Ólafur Arnalds & Halldór Eldjárn

Happy Piano Day everyone,

To celebrate it Ólafur Arnalds along with musician and audio developer Halldór Eldjárn have cooperated to create STRATUS, a piano installation that aims to bring together creativity and technology, the composer and the listener, the individual and the world.

Over the past two years Ólafur and Halldór have experimented with software for two semi generative, self playing pianos they have dubbed The Stratus Pianos. Among the results of the experimentation is STRATUS, an installation built around the pianos that will take place in the iconic stairway of the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in city centre Reykjavík. The pianos are connected to a website where users can influence the piece of music being played, specially written by Ólafur for the project. Through a live stream on the website piano aficionados from all over the world can watch their collaboration come to life.

An additional feature of STRATUS is that The Stratus Pianos will control Harpa’s beautiful glass facade lighting up according to the user’s modifications to the work.

The notes available are predetermined by Ólafur to sound like a work by him, but it is up to the users how often and when they are played. The websites uses a demographic voting system to decide what is played next making the experience fully interactive.

STRATUS is the first introduction of The Stratus Pianos, but they will feature prominently on Ólafur’s world tour this year and have been a source of inspiration for many of the new songs to be premiered on the tour.

Halldór Eldjárn makes music under his own name, with Icelandic electronic outfit Sykur and works on various projects linking music and technology.

To see what they are up to, visit these links: