Ólafur Arnalds Develops ‘Stratus Pianos’ for New Album re:member

Olafur Arnalds - credit Benjamin HardmanBAFTA winning Icelandic composer, musician and producer Ólafur Arnalds announces his fourth solo studio album, re:member, out on Mercury KX, 24 August. The highly anticipated record features Ólafur’s ground-breaking new software, Stratus, which transforms the humble piano into a unique new instrument.  

The Stratus Pianos are two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos which are triggered by a central piano played by Ólafur, and are the centrepiece of his new works. The custom-built software is born out of two years of work by the composer and audio developer, Halldór Eldjárn. The algorithms generated from Stratus were also used to create the innovative album artwork. As Ólafur plays a note on the piano, two different notes are generated by Stratus, creating unexpected harmonies and surprising melodic sequences.

Speaking of the album, Ólafur says, “This is my breaking out-of-a-shell album. It’s me taking the raw influences that I have from all these different musical genres and not filtering them. It explores the creative process and how one can manipulate that to get out of the circle of expectations and habit.”

Ólafur’s uplifting new music also uses string quartet, synths, electronics, live drums and a string orchestra recorded at London’s Air Studios. Plummeting the listener into a subversive world full of unexpected moods and emotions, Ólafur explores foreign musical soundscapes in every facet of re:member.

His latest single, ‘unfold’, welcomes the listener with the sound of a stream twisting and flowing across rocks and feature vocals from British singer, songwriter and producer, SOHN, while the accompanying music video celebrates moments of reawakening.