Recently I have been introduced to some new classical music.  But this isn’t your grandpas classical music.  This is Neo-Classical.  The two composers/artists that have captured my ear are Olafur Arnalds and Nico Muhly.

Olafur Arnalds is a 23 year old prodigy from Iceland that started his musical career as a drummer for a few metal bands and eventually releaseing a collection of neo-classical works in 2007, an EP in 2008, and a new song every 24 hours for a week (eventually being released as found songs in 2009).   Most recently he has released a new album entitled “…and they have escaped the weight of darkness”. As a whole the album is a complete piece, and as a part each track stands on its own.  The album is one I have been listening to on repeat the last few days.  I find it inspiring beautiful and listen to it when I need something gorgeous and unique.  To check out some of this beauty, Below are a couple of videos, the first is a link to a track from his most recent release.

Ólafur Arnalds – Hægt, kemur ljósið (Official Music Video) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo.

And this video is from the “Found Songs” collection.


Nico Muhly‘s work tends to be a little more of an educated listen.  The compositions are more complex, less immediately beautiful.  There seems to be an uneasiness in a lot of his work and the arrangements push a lot of boundaries, yet his music is still very listenable and unique.  He has worked with artists such as Jonsi, The National, Grizzly Bear, Bjork, and Antony.  This Juliard Academy graduate’s first release was in 2006, and his sophomore release was in 2008.  He is also behind the remarkable score to “The Reader”.

Here is a video for one of his compositions from his first album “speaks volumes”

And some more laid back compositions from a live performance of a couple of pieces from ‘the reader’

And a live acoustic performance with Jonsi.  Nico provided the amazing arrangements from Jonsi’s amazing “Go”

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