In April 2009, Iceland’s neo-classical export Ólafur Arnalds created the 7-song series ‘Found Songs’ – recording a song a day for 7 days and instantly making each track available via Twitter. With artwork contributions from fans via Flickr, this modern release awakens memories of a tradition that seemed lost in the digital age we live in. Ólafur’s ‘Found Songs’ will now see a proper North American release on cinematic pop label Erased Tapes on November 10.
Born in 1987, Ólafur hails from the suburban Icelandic town, Mosfellsbær, just a few kilometers outside of Reykjavík. He has immersed himself completely in a world of delicate symphonic compositions generating near weightless orchestral pieces. Arnalds explores the crossover from classical to pop by mixing chamber strings and piano with discreet electronics which makes him a perfect fit for Erased Tapes. His motivations are clear: “The classical scene is kind of closed to people who haven’t been studying music all their lives. I would like to bring my classical influence to the people who don’t usually listen to this kind of music…open people’s minds.”
This young artist is steadily gaining recognition worldwide since his 2007 debut ‘Eulogy for Evolution’. The 2008 follow-up EP ‘Variations of Static’ earned Ólafur acclaim from both the contemporary and classical field – transcending a traditional divide by uniting their ideals. After filling London’s world-famous Barbican Hall, fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós invited Ólafur to open their most recent European shows, playing to an audience of over 5,000 per night.
So far more than 100.000 people downloaded the ‘Found Songs’ series via foundsongs.erasedtapes.com. Each track inspired a wealth of artwork from his fans – submitted via Flickr. Hosting this project on their official website, Erased Tapes Records watched the collaboration between Arnalds and his online audience flourish and found it fitting to combine the music and artwork into one complete work. A re-mastered physical and limited edition will now be released in as a CD, 10″ Vinyl and high-quality Download.
But ‘Found Songs’ hasn’t just inspired 2-D work. Esteban Diácono – a young motion graphic artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina – created an astonishing animation video for ‘Ljósið’, which found its way into the hearts of over 400,000 people within 2 weeks via Vimeo and YouTube.