54 – Gabríel Ólafs

 

 

Instrumentalmusik im Gewand der Klassik, die die Grenze zur Popwelt verschmilzt - Neoklassik-Künstler wie Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Jóhann Jóhannsson oder Yann Tiersen zeigen, dass das wunderbar funktioniert und ebnen gleichzeitig den Weg für immer mehr neue und spannende Musiker. Und genau wie die Großen Ólafur Arnalds und Jóhann Jóhannsson kommt unser heutiger Künstler Gabríel Ólafs aus Island – ein Land, was bekannt ist für musikalische Diversität und Innovation.

“Ich liebe Filme und Geschichten. Jeder Filmsoundtrack braucht Musikstücke, die eine emotionale Tiefe besitzen. Sie müssen viele Emotionen vermitteln und spielen insofern eine wichtige Rolle für die Geschichte.” Gabríel Ólafs besitzt ein außergewöhnliches Talent bewegende symphonische Geschichten mittels instrumentaler Musik zu erzählen. Mit nur 19 Jahren hat der Komponist und Pianist Zuschauer und das Live-Publikum im isländischen TV beeindruckt. Der Björk Manager Derek Birkett entdeckte Gabríel Ólafs   und vermittelte ihm einen Plattenvertrag beim britischen Label One Little Indian Records.

“Am liebsten komponiere ich ein ‘Thema’ für etwas – einen Charakter oder auch einen Ort. Eine einprägsame Melodie, die dich sofort in eine andere Welt mitnimmt,” erklärt der junge Musiker. Mit 14 Jahren schrieb Gabríel Ólafs “Absent Minded” – ein Stück für ein imaginäres Thema und die erste Single aus seinem aktuellen, gleichnamigen Debütalbum, was am 30. August 2019 erschien.

“Ich bin ein sehr visueller Mensch, man könnte sagen, das Album ist der Soundtrack zu einem nicht-existenten Film.”

Die Bilder zu diesem Film entwickeln sich im Kopf des Hörers. Die emotionalen und sensiblen Stücke verlangen es, dass man sich fallen lässt und eintaucht in die Klangwelt von Gabríel Ólafs. Wundervolle Klaviermelodien und zarte Streicher - mehr braucht es nicht auf dieser Platte.

DIE LISTE 

Die traurigsten Lieblingssongs von Gabríel Ólafs

For me music is all about capturing and conveying emotions so this was a fun list for me to make.

1. Jóhann Jóhannsson - Flight From The City 
By my all-time favourite composer - this is a song from his 2016 solo album Orphée. This one just gets me every time; a simple yet stunningly beautiful motif recorded in a perfectly tasteful way, wrapped with a heartbreaking string arrangement, subtle tuned percussion and electronics. He was a unique artist that paved the way for many within the genre and is greatly missed. 

2. Bob Dylan - Shelter From The Storm 
Even though I compose instrumental music, I love great lyrics that capture emotion. This is my favourite Dylan song from the masterpiece Blood On The Tracks, the lyrics are beautiful. Even though the chords or melodic structure aren’t necessarily sad, it makes me drift off in a nostalgic and emotional way. ‘And if I pass this way again you can rest assured I’ll always do my best for her, on that I give my word.’ 

3. Hjaltalín - Engill Alheimsins 
This one is by an Icelandic band fronted by musician Högni. It was originally part of a soundtrack to a play about a young man’s struggle with mental illness. The lyrics are a profoundly sad poem in Icelandic written by the author’s brother whom the play is based on. ‘You approach me and strike me. I am covered by rainclouds. I crumble to pieces, and reassemble myself.’ 

4. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Andata 
Another inspiration and hero of mine, this is from his brilliant 2017 album async. A beautiful piano melody which is overtaken by an organ (arguably the saddest sounding instruments), synthesizers and electronics. 

5. John Williams - Theme from Schindler’s List 
No words needed here really. Probably one of the saddest themes ever written; and for a film about tragic events. I wanted to include it because I’m a big fan of film scores and Williams in particular, and I really enjoy the arrangement, and the performance by violinist Itzhak Perlman. 

6. Lou Reed - Perfect Day 
My mother gave me Transformer on vinyl when I was very young and I didn’t quite understand the meaning behind the lyrics but always felt some kind of underlying sadness when I listened to it. It has a very enjoyable little instrumental break as well. ‘You’re going to reap just what you sow.’ 

7. Chet Baker - I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes) 
I’m a fan of the Chet Baker Sings album and also of Tin Pan Alley classics. This one is quite special, composed by Hoagy Carmichael who I believe originally based the melody on Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu (a beautiful piece). The lyrics are romantic yet quirky and it’s pretty much the only ‘break-up song’ that gets to me. ‘..but I should never think of spring for that would surely break my heart in two.’ 

8. Emilíana Torrini - Sunny Road 
She is one of my favourite vocalists; her voice gives me goosebumps every time. It’s from her album Fisherman’s Woman which is a very special record to me. I also love the way the song is recorded, very tasteful and sparse yet warm. ‘I traveled ‘round through deserts on my horse - but jokes aside, I wanna come back home.’ 

9. Bill Evans Trio - Blue in Green 
A classic, but it’s only this version that gets me. He plays with true feeling and you can really hear it in this recording. Admirable pianist and my favourite. 

10. Max Richter - Written On The Sky 
Short, sweet and absolutely brilliant. It’s one of the songs that made want to compose when I first heard it. It’s from The Blue Notebooks, an album which I think revolutionised the genre and I think many composers have tried to capture what is captured in this song without quite getting it. It has a special magic to it.