Episode #9

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Composing Is Second Nature

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Monday, November 09, 2015

Anna Thorvaldsdottir Anna Thorvaldsdottir (Kristinn Ingvarsson/Q2 Music)

Anna Thorvaldsdottir is an Icelandic composer whose work conjures entire environments of sound, surrounding the listener in a dark and forbidding landscape. Anna thinks sonically; her music comes from a deeply non-verbal place, and she has developed a brilliant workflow which allows these ideas to remain mostly whole and unmolested through her creative process. Anna often favors massive ensembles, writing delicate and detailed parts for every player, but even when she is writing for smaller forces, she somehow summons these massive sonorities — detailed, elegant tapestries with a seductive gravity, which pull the listener in with their gradually revolving color and texture. - Nadia Sirota

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Produced by:

Alexander Overington

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: I. Small Town Living

Anna grew up in a tiny town surrounded by incredible beauty — mountains, ocean — studying music under the guidance of her music-teacher mother and aunt. 


Anna Thorvaldsdottir: II. Composing a Space

Icelandic is a language of whispers and sub-audible subtlety. It is a sort of an ancient thing, it feels like it wasn’t workshopped as extensively as other European languages.


Anna Thorvaldsdottir: III. Heima er Best (Home Sweet Home)

For all that Icelanders yearn to see the world, there is some deep tug that brings them home, time after time. No matter where Anna is on the planet, she feels tied to Iceland.

Comments [6]

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Playlist

Hear a piece of music you loved in the show? Click for a complete breakdown of all the music in Episode Nine – Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Composing Is Second Nature.


Comments [3]

@Stephen, you can find the playlist page here: http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/anna-thorvaldsdott... Thanks for listening!

Nov. 18 2015 02:00 PM
Stephen from BK, NYC

Where's the playlist for this episode?!

Nov. 17 2015 07:44 PM

I adore Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Her remarkable sound contained in her inner self is wonderfully described in the MTC series. I love the way she describes the Icelandic language and the many variations on Frost and Ice, you can feel the ice cracking listening her music. This could be the best MTC yet = THEY ARE ALL GOOD. Nadia Sirota and staff, thank you for this enlightenment in my life.

Nov. 12 2015 09:51 AM

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