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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Made by artist Sam T. Rees. Each copy is entirely unique. Made with strange smudgy ink on a hand printer from the 40's, the stencil itself in an obsolete 80's stencil printer. Fonts are randomized by a font randomizing algorithm in an obsolete computer and programmed by Sam T. Rees. Each copy is entirely unique. The front cover picture of the elephant man figure is taken from an anonymous drawing that Sam bought for 10 pounds on ebay.

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    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Made by artist Sam T. Rees. There were only 10 hand made copies on Vinyl and each is entirely unique. Each disc is also recorded separately and is therefore unique. The cover itself is a re-used record cover of a mystery record cover that has been inverted. Made with old DIY hand printers and various mixed methods. The front cover picture of the elephant man figure is taken from an anonymous drawing that Sam bought for 10 pounds on ebay.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Sinfónía via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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about

Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson's Sinfonia is the amalgamation of years of experimentation with messed up rhythms, digital notation, and a collaboration with a close–knit group of performers––including a 15 year symbiosis with the Reykjavik based experimental art and music collective S.L.Á.T.U.R.

In her liner notes, Dr. Margrét Elísabet Ólafsdóttir describes that due to low prices after the financial crass of 2008, artists poured into cheap housing in downtown Reykjavik, beginning an aesthetic era tainted by uncertainty, anger and high ideals.

During this era, a group of eccentrics fabulated an entirely new civilization spawned from experimental cultural practices. Within S.L.Á.T.U.R., this was most often embodied in musical––as well as sometimes in visual and somewhat theatrical––performances centering around animated notation and video scores, found objects, and home–made or heavily prepared instruments.

Whole new artistic languages evolved from these limited means, developed through an extreme frequency of events and constantly evolving collaborations. Building on these experiments, Guðmundur Steinn has forged an eccentric world of his own, continually polishing his taste for the unimposing and unimpressive.

Exquisitely recorded and produced with equipment costing an order of magnitude more than the machines used to make the music, this album is bound to become the Buena Vista Social Club of the Icelandic far-avant-garde.

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Searching for a musical expression that knows neither grids or straight lines, Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson works exclusively with dynamic or animated screen notation––effectively expressing his inability to adapt to the convenience of musical ‘society’.

His methods call for long–term developmental collaborations with a handful of musicians––including the ensemble Fengastrútur––trickling down to more conventional groups once a method or approach stabilizes.

Through collaborations with entities such as S.L.Á.T.U.R. and the concert series Jaðarber, Guðmundur has developed a community of like minded individuals engaging in radical experimentation, finding an excuse to push further into uncomfortable musical territories at any turn.

On top of his experiments with notation, Guðmundur has experimented with tuning and temperament, and experimental and adjusted instruments and vocal performance. His interest in the historic music of Iceland has fueled his belief in a life without bar–lines and equal divisions and distances, leading to an aesthetic that can only be described as a no–grid approach to music, yet somewhat counterintuitively often using computers as a medium and an unlikely ally between the seemingly irrational and its realization.

credits

released June 19, 2020

All tracks performed by Fengjastrútur

On this day Fengjastrútur line-up consisted of:

Björn Davíð Kristjánsson: flute and ocarina
Þórunn Björnsdóttir: tenor recorder and ocarina
Páll Ivan frá Eiðum: tenor recorder and ocarina

Andrés Þór Þorvarðarson: percussion
Gunnar Grímsson: percussion
Ásthildur Ákadóttir: percussion

Svanur Vilbergsson: plucked strings,
microtonal harmonica, and samba whistle
Hafdís Bjarnadóttir: plucked strings,
microtonal harmonica, and samba whistle
Hallvarður Ásgeirsson: plucked strings,
microtonal harmonica, and samba whistle

Recorded on March 10th 2019 in Masterkey Studios,
Seltjarnarnes, Iceland

Produced by Jesper Pedersen and Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson

Recorded by Jesper Pedersen with assistance from Sturla Mio Þórisson and Katrín Helga Ólafsdóttir

Mixed and Mastered in Tónverið by Jesper Pedersen with Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson

Design and art direction by Sam T. Rees

All music composed by Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson

Special thanks: Katelin Parsons, Selma Parsons, Þorlákur Benjamín Guðmundsson, Carrier Records, Söngskólinn í Reykjavík, Andreas Ramon og Sangitamiya, Áki Ásgeirsson, Mengi and all collaborators, can't thank you enough.

The piece is dedicated to the memory of Ana-Maria Avram

© & p Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson 2020

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Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson Reykjavík, Iceland

Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson is a composer who has focused on music in a non pulsating rhythm. This has required the use of animated notation, music read as moving computer graphics instead of an ordinary page. The music makes various explorations of timbre and tuning as well. Most pieces are fixed and are the same each time in the notation although some pieces do explore open instrumentation. ... more

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