Skúli Sverrisson & Ólöf Arnalds
Skúli Sverrisson's and Ólöf Arnalds’ fruitful collaboration began in the early 2000s when Skúli was working on his album Sería, released in 2006. Ólöf took an active part in the making of this critically acclaimed album with music by Skúli Sverrisson, featuring Eyvind Kang, Anthony Burr, Laurie Anderson,Jóhann Jóhannsson and Hildur Guðnadóttir as well as Ólöf and Skúli. Sería got the Iceland Music Awards’ best album of the year in 2006. Sería II was released in 2010, also featuring Ólöf along with other collaborators of Skúli Sverrisson, the album being nominated for the Iceland Music Awards and the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2011.
After having been an active member of the popular band Múm for several years Ólöf Arnalds launched her solo career in 2007 with her first solo album Við og Við where Skúli Sverrisson plays an important part. Produced by Kjartan Sveinsson from Sigur Rós, it won the Best Alternative Album at the 2007 Iceland Music Awards. Later albums by Ólöf (all released by One Little Indian Records) are Innundir skinni (2010), also produced by Kjartan Sveinsson, Sudden Elevation (2010) and Palme (2013), both produced by Skúli Sverrisson and EP’s Ólöf Sings (2010) and The Matador EP (2013). Ólöf won the Icelandic music award for Innundir skinni and the record was also nominated for the Nordic Music Price. Critical response to Ólöf Arnalds’ albums has been unanimous, the success has led to Ólöf touring with Blonde Redhead, Jonathan Richman, Björk, Air, Nick Cave, José Gonzales. Ólöf recently composed the score for “Pale Star” by Graeme Malay.
Skúli Sverrisson has built an amazing international carreer as a bassist, guitarist and composer. A musical director of performance artist Laurie Anderson and a member of many influential groups including Pachora, Alas No Axis, The Allan Holdsworth group and The Ben Monder group. Skúli has also collaborated with legendary musicians such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Blonde Redhead, Wadada Leo Smith, John Hollenbeck and Jóhann Jóhannsson to name but few. Skúli has composed music for The National Theatre of Iceland, The Icelandic Dance Company and for numerous films and installations such as When it was Blue with experimental film maker Jennifer Reeves and appeared on Jóhann Jóhannsson score for “Sicario” and Ryuichi Sakamoto´s “The Revenant” He has recorded around 80 albums, the latest album being Saumur with Hilmar Jensson and Arve Henriksen released in 2016.
Ólöf and Skúli are both founders of Mengi, a performance venue for experimental music and arts in downtown Reykjavík. Mengi opened in 2013 and has already become the center for new and creative music in the city, featuring 3 weekly performances of local artists as well as international artists of highest level such as Fred Frith,Tim Hecker, Arto Lindsay, Sidsel Endressen and more. Skúli and Ólöf have performed at Mengi on regular basis as well as touring extensively around Europe and the United States, at festivals and acclaimed music venues. In 2014 Ólöf was a featured soloist with Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Skúli Sverrisson’s song cycle Kaldur Sólargeisli for voice and symphony orchestra, the premiere taking part at Ilan Volkov’s prestigious Tectonics Festival.