Written By | Michaela Ciantis-Wong
Returning after five years, multi-instrumental, Icelandic producer Olafur Arnalds graced the stage of the Commodore Ballroom playing his first of two back to back shows of the evening.
The beautiful notes of two programmed pianos play as the audience find their seats, eager for the night to begin. Then the notes stop, and the lights dim. In that moment, the audience rustles around: putting cups down, shifting in chairs, ready for the show to begin.
The intro song play, and the crowd falls silent… well as silent as can be. Though Olafur Arnalds’ piano playing is captivating and his accompanying string quartet and percussionist equally as mesmerizing, any sound someone in the audience makes could be heard by everyone: someone shifting in their seat to get a better view, someone putting down their cup, and the person next to you breathing. It felt rude to be there, it almost felt rude just breathing while listening to Arnalds play, as if you were intruding on a private moment.
The first song ends and the audience erupts into a roar of applauses, Olafur Aranlds being very humble about the love he is receiving from the sold-out crowd. While addressing the crowd, he asks them to collectively sing a note for him, which he proceeds to record, then plays it back and adds it into his song “brot” off of his newest album re:member.
Witnessing Olafur Arnalds play is like living in a movie score. Being at his show is like you are watching an epic story of love and lost. Arnalds and his band convey an overwhelming feeling that transport you on a journey that feels bewitching. There’s a sense of magic when the lights illuminating the stage change with the beat of the drum and electronic beats. Brilliant lights blue and purple fill the room. “Only the Winds” so easily could you be transported to a distant island far from reality, surrounded by crashing waves, elves and fairies.
When the show ended, all the audience hopes for is that the next time Olafur Arnalds returns is soon.