In Mozart's day, Vienna was where you headed if you wanted to be at the centre of all things new in classical music. At the turn of the last century, the centre shifted to Paris when Debussy, Ravel et al evolved the musical landscape in new ways inspired and influenced by the artists around them.
Now Iceland and its capital Reykjavik seem to be the places to be, if you want beautiful new classical music. It is bubbling with incredibly talented musicians, composers and sound engineers.
Today's AYANE debutante is one such lady; classically trained pianist and post-classical composer Eydís Evensen. I've chosen her beautiful piece Næturdögg which means Night Dew as her first feature in this series.
Eydís began piano lessons at the age of six in her hometown of Blönduós (Iceland!) and composed her first piece of music on the instrument – about a storm that was raging outside – when she was seven.
After graduating from Reykjavik’s Hamrahlíð College – where she sang in the world-renowned choir run by Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, which counts Björk and members of Sigur Rós among former members – she planned to go to Vienna to continue her studies, but after becoming disillusioned with the classical world, she decided to take a different path, moving abroad to work. She traveling extensively and spent time living in London and New York.
Although Eydís cites her home country of Iceland as still being a huge influence on her music, she is also profoundly inspired by forces of nature as well as artists such as Philip Glass and Thom Yorke. But the real driving force behind her mournful, melancholic and incredibly beautiful arrangements is her own emotions, and having the full freedom to explore those feelings musically however she wants, while also attempting to break free from regular forms of music.