Music

Me, my son and Mr Olafur Arnalds

My son has some very eclectic musical tastes, which he is quite happy to share with whoever will listen. Some I like, and some…not so much.

When I was watching Broadchurch I knew that the music was by someone that he really liked, and raved to him about how much I thought it had added to the drama. So when he found out that this musician would be touring this Summer, he rang me from Uni and asked if I would like to go with him to see the concert. Why not, I thought, what is there not to like?

So on Friday we went off to The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. Not a venue I’ve ever been to before, I’ve only seen it on the BBC Electric Proms. It was quite intimate, probably bigger than it seemed because it is circular. The seats were good with a nice view of the stage – not that I think you can ever have a bad view in a circular building! There are a ring of Iron Arches around the Stalls section, but it seemed to frame our view rather than obstruct it.

The back up artist was a pianist called Rambert. He came onto the stage wearing a Stag’s head mask and played some pieces just on the Grand Piano. We hadn’t heard of him before, but it was lovely.

Then for the main Event. Mr Arnalds is an Icelandic young man who writes what I think could be described as Modern Classical Music. He came onto the stage with his String Quartet and another chap who did some techy things and played trombone at one stage. He makes no bones about the fact that he uses iPads and other technology to make the music that he wants. It is quite brooding and atmospheric, but some of the Basslines were bordering on Dubstep! It wasn’t flashy, just very minimal. Not a concert for dancing around too.

He did play “Beth’s Theme” from Broadchurch, which you can listen to here.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ewiZiU6Rxok

Later in the show he brought on a singer with whom he had collaborated and they performed this which was quite extraordinary.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bix0Mx5ZSaE

He came across as a young man with quite a wry sense of humour, telling us that the producer from Broadchurch was in the audience if we wanted to try and bribe him for details of the second series that will be out next year, and how he wrote a piece of music for a Bathtub commercial that wasn’t used, but he played it and it was delightful. When he came on to do an encore, he doesn’t have a song that would be a single you’d recognise, but he played a piano solo called “For Grandma” He explained that if it wasn’t for his Grandma he wouldn’t have listened to classical music and would have possibly ended up playing drums or a V shaped guitar in a Death Metal band. He may have been as successful, but I am pleased he learned piano. While he was playing this, the violins were added through the speakers above our heads to give a totally ethereal quality to the track.

A lot of his songs have Icelandic names, so I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you the others, but I really liked the whole concert, and I loved my sons face when he was listening as he knows all his work. It has also given my son some inspiration and he has spent all weekend working on some of his own music, which can only be a good thing.

I think I need to put some of his music on my playlists as it was beautiful to listen to. Thanks, son o’ mine for the invitation!

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3 thoughts on “Me, my son and Mr Olafur Arnalds

  1. “He came onto the stage wearing a Stag’s head mask and played some pieces just on the Grand Piano.”
    As one does lol ;D
    Sounds like you had a great time, Stella. Good on your lad for doing something nice for his mum. 🙂 x

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