2 JUNE 2021 — I never meant to keep such a long break from posting here — thank you to everyone reading this! — but I got incredibly busy and hope to make up for it in time.
Right now happy to announce my first large-scale composition, An Iceland Symphony, Op. 1: A Theatrical Symphony for All Ages, is available as sheet music in both paperback and ebook form.
At the time I’m writing this, very glad to see it’s actually at #1 on Amazon’s list of Hot New Releases in the category of Opera & Classical Songbooks! My first time seeing that #1 New Release banner on one of my books.
This is a large-scale work of 21 sections that calls for musicians of all ages and includes theatrical elements. The sections range widely in style and complexity. It leaves no one out.
Every note and rest has been carefully tested through hundreds of listenings since I first realised in early 2019 I had started writing this. I hope it may one day be performed live in Iceland by Icelandic musicians.
Until then, here is the full sheet music complete with performance instructions for the theatrical elements as well. I understand Kindle Unlimited members can view the ebook for free, but until the Look Inside previews come up for the paperback and ebook, here are the covers and some sample pages.
Ideally this music would be performed by live musicians, and there will be recordings sooner or later. The audio versions I have now are basically helpful demos only, to be shared with close friends, prospective performers, and writers on music, for example.
I continue to work on high-quality renditions of my own, but more on that later. I’ll also talk more about this in the next episode of my podcast. And as mentioned, one day I hope to see a full, live, staged performance of this.
Many thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged me on my compositional journey.
Even happier with the paperback than I expected to be. I decided to make a sunny summer outing of picking these up from 6 km away. I scooted most of the way, wind in my hair — it was actually super enjoyable. The perfect way to get sun and fresh air yet also remain cool.
I just uploaded podcast episode NX1.1: “Pilot”, which is wholly made up of excerpts from Chapter 1 of this 6-volume book series.
These excerpts are just a small selection from the more than 20,000 words for this chapter. These excerpts may give some sense of the scope and my approach. The episode is up in the places listed below.
I also updated my site a bit to give a better impression of my current activities.
In this 10-minute episode, 2.6: “A Way to Learn, Screenwriting Gym, and Dashing Through”, I talk for the first time almost only about writing and a couple of things I’ve personally found helpful to grow as a writer and produce good work.
7th SEPTEMBER 2019 — Being in preparations for a move, I only have time for a quick report on this performance I attended in Lahti, Finland yesterday, but I wanted to record it on this blog, as the creators behind it were Icelandic.
At the Lahti Fringe Festival, poet and performer Eyrún Ósk Jónsdóttir read her poetic meditation on peace and love, with Hildur Kristín Thorstensen as director and with discreet music by Viktor Aron Bragason accompanying.
I had actually attended this performance already twice in Iceland over the last year, when it was given at two different churches in Hafnarfjörður. In Icelandic back then, this time in English for the Finnish audience.
The meditation took the form of both conversationally expressed poetic thoughts and passages of poetry, concluding with a poem co-authored by the poet’s son: she made it from things she remembered him saying over the years.
Also part of the performance were recordings spoken by others, including the aforementioned son, whose contribution was charming, with an adorable pause in the middle of the word “people”.
We will be performing our poetry installation/happening at the Lahti Fringe Festival this September. The poet and the performer is Icelandic writer and actress Eyrún Ósk Jónsdóttir and the director is Hildur Kristín Thorstensen. The music was written by Viktor Aron Bragason. The piece is a poetry meditation in which all the poems are about peace and love, and meditation music is played to accompany the recitation.
The performance will be in English.
“It may seem like a contradiction, but it seems to me that nothing is as provocative as talking about peace, love, and benevolence. We are often so afraid of everything that could be considered cheesy and sincere. We even associate it with stupidity and a childish world view. In a world where the normalization of hate speech and the propagation of fear is growing, I shall continue to provoke with my own personal heart- and love-revolution and speak for peace with my head held high.” (Eyrún Ósk Jónsdóttir)