Thursday, September 10, 2015

4 star review - Castle in Air - Concert

Hello friends. 

I´ve translated the Castle In Air review which was published this morning and written by renowned Icelandic critic Jónas Sen (, who give us 4 out of 5 stars. Happy day.

The concert poster and flyer, which
will also be used for my upcoming album.
"A young man placed himself in front of the audience in Kaldalón Hall, Harpa last Sunday. This was Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson who is currently studying doctoral degree composition at the Guildhall School in London. A concert was about to commence featuring 5 pieces by him.

The introduction was quite unorthodox. What you read in connection with new pieces of music is often dry and academic. Intangible descriptions on development and leading motives, pitch-webs and chord clusters, fugues and other incomprehensible techniques. The layman seldom understands any of that. But Helgi presented his music into a whole different context. He created a fairy-tale, told us the story of a castle which someone entered, started up, made fly into the sky and hovered over the lands. We could see and hear all sorts of things from the castle, that´s what the music was about. This picturesque scene helped make the musical works easily understood. You walked into a fairy-tale world where each and every music phrase had a meaning.

The pieces were for different instrument combinations, violin, cello, viola or piano. The cello and piano were the most prominent. Guðný Jónasdóttir played the cello but Matthildur Anna Gísladóttir the piano. The forenamed played expressively and the piano playing was lively. All the other performers had their playing under control as well. 
From top left: Kristín Þóra Pétursdóttir, Helga Þóra
Björgvinsdóttir, Matthildur Anna Gísladóttir, Jonathan Larson,
Guðný Jónasdóttir and Pétur Björnsson.

If this music would had been performed 20 years ago, Helgi would had been crucified. You could hear melodies and simple meters, even repetition. Such things were not easily recognized back then, which is why contemporary music was hated by the general public. The good news is, this is not the case any more. Helgi began his music career by studying vocal arts [I actually start by playing the Euponium years earlier], which could explain the melodic elements in his music. The melodies were inconspicuously catchy, not like in a pop song however. There was nothing banal about the music: all sorts of clever nuances were introduced and the narrative was exciting and surprising. 

Helgi´s music carries the composer´s strong personal style. The tonality was, as I have already said, quite traditional, but far from being a cliché. Helgi had a lot on his mind, and he went his own way in delivering his message. The frame echoed the past, but the inspiration was completely unique. I´m looking forward to see what Helgi will do in the future." - Jónas Sen.

-Taken from Fréttablaðið, 10.09.15, p.47.

The set-up for my Castle in Air concert.
Matthildur Anna Gísladóttir warming up on the piano.

The original article - in Icelandic

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Find me on instagram under ´Helgi_composer´ :

See you there.

Best wishes.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Évariste Moodsetter #2

A moodsetter for my ÉVARISTE OPERA.
From the book ´Évariste Galois 1811-1832 (Vita Mathematica)´

"Evariste Galois' short life was lived against the turbulent background of the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne of France, the 1830 revolution in Paris and the accession of Louis-Phillipe. It took more than seventy years to fully understand the French mathematician's first mémoire (published in 1846) which formulated the famous "Galois theory" concerning the solvability of algebraic equations by radicals, from which group theory would follow. Obscurities in his other writings - mémoires and numerous fragments of extant papers - persist and his ideas challenge mathematicians to this day."

Check out moodsetter #1 here:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Évariste Opera moodsetter #1: The duel at dawn

A moodsetter for my Évariste Opera:
From the book "The duel at dawn":

"In the fog of a Paris dawn in 1832, Évariste Galois, the 20-year-old founder of modern algebra, was shot and killed in a duel. That gunshot [...] marked the end of one era in mathematics and the beginning of another. [...] not even the purest mathematics can be separated from its cultural background, [...] In the eighteenth century [...] mathematicians were idealized as child-like, eternally curious, and uniquely suited to reveal the hidden harmonies of the world. But in the nineteenth century, brilliant mathematicians like Galois became Romantic heroes like poets, artists, and musicians. The ideal mathematician was now an alienated loner, driven to despondency by an uncomprehending world. A field that had been focused on the natural world now sought to create its own reality."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Piece for trumpet and wind band

Jóhann Nardeau

I hereby humbly announce that I recently received generous support from Tónskáldasjóður RÚV (Icelandic National Broadcaster´s composer´s fund) and Lista- og Menningarráð Kópavogsbæjar (Kópavogur-town Arts Council) to fund my piece for trumpet and wind ensemble which will be premiered in Harpa Reykjavik Concert and Conference Centre March, 2016. Soloist will be the talented Johann Nardeau and conductor will be Össur Geirsson, my good old mentor.