Album: ÓLAFUR ARNALDS – Dyad 1909 (Erased Tapes 2009)

Dyad 1909 was a dance piece first performed at Sadler’s Wells in London on October 13th last year. The music was provided by Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds, and it’s collected on this mini LP. Two of the pieces are revised versions of cuts from the Variations of Static EP, the rest are newly written for this project.

Arnalds plays piano and electronics accompanied by a string quartet, and the theme of melancholy and loss is prevalent throughout. Indeed, the heartbroken little robot of yore returns on the two Variations tracks. But there is also a sense of menace, typified by the blasts of static noise and screaming viola on “Brotsjór”.

“3326” is a slightly discordant quartet piece that leads into the roughed up breakbeats and strings of “Til Enda”. “…og lengra”, with its dark rumblings and static echo, is an extraordinarily beautiful elegy that feels like the closing in of an enveloping darkness.

There’s only 25 minutes of music here, but it’s both effective and affecting and stands alone perfectly without any knowledge of the dance piece it was put together to accompany. It doesn’t feel incomplete at all.

Tracks
1 Frá upphafi 1:47
2 Lokaðu augunum (Dyad 1909 version) 3:54
3 Brotsjór 3:53
4 Við vorum smá… (Dyad 1909 version) 3:16
5 3326 3:38
6 Til Enda 4:09
7 _…og lengra 3:56

Websites
www.myspace.com/olafurarnalds
erasedtapes.com/

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