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Composer & Conductor DanĂ­el Bjarnason Releases New Album Collider
Source: Jensen Artists

Icelandic conductor, curator, and composer Daníel Bjarnason releases his next album, Collider, worldwide on October 26, 2018 on the Bedroom Community label. Collider includes Bjarnason’s orchestral works Blow Bright, The Isle is Full of Noises, and Collider and features Bjarnason as both composer and conductor. The album was recorded by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and The Hamrahlid Choir at the landmark Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland while Bjarnason was Artist-in-Residence with the Orchestra in 2015 and 2016. Collider will be available from Bedroom Community digitally (FLAC/WAV/MP3). Christopher Tarnow was Tonmeister and recording producer for the album; it was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson, with Georg Magnússon as recording engineer, mixed by Sigurðsson and Bjarnason, and mastered by Sigurðsson at Greenhouse Studios. 


In recent years, Bjarnason has received transatlantic acclaim. In the album’s liner notes, musicologist William Robin describes the works on this album as being from the composer’s “American” period. All three works were originally written for U.S. ensembles: Blow Bright (2013/2015) for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Collider (2014/2015) for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and The Isle Full of Noises (2011/2013) for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and American Youth Symphony.


Robin writes, “Collider represents an artistic evolution from Bjarnason’s previous forays into orchestral writing. At the center of the composer’s 2010 album Processions was a bombastic piano concerto that echoed the extroverted unrest of early twentieth-century modernism; on the 2013 Over Light Earth, Bjarnason focused his work into concentrated, taut miniatures that matched the album’s focus on Abstract Expressionism. For Collider, these and other models have settled into a richly distinctive palette, one that feels at once compact and expansive.”


Daníel Bjarnason is currently composer-in-residence at the Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven and former Artist-in-Residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Making his conducting debut with Tokyo and Toronto symphony orchestras, and Turku Philharmonic, other highlights this season are the revival at Harpa of the Kasper Holten production of his first opera Brothers, premiered at the Danish National Opera in Aarhus and the London premiere of First & Last Men, with the London Symphony Orchestra, a multimedia work from the late Oscar-nominated Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, which Bjarnason premiered the previous year. 


Bjarnason’s recent commissions include We Came in Peace (for All Mankind), a new work/installation for 12 horns, 12 grand pianos, and loudspeakers commissioned by The Holland Festival. His latest orchestral work, the Violin Concerto, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Iceland Symphony Orchestra, saw its world premiere at the Hollywood Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel. A co-curator of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Reykjavik Festival, and featuring as conductor and composer, he presented an eclectic 17-day festival with numerous commissions, performances from artists of different genres, visual and digital arts exhibitions, and educational concerts. Bjarnason is currently working on a percussion concerto for Martin Grubinger and the Gothenburg Symphony and a new work for Crash Ensemble.


With music performed by conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andre de Ridder, Osmo Vänskä, in venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, Harpa and Barbican, his versatility has also led to collaborations with a broad array of musicians outside the classical field including Sigur Rós, Ben Frost and Brian Eno. 


The recipient of the 8th Harpa Nordic Film Composers Award for the soundtrack of the Icelandic film Under the Tree, he has also been awarded several times in recent years at the Icelandic Music Awards in categories of best composer, best new work, and best performer. Bjarnason is a member of Bedroom Community and is published by Edition Peters.

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