The Unhuman Organ – Contemporary works premiered in Hallgrimskirkja this weekend

Exciting and innovative concerts ahead
A Norwegian master of organ improvisation on Sunday
Sýna allt

The Unhuman Organ – Contemporary works premiered in Hallgrimskirkja this weekend

Next Sunday, January 31st at 5 pm, a group of contemporary Icelandic composers make use of the newly installed midi equipment of the churche’s great Klais-organ to create works physically impossible for the human performer. The concert, called Beyond Hunan Control, introduces to the audience a whole new organ soundscape, just starting to be explored by the local composers.

 It is the fourth time the equipment is used in this way, former concerts having been a great success and attracted a large crowd. The concert recently received a grant from the National Radio Composer’s Fund.

The composers premiering works on Sunday are Elin Gunnarsdottir, Gunnar Andreas Kristinsson, Hlynur A. Vilmarsso, Ulfur Hansson, Ragnhildur Gisladottir and Aki Asgeirsson, Aki taking care of technical support and planning along with Gunnar Andreas. Admittance is 2.500 ISK. Tickets are at the entrance and here.


Gunnar Andreas Kristinsson_photographGunnar Andreas Kristinsson holds a BA degree from the Reykjavik College of Music and an MA from the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. His compositions are mostly instrumental, varying from solo pieces to orchestral works. Many of them have found their way into festivals worldwide. The first CD dedicated solely to Gunnar’s music, Patterns, received a Kraumur Award in 2013. Gunnar was nominated as Composer of the Year and his orchestral piece, Angelic Mechanisms, was nominated as Composition of the Year at The Icelandic Music Awards 2013. His clarinet concerto, Sisyfos, was RUV’s (The Icelandic Broadcasting Service) contribution to The International Rostrum of Composers in Helsinki in May 2014 and his piece Arma Virumque Cano was selected for the ISCM World Music Days in Wroclaw in October 2014.

siggaella-1-3Ragnhildur Gisladottir graduated with an MA degree in composing from the Icelandic College of Arts in 2013. Before that she had a long and successful career as a musician. She has written music for movies, theatre pieces and dance pieces. She has participated in the local festivals Dark Music Days, Nordic Music Days, The Reykjavík Arts Festival and the Reykjavík Dance Festival.

Aki Asgeirsson is a composer and musician who was born in 1975 in Keflavík, Iceland. He studied at the Reykjavík College of Music and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands and currently lives in Reykjavík. He has written instrumental music and music for instruments and computer. His music has been performed worldwide, for example by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and musicians such as Michael Manion and the Norwegian POING ensemble. Áki also has been active as a trumpet player, mostly with experimental improvisation ensembles. He developed the SensorTrumpet, an electronic trumpet with add-on’s to interact with a computer.

Hlynur A. Vilmarsson studied composition at the Reykjavík College of Music and electronic music at Kópavogur School of Music from 1997 to 2000. He has in recent years attended masterclasses with Brian Ferneyhough and many others and has also been studying computer engineering at the University of Iceland. His music has been played in the USA, Asia and Europe by groups like Kammarensamblen, Njuton Ensemble and Uusinta Chamber Ensemble among others. Hlynur is co-founder of Reykjavik Media Lab and is active in the composer group S.L.Á.T.U.R.

unnin_sh-1Elin Gunnlaugsdottir is a composer and music teacher in Selfoss, Iceland. She graduated as a music teacher and a composer from the Reykjavík Conservatory of Music. In 1998 she gained a post graduate degree from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Her works have been performed in Iceland, Europe, the USA and in Australia. Elin, author of around 40 works, has received a number of awards for her compositions.

Ulfur Hansson studies electronic music and recording media at Mill´s College, California, earlier finishing a degree in composition and new media at the Icelandic College of Arts. He has released three albums, receiving a nomination for the Icelandic Music Awards for his first one. His albums have been published in Europe, North America and Japan. Ulfur has travelled the world as a musician, for example with Jonsi from Sigur Ros , and three years ago he received a research grant to complete research and development on the Electro-Magnetic Harp, making it ready for production.