New recording technique utilizing self-playing pianos, software
This album from Olafur Arnalds features his ground-breaking new software, Stratus, which transforms the humble piano into a unique new instrument. The Stratus Pianos are two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos which are triggered by a central piano played by Olafur, and are the centerpiece of his new works.
The custom-built software is born out of two years of work by the composer and audio developer, Halldor Eldjarn. The algorithms generated from Stratus were also used to create the innovative album artwork. On the album Olafur uses these methods reinvigorate the compositional experience, feeding back into the creative process in a completely new way. As Olafur plays a note on the piano, two different notes are generated by Stratus, creating unexpected harmonies and surprising melodic sequences.
The fourth official solo album by Olafur Arnalds takes the listener through varied moods and feelings, through different musical landscapes. You can hear every facet of his work — the composition, the soundtracks, the pop — bursting through, flowering. This is my breaking out-of-a-shell album, Arnalds says. This is me taking the raw influences that I have from all these different musical genres and not filtering them. I always have my hands in many different projects at once, and I feel that this album represents that.