Oct 15, 2014

The no-screen experiment

I’m making a musical looping app for the iPad. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and I’m so excited to have this pony on the road! I wrote a thing about the motivation behind it.


Oct 4, 2014

I made a video game with my pal pal Thordur Thorsteinsson! This one is about Lucifer, falling down towards his home in hell. He’s trying to claim as many souls as he can before he gets home. Here’s a short clip.

The game itself is programmed in Lua, using the Love2d engine. It was made in a great course on Computer Game Design and Development at Reykjavik University last spring.

1 note reblog

Sep 24, 2014

Hér er stuttur útvarpsheimildarþáttur um Jón Þorsteinsson, söngvara. Ég gerði hann í frábærum kúrs um Radiophonic Narration árið 2009-2010. Þættinum var útvarpað á RÚV árið 2011.


Aug 21, 2013

The Sigur Rós tour continues. Over the past year, the tour kind of segued from being the Valtari tour and into the Kveikur tour. It’s all very nice, and if you are fanatically interested in the live shows, you should check out the Okkr Ensemble - they consist of all the lovely musicians on stage who are not the canonical Sigur Rós gang.

Also, this being a such a professional site, I should probably mention that I have some brass arrangements on Kveikur. I’m also working on converting those massively cool arrangements from Daníel Bjarnason into something that we can play onstage with the Okkr Ensemble :) Right now I’m working on Rafstraumur, which will hopefully be added into the show on the coming dates this autumn.


Aug 21, 2013

The Úsland powerhouse guys continue to plow through the year with one release every month.

This month’s release, ÚÚ 8, is the first to be recorded live in a concert situation. It was recorded last Friday at the Reykjavík Jazz Festival and features Daníel Friðrik Böðvarsson on guitar, Tumi Árnason on tenor saxophone, Óttar Sæmundsen on contrabass, Magnús Trygvason Eliassen on drums and myself on trumpet and analog synth, playing through a spectacularly shitty Peavey amp :)

As always, it was a pleasure to take a balloon ride through the aural alps with these guys. Áfram Úsland!

Stream or buy the album right here.

Tags improv reblog

Apr 22, 2013

I’m on my way to Antwerpen right now to join these guys for a quick Belgian tour. Joachim has written a bunch of new music for this ensemble…very excited!


Jan 18, 2013

Sin Fang’s album is finally coming out on February 1st. I arranged strings and brass for the whole durn thing and I’m really happy with how it turned out! Here’s the first single from the album. Chugga chugga.


Jan 15, 2013

Recorded last week - released today.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be a part of the fantastic Úsland recording series. Úsland is an Internet label doing twelve improv records for the next twelve months. So great to move back to Iceland to find cool initiatives like this.

The album can be streamed or purchased at the Úsland site.

5 notes reblog

Jan 12, 2013

Meeting up with some friends tonight to drone away the hours. Chamber music!


Jul 26, 2012

I’ll be joining Sigur Rós for their upcoming Valtari tour. I’ve done some new string and brass arrangements for the tour, as well as adaptations of arrangements by Amiina, Kjartan Sveinsson and Daníel Bjarnason.

The first show is in Philadelphia this Sunday - check this page for tour dates!


Jun 22, 2012

As a part of the Skeylja project, we’re taking turns doing little shows at 13:00 every day. Last Wednesday was my turn, and I decided to try to do it totally alone. I’m not really sure if I’ve ever done that before. But it was a nice experiment!


Jun 21, 2012

This whole week at the Oerol Festival. It’s a fantastic project. Take a look!


Mar 17, 2012

The biggest thing on Dutch TV is a show called De Wereld Draait Door. It’s a fast paced variety talk show, and every night they have little thing where they have a band play a one minute version of a song. The other day, I was involved in this very thing with the wunderschöne Kim Janssen.

