Snorri Hallgrímsson : Landbrot II Review
By Illiam Sebitz
Snorri Hallgrímsson is a composer and producer with an impressive list of credits both as a solo artist and as a collaborator on various projects, including ‘The Chopin Project,’ ‘Island Songs’, and the BAFTA-award winning score for ‘Broadchurch’ alongside Ólafur Arnalds. Hallgrímsson studied composition at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and at Berklee College of Music. His compositional credits include works for mixed choirs, chamber ensembles, and others while also working on short and long-form films. His music is characterized by a healthy dose of Icelandic melancholy, fed with electronic undercurrents. Landbrot II has just been released via Moderna Records.
“Rjóður” is a beautiful, peaceful melody performed on a muted piano. Hallgrímsson brings in the strings for the B section and expands the range of the piano part, too, for even more dramatic effect. His string writing is very lyrical as it folds in and out of the piano part. “Rjóður” balance of space and the orchestration of the strings and muted piano is beautiful as Hallgrímsson presents a straightforward form and developed melody.
“Addi & Eva” is a series of chords that mimics a four-part choir. The hymnal style of the melody is offset by the open and pastel colors of the voicings and harmony. Again, choosing to perform on muted piano, the mood is introspective and inviting. Hallgrimsson’s piano playing has a gentle flow as he breathes life into each phrase.
Landbrot II balances emotion with stunning melodies, string writing, and ambient colors. Hallgrímsson’s writing is informed by his early and continued involvement in choral singing, which comes through in his deeply atmospheric and lyrical melodies.
Release Date: November 19, 2021
Label: Moderna Records