Live Video: Ólafur Arnalds at KEX Hostel

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

On listening to the gentle touch and swelling beauty of songs like “Ljósið”, it’s hard to imagine that Ólafur Arnalds‘s roots are in hardcore and metal. The 26-year old Icelandic composer, producer, and performer has earned international acclaim with his “new classical” compositions, which tap directly into the indie music fans who seem less likely to attend the symphony than a local club show. The appeal of Ólafur Arnalds’ cinematic scope is wide, as he reaches into realms of ambient, chamber and even pop music on albums like his well received Erased Tapes’ releases Found Songs and …And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness. Over the past two years, we’ve recorded Ólafur Arnalds in his apartment in Reykjavik (watch here), but for this year’s KEXP broadcast during Iceland Airwaves ’12, we invited him to perform live from the slightly larger but still intimate and cozy space of KEX Hostel. Always an engaging and personable performer, Ólafur Arnalds took the audience through some pre-show vocal warm-ups before treating us all to six beautiful compositions, accompanied by cello and violin (and looping electronics). Watch the videos from the session here:

Full performance:

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