SONY is venturing into the world of modern composition and has set up a new imprint, XXIM Records, to issue musics from that liminal space where classical abuts ambient and experimental; its first signing is the Icelandic composer and pianist Eydís Evensen.
Eydís hails from the remote town of Blönduós in the north of Iceland. Drawn to music from an early age, she began studying the piano aged six and wrote her first piece of music as a seven-year-old. Having abandoned her plans to become a professional classical pianist, she spent time living in two of the great cities of the world, London and New York, returning home to record her debut album, Bylur, due for release this spring.
We enjoyed her first single, “Brotin”, just a fortnight ago; and she’s followed up quickly with the second single to be unveiled from Bylur, “Wandering II”, the video for which we’ve embedded below.
Eydís says of the track, a coasting piano piece swathed in strings ans woodwind, a chilly pastoral evocation of her peregrinations across the globe: “Wandering II’ is a piece inspired by my journey in the past years travelling from city to city with no specific destination in mind.”
The accompaying video was directed by Andrej Jelic and features stolen moments and snapshots from around the world.
“All of these songs are moments from my life,” she adds, talking not just of “Wandering II”, but of Bylur. “So many ups and downs. All of my joy, darkness, happiness, heartbreak and melancholia.”
The albums is named for the Icelandic word for snowstorm, and we’re promised that the album, like the weather phenomena from which it takes its name, contains “chaos and adversity … but beauty and fragility, too.”
Much of the album was written after dark, which helps explain Bylur’s mood.
“I get more inspired at night, maybe because it’s so quiet. I go over to the studio after dinner sometimes when no one’s around,” she says.
“It was the same in New York. There’d be so much white noise from the city that it was easier in the evenings. I kinda got used to staying up late, working on arrangements, trying not to wake up everybody.
“I love to close my eyes and see where my hands take me when I play the piano, not being afraid to make mistakes. I like to record on my phone, listen back, then go back to ideas and try to improvise around specific snippets.
“I like to record on my phone, listen back, then go back to ideas and try to improvise around specific snippets.
“I actually carry a tiny little sheet music book around in my purse. So if inspiration comes to me I can write it down immediately. You never know when it’ll strike!“