Nordic Affect Release Raindamage
February 24th, 2017 | New Releases
Nordic Affect have released Raindamage, the follow-up album from their critically acclaimed album Clockworking (2015) which was featured on NPR’s Songs We Love and Q2 Music, and in various best-of-the-year lists, including Steve Smith’s Night After Night, The Chicago Reader, and The New Yorker.
Raindamage was recorded at composer and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík, after Nordic Affect performed his work and other work featured on this album at Roni Horn’s Library of Water in Iceland as part of the Reykjavík Arts Festival in 2014.
Raindamage features music by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Raindamage and Antigravity), Úlfur Hansson (Þýð and Skin continuum), and Hlynur Aðils Vilmarsson (noa::ems and [:n:]). Each composer has contributed a piece for Nordic Affect paired with an electronic work.
The album explores the interconnectedness of the environment as well as human and artistic systems of connection and collaboration. Of the music on the album, Nordic Affect’s founder and violinist Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir says, “[The composers’] music reflects strong influences from popular, noise and electronic music, thus echoing John Cage’s words towards the end of his life when he said, ‘We live in a time I think, not of mainstream, but of many streams.’”
Nordic Affect will embark on its first U.S. tour, performing music from Raindamage, in April. Performances include Constellation Chicago (April 9), Berkeley Art Museum’s Full series (April 11), the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Reykjavík Festival (April 13-15), and National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY (April 19).
The Nordic Affect ensemble has been hailed for its “affectionate explorations” (BBC Music Magazine) and “commitment to their repertoire” (Classical Music). Founded in 2005, Nordic Affect has created a highly unique voice, which has earned the group international recognition. In 2013 the ensemble was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize and was named Performer of the Year at the Iceland Music Awards in 2014. Nordic Affect (Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violin; Gudrún Hrund Hardardóttir, viola; Hanna Loftsdóttir, cello; Gudrún Óskarsdóttir, harpsichord) was formed by a group of period instrument musicians who were united in their passion for viewing familiar musical forms from a different perspective and for daring to venture into new musical terrain.
About the Composers:
Valgeir Sigurðsson is an Icelandic composer and producer. As the editor and curator of the Bedroom Community label he founded in 2006, his work with the likes of Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, Paul Corley, Sam Amidon and Daníel Bjarnason features a constantly evolving appreciation of the diversity of music in the world. Three solo works, Ekvílibríum (2007), Draumalandið (2010) and Architecture of Loss (2013) will be followed in 2017 by the intensely reflective Dissonance. Elsewhere, with an enterprising understanding of where forward looking, genre liquefying modern music is moving, his collaborators have included Björk, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Feist, Damon Albarn, CocoRosie, Sigur Rós, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Brian Eno, Tim Hecker, Anohni, Oneohtrix Point Never and Alarm Will Sound. As adept at working in electronic and studio settings, and generating evocative soundtracks for film or composing orchestral and chamber pieces, his work for theatre, dance and installations demonstrates how Sigurðsson thinks like a painter and sculptor as much as sound artist and musician.
Hlynur Aðils Vilmarsson has enjoyed a diverse career in music, be it as a member of Icelandic rock bands or the composers’ collective s.l.á.t.u.r. Infused with a passion for experimentation, his work has also extended to the realm of technology within the platform of LornaLab (Reykjavík Media Lab). Vilmarsson’s work has earned him commissions from various groups and been performed at festivals such as the Tectonics festival curated by conductor Ilan Volkov. In recent years his music has been played in Europe, USA and Asia, by groups like Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brodsky String Quartet, Uusinta Chamber Ensemble and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Having worked with some of the most prominent Icelandic musicians (Jónsi of Sigur Rós, Ólöf Arnalds, Jófríður of Samaris, Skúli Sverrisson of Blonde Redhead) Úlfur Hansson made his mark on the music scene as an electronic music producer, live-improviser, orchestral composer and sound artist. Hansson graduated in composition from Mills College (CA), and his work earned him a win as young composer at the 2013 International Rostrum of Composers. Commissions have included works for the Tectonics festival curated by Ilan Volkov and the Kronos Quartet’s project Fifty for the Future. White Mountain, Úlfur Hansson’s 2013 debut release on Western Vinyl (Dirty Projectors, Here We Go Magic) featured orchestrations of strings and woodwinds interwoven with concrete sounds and synthesis – his upcoming album Arborescence further explores acoustical composition interwoven with electronic movement, rhythm and pulse.