Born 1986 in the suburban Icelandic town of Mosfellsbær, a few kilometers outside of Reykjavík, composer/performer Ólafur Arnalds has always enjoyed pushing boundaries with both his studio work and live shows.
Since the release of his debut album Eulogy for Evolution in 2007 he has built up a dedicated international following and is well established for his genre-‐crossing compositions blending classical, pop and ambient/electronica influences to a unique musical language.
Starting out as drummer for several hardcore/metal bands, Ólafur was asked to write instrumental intros and outros for the album Antigone of German metal band Heaven Shall Burn.
This led to more work in the field of neo-classical strings and piano based music, and ultimately to the release of Eulogy for Evolution and the beginning of Ólafur’s partnership with Berlin based label Erased Tapes. In 2008 he embarked on a tour with fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós.
In 2009 he started a week-long project of composing one track by day, making it immediately available online to his fans. The collection was later officially released under the title Found Songs. He repeated the same experiment in 2011 under the title Living Room Songs.
Also in 2009 the ballet Dyad 1909 premiered with a score composed by Ólafur. Choreographed by Wayne McGregor and performed by Wayne McGregor Random Dance, the ballet was inspired by Ernest Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition to the South Pole in 1909.
In April 2010 Ólafur released his second full-length album entitled ...And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness, which was backed up with an extensive tour, including his first trip to China.
His third album, and the first to be released through his new partnership with Universal Music’s Mercury Classics imprint, is titled For Now I Am Winter and was released in March 2013. Expanding on his previous work the new album will feature a full orchestra and -‐ for the first time -‐ introduce vocals to his soundworld. Icelandic singer Arnór Dan is to be heard on four tracks of the album.
More recently Ólafur has been venturing into the world of films, writing his first Hollywood film score to Another Happy Day. He also had music in the hit film Hunger Games and has been featured several times on popular american television show So You Think You Can Dance. For 2013 his scores include the music to the new ITV thriller series Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, as well as to the film Gimme Shelter, directed by Ron Krauss and starring Vanessa Hudgens and Brendan Fraser.