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Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Publisher: Chester Music

In the Light of Air (2014)
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
40 Minutes
Programme Note
Anna Thorvaldsdottir In the Light of Air (2014)
1. Luminance
2. Serenity
3. Existence
4. Remembrance

In the Light of Air is a tetralogy of works that together form a unified structure. The four movements are connected by transitions to form a seamless flow throughout the work. The work has a Prologue and an Epilogue.

The work streams from one movement to the next through a flowing texture of sound materials and harmonies. The musical material is constructed with a focus on subtle nuances and poetic textures that form lyrical gestures throughout the work. Melodies are generated just as much by sounds, gestures and nuances as by pitched lyrical material.

For the work, I designed an installation of metallic ornaments that are used in a solo in the percussion part in Remembrance. The ornaments, called Klakabönd in Icelandic (which translates as “a bind in ice”), were created by Svana Jósepsdóttir.

Parts of Remembrance insisted on echoing the melody of a song that my husband – Hrafn – wrote and dedicated to me in 2000. I am deeply thankful for this presence in the work.

In the light of Air was written for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2013/14 as part of their ICElab. The light constellation that accompanies the performance was designed in collaboration with ICE. The work was premiered at the Reykjavik Arts Festival on 25 May 2014.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

The four main movements of the work - Luminance, Serenity, Existence and Remembrance may be performed individually

Audio files and technical information are available from the publisher. Optional lighting and Klakabönd installations are also available for performance with this work. For further information please contact

Anna Thorvaldsdottir and ICE - In the Light of Air from ICE on Vimeo.

Preview the score:

  • Ensemble
    International Contemporary Ensemble
    Sono Luminus:
  • 11 DEC 2018
    The Pulitzer Foundation, St. Louis, MO
    St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    12 December - The Pulitzer Foundation, St. Louis, MO
  • 10 AUG 2018
    Breckenridge Music Festival
    Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge, CO
    Breckenridge Festival Orchestra
    Steven Schick, conductor
  • 12 APR 2018
    Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City, UT
    Repertory Dance Theatre

    Other Dates:
    13,14 April - Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City, UT
  • 23 MAR 2018
    Big Ears Festival
    Knoxville, TN
    International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 08 DEC 2017
    In the Light of Air UK Premiere
    Spitalfields Festival 2017
    St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, London
    London Contemporary Orchestra
  • 08 OCT 2016
    Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
    San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
  • 06 JAN 2016
    The Evolution Contemporary Music Series
    Baltimore, MD
    ad hoc ensemble for ECMS
  • 26 SEP 2015
    Nordic Music Days
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 13 JUN 2015
    Ojai Festival
    Ojai, CA
    International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 25 APR 2015
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
    International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 19 AUG 2014
    In the Light of Air New York Premiere
    Shades of Silence New York Premiere
    into - Second Self
    Park Avenue Armory, New York City
    International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 29 MAY 2014
    In the Light of Air US Premiere
    Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington D.C.
    International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 25 MAY 2014
    In the Light of Air World Premiere
    Reykjavik Arts Festival
    Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland
    International Contemporary Ensemble

…this rumbling, evocative music by composer Anna Thorvaldsdottír seems grounded deep in the beautifully austere landscapes of her native Iceland.
Tom Huizenga, NPR Music,19/08/2015
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