15 years ago, when he started writing music, Ólafur Arnalds was composing for imaginary films – “I was scoring the pictures in my head”. He didn’t imagine anyone else would want to hear the music for those inner visions. Now he’s one of the world’s most popular composers. With a broad-ranging back catalogue from soundtracks like his BAFTA-winning score for Broadchurch, to reinterpretations of classical music such as The Chopin Project with Alice Sara Ott and collaborations such as Island Songs, . Arnalds says of his career: “I believe it is all the same piece of music. I never really start from scratch; I am always building on what I did before.”
With his fourth album, re:member, they will hear the most remarkable and beautiful expression of that music yet. An album that evolved under the influence of a number of collaborators – friends from different areas of music that came by his studio in Reykjavík and left a lasting mark on the album. The title track re:member embodies both that idea of Arnalds’ music being a continuum, and his desire to strike out for new terrain. It was hard work for him: though he built it around the Stratus, it still took three weeks of solid work before he had even the basic structure. “It became very personal to me,” he says. “It starts with just one piano, which sounds a little bit like the music I had been making before, then it introduces one by one new elements and leaves the old behind. It takes us through the journey I was going through creatively, wanting to leave the past behind and see where else I can go.”
re:member takes the listener through varied moods and feelings, through different musical landscapes. You can hear every facet of his work – the composition, the soundtracks, the pop – bursting through, flowering. When the track unfold opens with what sounds like a stream skittering across rocks, it seems apt, because re:member keeps on moving, never tiring or letting the listener get tired. re:member is an album you can’t forget, because every time you hear it something new and wholly unexpected emerges.