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Musician

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason

Born:

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason is a pianist/composer of considerable distinction and finesse, creatively seeking to shun boundaries in style or genre. Across our forever-united European musical landscape, he builds collaborations that challenge and excite, including projects with friends and colleagues in the Scandinavian countries he has lived in and whose open, artistic culture is closely entwined with that of his Icelandic homeland. This singular musician’s focus produces original works which, while informed by jazz tradition, Nordic folksong and electronica, rise up from a wellspring of meticulously-shaped imaginings – ideas inspired by relentlessly searching improvisation, as well as the people he interacts with in daily life, and also the wonders of the natural environment. Embracing the infinitely explorable world of the classic jazz piano trio, Skúlason’s first two major albums – Skarkali (2015) and Fundur (2018) – invited listeners into a realm of spacial freedom and vibrant expression; and latest recording Tenging expands horizons further with a sparkling quintet (trumpet, guitar, piano, bass and drums) which weaves even greater textures and possibilities into his increasing musical vision. Intuition is uppermost in the pianist’s quest: “The excitement is in not really knowing! So rather than intentionally sitting down to compose, I investigate ideas and improvise at length

Album

Lessons

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2021
Track listing: Imperfect; Skinn; Sense; Andrúm; Kynnast; In My Arms; Impulsive; Havneringen; Dilemma; Best Wishes.

5

Article: Album Review

Ingi Bjarni: Lessons

Read "Lessons" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann


In the very brief liner notes accompanying this solo debut record, the Icelandic pianist-composer Ingi Bjarni Skúlason talks about the difficult challenge it proved, to record and produce his piano music all by himself. With regard to the timing of the recording, he admits he does not believe there is ever a “right time" for doing ...

6

Article: Album Review

Ingi Bjarni: Tenging

Read "Tenging" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Almost deliberately, Tenging doesn't make a terribly memorable impression at first. It is subtle enough not to stick in the listener's head and seems shorter than its respectable 42 minutes. This understated quintet recording is patient and quietly confident enough to exist in its own bubble. As it happens, that's exactly the point--Ingi Bjarni Skulason's approach ...

Album

Tenging

Label: Losen Records
Released: 2019
Track listing: Já í dag; Kannski blús; Ballad for My Fearless Friend; Á sunnudegi; Tenging; Angurvært; Falin laglína; Ekki þjóðlag, ekki jazz.

17

Article: Album Review

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason: Tenging

Read "Tenging" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann


Icelandic composer and pianist Ingi Bjarni Skúlason lived in Gotheburg, Copenhagen and Oslo while studying his Masters degree in composition. It is in these European cities where he met and performed with the musicians heard on this record. Jakob Eri Myhre and Merje Kägu join on trumpet and guitar with Daniel Andersson and Tore Ljøkelsøy forming ...

Album

Fundur

Label: Dot Time Records
Released: 2018
Track listing: Fundur; Hlaupa burtu; Þóf; Snúður; S306; Trump Waltz; Sakna norðurljósa; Mars.

7

Article: Album Review

Ingi Bjarni Trio: Fundur

Read "Fundur" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Hailing from Reykjavik, pianist and composer Ingi Bjarni fluidly melds the extreme landscapes of his native Iceland with an innate, resilient melodicism that shifts willfully within the body of his music like a slideshow of the wild Icelandic terrain. Translated roughly as 'finding/discovery' or 'to have found something' Fundur immediately captures the ear with ...

19

Article: Year in Review

Budd Kopman's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Budd Kopman's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Budd Kopman


Of the seventy or so albums I was fortunate to review this year (with many still waiting in the wings), the releases below (in chronological order) are those that moved me the most and hence that I remember the clearest, even after a year. The quality of the music is uniformly high, and leaving something off ...

12

Article: Album Review

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason: Skarkali

Read "Skarkali" reviewed by Budd Kopman


Prediction: pianist/composer Ingi Bjarni Skúlason and his music will eventually end up on ECM. This is not because he is from Iceland, but rather that he, even at his young age, has a fully developed, recognizable style. Skarkali, which literally means “loud noises," is a piano trio recording that is anything but noise, and ...


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