We got to watch the show being broadcast in real time and boy, was it psychedelic. The host opened the show by shouting a supercondensed monologue at the camera, then jumping to another position and shouting something else. Everything was superfast and super-enlarged, and at the same time, everything was rolling along a carefully constructed railroad track of hyperfocussed attention. You couldn’t help but follow along, wide eyed and alert.

I didn’t realize, but apparently, if you want to come across as halfway intelligible on TV, you have to simplify and amplify whatever you have to say by a factor of ten1. Fitting with the show’s formula, the same goes for the request that we condense the song into one minute. It was a funny thing that resulted; a kind of an elevator pitch of a song. In a way, it’s a good excercise to pick out what the real core of the song is and amplify it. A kind of forced clarity.

Of course, this isn’t always feasible. Just as they were breaking through in the US, Sigur Rós declined to do just this for a huge US talk show. I’m going to take a shot-in-the-dark guess and say that they felt the pith of the song was the song itself, and nothing could be cut without undermining the whole shebang. But as an excercise, it’s a interesting thing to do.2

  1. uh, ten Message Clarity Units. 

  2. it’s also possible to replace the time constraints with something else, such as reducing the number allowable pitches or instruments, but really, I suspect the most interesting results come from externally imposed constraints. 


Feb 28, 2012

Oh, and before I forget…tonight’s gig will be a lot of fun!


Feb 28, 2012

Hey, what happened?

Dear Googlebot and/or Russian search engine crawler!

You might be wondering why I haven’t updated this here blogue for a whole year. Has Eiríkur forgotten his password? Has he finally succumbed to the temptation of becoming an ivory dealer in Sudan?

Fear not, my dear script! All shall be explained, so that there is no question left unanswered. So what have I done for the past year? I’m curious myself, so I had a look at my calendar and made a quick overview.


  • January:

    Recorded some trumpet for The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble’s From the Stairwell

    Played a show with Kira Kira at Dark Music Days in Reykjavík (see post below)

    Hatched a plan (see August)

  • February:

    hdden played a show in Zaal 100 at Icelandic Music Days

    Joined Kippi Kaninus and Magnús Trygvason Eliassen for a quick romp at Cafe Kremers in Den Haag.

    Worked on some ideas with Knalpot.

  • March:

    hdden played at TryTone Festival, Amsterdam

    Live scored Karel Doing’s Images of a Moving City with Mt. Fuji Doomjazz Corporation at Melkweg, Amsterdam

    Recorded some trompei for Kira Kira’s upcoming album

  • April:

    Two week European tour with Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble

    Made test recordings with Knalpot

  • May:

    Show with Binary Orchid at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam

    Lots of trumpet practice, trying to internalize Malte Burba’s teachings, lots of lying on the floor and breathing. (It really works.)

    Worked on a laptop/trumpet solo set

  • June:

    Múm goes to Japan, plays a wonderful show at Taico Club festival in Nagano. Get lost inside a maze with Alex Smoke

    While in Tokyo, play a secret (actually secret) improv set with Róbert Reynisson, Wata Igarashi and a friend at a tiny bar in Shibuya

  • July:

    Show with Kippi Kaninus in Reykjavík

    Did string arrangements for múm’s movie soundtrack for an as-yet-unnanounced film

    Did sound for an installation with Irene Ósk Bermudez and Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir at LungA festival in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland

    Also did a lovely set with Kippi Kaninus and Bogomil Font at said festival

    Performance with Kira Kira at Thomas Pausz’s Hortus Praxis exhibition at the MUDAM museum in Luxembourg

  • August:

    Working on string and brass arrangements for Sin Fang’s upcoming album

    Recorded some trumpet for upcoming Borko album

    After years of watching from the sidelines, I finally got serious about learning how to become a developer, started an undergraduate course in Computer Science at Reykjavik University. (Doing it by distance learning. Drastic, I know.)

  • September:

    Sin Fang string and brass recordings! Also played some trumpet on that one.

