Soundwave: Ólafur Arnalds


Role: Director, producer
Company: Great Big Story

Following an accident, musician Ólafur Arnalds suffered nerve damage that left him unable to play the piano. That’s when he discovered the power technology granted him in innovating on the classical form. He got to work with a programmer to create a software called Stratus that controls self-playing, semi-generative pianos. It’s all supported by some complex mathematics and a wildly creative vision. While Ólafur plays an electronic keyboard onstage, the two upright ghost pianos accompany him, creating a cascade of complementary notes. It’s an incredible system that fuses the physicality of classical music with the ingenuity of electronic music.

In this episode of Soundwave, Ólafur delves into the creation of his Stratus software and walks us through how he composed the song “unfold” from his latest album “re:member.”

Director and Producer
Dave Yim

Supervising Producer
Sadie Bass

Senior Producers
Ingela Travers-Hayward
Drew Beebe

Camera by
Jon O‘Beirne

Additional Camera by
Dave Yim

Production Assistant
Deb Oh

Justin Beach
Dave Yim

Graphics and Animations by
Phil Robibero

Post Audio Producer
Deb Oh

Re-record Mixer
TJ Dumser