The Scent Opera, a strange olfactory & music collaboration that dates back to 2009, is the first release on Bedroom Community’s HVALREKI digital-series. Written by Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurðsson for Green Aria: A Scent Opera. ‘An opera for your nose’ by Stewart Matthew and perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Premiered at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in August 2009, this is the first time the recording has been released.
The opera’s premise is that a sequence of smells guides us through a oblique parable about industrialisation, through short episodic bursts of information. Some smells are dirty, like the rubber of a train in Paris, and others are classically blended harmonically well-rounded scents. Occasionally, a clean, neutral, pure sound arrives as a little flute-scented garden which should have the effect of clearing the chaos of the surrounding music (and, indeed, smells).
Nadia Sirota and Helgi Hrafn Jónsson join us as two of the essential voices that bind the narrative together. The multivalent collaboration yielded many surprising results: a 14-minute score that is funny, aggressive, shape-shifting, electronic, acoustic, and strange.
from Scent Opera
track released August 5, 2016
August 5, 2016
Composed by Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurðsson
Produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson
Orchestrated & Conducted by Nico Muhly
Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Valgeir Sigurðsson at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík
Trombone, Vocals: Helgi Hrafn Jónsson
Solo Viola: Nadia Sirota
Solo Bass: Borgar Magnason
Marimba, Vibraphone, Tubafone: Frank Aarnink
Harp: Katie Buckley
Kristín Björg Ragnarsdóttir
Rósa Hrund Guðmundsdóttir
Hrafkell Orri Egilsson
Cello: Júlía Mogensen
Bass Clarinet: Snorri Heimisson
Piano, Celesta, Dulcitone, Glockenspien, Percussion: Nico Muhly
Programming, Synth:Valgeir Sigurðsson
Artwork by Muriel McDonald
Nico Muhly published by St. Rose Music Publishing Co., Inc.
Valgeir Sigurðsson published by Faber Music Ltd.