Bill Flanagan – Hammered Dulcimer

Tomorrow’s Song (Ólafur Arnalds)

Tomorrow’s Song (Ólafur Arnalds)

Ólafur Arnalds is a minimalist ambient/classical composer from Iceland. He was originally a drummer in a hardcore band, but discovered a talent for composing while working on intros and outros for a band named “Heaven Shall Burn.” He now focuses primarily on composing and performing in the minimalist style.

It occurred to me that Ólafur’s piano compositions might lend themselves well to the hammered dulcimer, and the sheet music for many of his tunes is available on his website. Here’s my arrangement of “Tomorrow’s Song,” a tender reflective tune. Because of the minimalist style and organic ambiance, this is best listened to late at night. I let the recording be organic, and I’ve added some vinyl dust and other retro noise for character. The performance is plodding and exploratory, as if the music is being discovered through improvisation.


 

Below is the original piano version by Ólafur Arnalds, performed in his living room (chair squeaks and all). Beautiful!