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How Ólafur Arnalds Creates Music With “Ghost Pianos”

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 continued working with a programmer on 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.”

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Reykjavik, Iceland

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