Gabríel Ólafs has shared his new single ‘Mosi’. The track is off of Ólafs’ upcoming album Piano Works, a collection of reimagined arrangements released as part of an ambitious deconstructive series by One Little Indian Records (Björk, Poppy Ackroyd), due out on June 26.
The Icelandic pianist wrote his debut record Absent Minded at just 14-years-old and piqued interest for his deft appreciation for ambience and space, creativity and a musical story-telling ability far beyond his years. Masterful compositions ebb and flow seamlessly and depict epics from pure imagination, as Ólafs small town isolation means he draws his inspiration from the smallest things; a poster of a French cyclist, his mother gardening or the harbor down the road.
Ólafs recorded Piano Works during a storm, which made its way into the record itself. He says, “During recording there was a storm. A red weather warning meaning that you shouldn’t drive or walk outside. While I’m playing the old upright you can sometimes hear the howling wind blowing through the window next to it. Even though it didn’t turn out perfect, I thought there was a magic to the performance recordings we made that night and I embraced the imperfections.”
Not only composing, arranging and performing everything by himself, Gabríel worked closely with engineer Bergur Thorisson to help produce and mix the album. He also recorded the ambient version of “Lóa” himself with the sounds from the piano using e-bows, delays and reverse processing.
The album presents new material alongside re-recordings of previous work. Ólafs crafted an intro with which to set the scene as well as two tracks, “Birta” meaning “bright light” in Icelandic (and also the name of his lifelong pet dog) and “Flatey” which is a picturesque island off the coast of Iceland, but also the name of the pizza restaurant across from the studio where they would eat during the recording process.