Food & Drink Apr 18, 2014

Icelandic Composer Comes to Washington, D.C. May 29

International Contemporary Ensemble to perform Anna Thorvalsdottir's “Light of Air” trilogy

The Atlas Performing Arts Center is pleased to welcome new music giants International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) back to its stage directly from Reykjavik, Iceland to present the US premiere of Anna Thorvalsdottir’s Light of Air trilogy.

The modern ensemble continues to break new ground with this artist-driven collaboration exploring the symbiotic relationship between musician, instrument, breath and light. A rising star in her native Iceland, Thorvaldsdottir’s work has been performed throughout Europe and the US at major music festivals including ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Beijing Modern Music Festival and the Composer Portraits Series at NYC’s Miller Theatre. In 2012, Thorvaldsdottir also received the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize for her composition, Dreaming. Click here to learn more.

About the Program

The Light of Air is a trilogy of movements, Luminance, Serenity and Remembrance that together form a structure of a single piece. Each musician is portrayed as a “soloist” in a chamber ensemble. Musicians alternate between collective instrumental and solo performances. The piece incorporates a lighting constellation designed in collaboration with ICE. The lights enhance the atmospheric experience during a live performance by visually portraying certain aspects of the performance. The performers directly contribute to the performance of the lighting figures through their breath as well as through their instrumental performance. Thorvalsdottir has also designed an installation of metallic ornaments called Klakabönd in Icelandic, which translates as “a bind of ice”, created by Icelandic artist Svana Jósepsdóttir.

About Anna Thorvalsdottir

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (1977) is an Icelandic composer who frequently works with large sonic structures that tend to reveal the presence of a vast variety of sustained sound materials, reflecting her sense of imaginative listening to landscapes and nature. Her music tends to portray a flowing world of sounds with an enigmatic lyrical atmosphere. At the Icelandic Music Awards 2012, Anna was awarded Composer of the Year and her debut album Rhízōma was awarded Classical/Contemporary Album of the Year. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra has premiered and recorded four of Anna’s orchestra pieces, conducted by Ilan Volkov, Christian Lindberg, Rumon Gamba, Daniel Bjarnason, and Bernhardur Wilkinson.

About International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by the New York Times as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music,” is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement. ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners in the 21st century. Since its founding in 2001, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions––the majority of these new works by emerging composers––in venues ranging from alternative spaces to concert halls around the world.

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

About the Atlas

The Atlas Performing Arts Center is located in a historic movie theatre complex on H Street, NE. H Street had been a bustling retail corridor for decades before the 1968 riots. In 2003, encouraged by Jane Lang’s vision and commitment to restore the Atlas as a performing arts center, the City adopted a plan to rebuild the corridor and identified the Atlas as central to the revitalization plan. The Atlas movie theatre re‐opened in November 2006 following an extensive four-year million renovation. The center is home to a diverse group of locally and nationally renowned theatre and dance companies, a symphony orchestra, choral groups and arts education programs.

Through its programs and service to the community, the Atlas seeks to honor and maintain the history and traditions of H Street NE while also fostering the changes taking place to renew the H Street corridor. The Atlas has become the artistic heart of a community and it seeks to be a center for community conversation, where a range of artistic and individual expressions can come together to be shared and celebrated.