BAFTA winning Icelandic composer,Ólafur Arnalds’ highly anticipated new record ‘re:member’ features Ólafur’s ground-breaking new software, Stratus, which transforms the humble piano into a unique new instrument. He is currently performing his new material on a huge worldwide tour. The Stratus Pianos are two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos which are triggered by a central piano played by Ólafur, and are the centrepiece of his new works. The custom-built software is born out of two years of work by the composer and audio developer, Halldór Eldjárn. The algorithms generated from Stratus were also used to create the innovative album artwork.
On the album Ólafur uses these methods reinvigorate the compositional experience, feeding back into the creative process in a completely new way. As Ólafur plays a note on the piano, two different notes are generated by Stratus, creating unexpected harmonies and surprising melodic sequences. Speaking of the album, Ólafur says, “This is my breaking out-of-a-shell album. It’s me taking the raw influences that I have from all these different musical genres and not filtering them. It explores the creative process and how one can manipulate that to get out of the circle of expectations and habit.”
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