|A2||Lokaðu Augunum (Dyad 1909 Version)|
|A4||Við Vorum Smá... (Dyad 1909 Version)|
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Olafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909 EP
An early EP by Olafur Arnalds, Dyad 1909 was commissioned by Wayne Macgregor, head of the Royal Ballet in the United Kingdom and founder of Random Dance (considered by many to be the leading modern dance company on the planet). Wayne and QC seem to share very similar taste in music as his works often involve our favorite musicians and often end with them producing their finest works. Max Richter’s 'Infra' & 'Woolf Works' for example or ATOMOS by A Winged Victory for the Sullen & Talbot and Deru’s “Genus” to name but a few, each of which is on my rather small list of flawless LP’s.
Sometimes I find it a difficult task to connect Wayne’s ideas to the ideas behind the music. In this case, the piece pertains to Antarctica and the trials and tribulations faced in attempts to conquer its frozen desolate wastelands. Dyad 1909 however musically expresses this idea perfectly. This may say more about the subject matter however then Olafurs skill at interpreting the said subject.
To any composer or ambient producer Antartica is an easy idea to musically reflect, the subject has spawned not only multiple LP’s and artists dedicated to interpreting its feel, but even entire labels devoted to the task (one such being Italian label Glacial Movements which touts itself as providing music inspired by “the cold and silent night that falls upon glacial valleys…. an explorer lost among the Antarctic glaciers looking for a way home”).
Dyad 1909 is equal parts stillness and silence of a barren cold wasteland and harshness and fury of a blizzard. Olafur has managed to merge the two worlds of industrial techno and neo-classical more fluidly then anything else I have heard, Til Enda being the most striking example of this. With its amen breaks being sliced haphazardly apart by licks of cello, violin, and a suspenseful piano undertone. Suitable for dropping into the heaviest of dance sets whilst still maintaining the classical composition of the highest quality.
I once heard someone refer to life as a series of down endings. Neo-Classical music at its core is an expression of existential angst, a form of coming to peace with the absurdity and pointlessness of existence. Whilst being a musical interpretation of struggle against the hostile environs of Antartica Olafur Arnalds has succeeded in creating a score to man's struggle against the hostile environment that is existence.