  • October:

    Show with The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble in Essen

    Shows with múm in Warsaw and Istanbul

  • November:

    Show with The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble in Athens, Greece

  • December:

    Recorded trumpet for Gyða Valtýsdóttir’s upcoming album

    Tried my hand at making a vst plugin (Ha! didn’t work! Damn you, JUCE framework!)


  • January:

    Show with The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble at the Rumour festival in Utrecht

  • February:

    Show with Binary Orchid in Eindhoven

    Live scoring the movie Tuvalu with Kira Kira at the Artium in Vitoria, Spain

It wasn’t my busiest year musically, but a good one nonetheless. It was especially fun doing a bunch of string and brass arrangements for Sin Fang and múm. And it was refreshing not to tour my life away.

Regrets: I’ve had a few. Especially chickening out on working on my near-imaginary solo set. Now there’s a dragon to be slayed! Also, I’d like to achieve something tangible with audio programming.

Overall, it was a good year. And 2012 looks to be great as well, lots of exciting stuff in the pipes. Maybe I’ll poke a hole in that dragon!

Whew! Clean slate! Where do I go from here?


Jan 27, 2011

Return of the Ptarmigan

The first thing I did when I came to Reykjavík back in December was to haul my person downtown and play a short duo set with visiting trumpet player Jacob Wick.  Thanks to the magic of modern communication, the gig is now on the internet for all to hear!  It’s on Jacob’s website, right about here.


Jan 24, 2011


I’ve been spending a few weeks in Iceland.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt an authentic Icelandic January (I’ve been geographically removed for a few years now), but I can safely report that it has not ceased to be a depressing, horrid time of the year.  But I digress.  What I really meant to say is that this coming Saturday I’m playing the music of Kira Kira with a whole bunch of awesome people.  Let’s list these awesome people, then:

Kira Kira - musical laptop pop opportunity (say it three times fast)

Hilmar Jensson - Electric Guitar

Pétur Hallgrímsson - Slide Guitar

Jóel Pálsson - Contrabass Clarinet

Borgar Magnason - Contrabass

Óttar Sæmundsen - Contrabass

Samuli Kosminen - Drums, whatnot

Urs truly - trumpet, tenor horn and loops.

The whole shebang can be read about in scant detail on this here web-site.

I’ve also been doing some other nice stuffs: I had a great time recording for Sin Fang’s next LP (not the one he’s releasing soon, but the next one.  Is a man possessed, he is).  I also did some recording for The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble’s upcoming album, currently being funded by Pledgemusic.  It’s a funny new way of financing albums.  While I’ve never pledged on an album, I did pledge on a photo book recently and, as a keen adventurer and economic thrill-seeker, found the whole process really satisfying and exciting.  I urge you to take a look at The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble’s Pledgemusic page and check it out.  It’s going to be a great album.


Dec 3, 2010

Imminent broth

Hello! Just a quick update to this barren, lovelorn part of the yondernet: I’m playing at the Zaal 100 in Amsterdam with some great people this Tuesday (Dec 7th):

Jacob Wick (NYC) trumpet

Mark Morse (UK/Amsterdam) guitar

Jasper Stadhouders (Amsterdam) guitar

Onno Govaert (Amsterdam) drums

Mark Morse is keeping a very nice practice diary on his site.  My favorite is this post about the sound his camera makes when up close to the guitar pickup.

Show starts at 21:00.


Nov 19, 2010

Do you know The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble? They come from Holland, essentially, and they play a brooding, moody kind of live-electronic music.  I did a short tour with them last week, and it was a total blast.  The drummer is the great Hungarian Balaz Pandi, who’s currently playing drums with Merzbow.  Balaz is no stranger to darkness, and at the end of a long day in Budapest, his head still spinning after witnessing a man dying from a heart attack in the tram, he showed me this video.


Nov 1, 2010

Taken on last month’s Seabear tour in the US.