 11th Við Djúpið Music Festival took place during the summer solstice last week in the Westfjords, Iceland. Daníel Bjarnason led the 5th annual composers workshop, along with the New York based ensemble Decoda for the festival’s opening recital.
Combined with teaching at the festival as Artist in Residence, organist & frequent Bedroom Community collaborator James McVinnie also closed the event with a recital where he played Johann Sebastian Bach’s Clavierübung III.
In other Daníel news, he recently arranged the strings on the new Sigur Rós album Kveikur, released June 17th. The strings are played by Bedroom Community regulars, and recorded by Valgeir Sigurðsson. The album sees a new side of Sigur Rós and might just be their best yet… check out the songs below and purchase Kveikur here.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic has commissioned a new work by Daníel Bjarnason, scheduled to make its world premiere December 19 – 22, 2013 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with legendary conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
The performance marks the second Daníel commission for LA Phil and his third work to be performed by the orchestra; last year they performed “Over Light Earth” (world premiere, co-commission) and “Bow to String” (U.S. premiere).
Following its premiere at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil will perform the new Daníel work on a March 2014 US tour. In the 2013/14 season alone, the orchestra has scheduled performances of works by a total of forty-one 20th and 21st century composers, including eleven world premieres.
Daníel’s December premiere will be performed alongside works by Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky with pianist Yuja Wang. More info here.