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Olafur Arnalds - Sunrise Session II makes The Reykjavik Grapevine's 'New Year Musical Picks'

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The Reykjavík Grapevine's writes….So it’s the last week of 2021. And with one ear on the upcoming hectic shenanigans of New Year’s Eve, we bring three gentle musical gifts from the frosty north to calm your spirit. As ever, you can enjoy the musical gems brought to you by The Grapevine over this last year in our New Music Picks 2021 playlist.

The shortest day of the year in Iceland – the winter solstice on December 21st – is very short indeed, with only around four hours between sunrise and sunset. Fortunately most towns and households have their Christmas lights up by then, but any other help lifting spirits is more than welcome.

Last year pianist and composer Ólafur Arnalds filmed his Sunrise Session on the solstice, starting before dawn and creating a gentle homage to the light growing through the studio windows as the sun rose. This year he has repeated the concept, but located in Reykjavík’s Harpa concert hall so that the building’s magnificent glass walls can incorporate the rising sun into the session.

Ólafur is joined by vocalist Josin and members of the Reykjavík Recording Orchestra as he recreates three tracks from his last two albums. Whatever else is going on in the world, you can rely on two things: the sun will continue to rise, and Ólafur Arnalds will continue to produce work of immense beauty. JP
PHOTO: Art Bicnick

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