The Dialogues: Anna Thorvaldsdottir

by 5:4

i’m excited to present a new instalment in my series The Dialogues. On this occasion, i’m in conversation with Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, whose music has become increasingly well-known in recent years. In the UK, her work has started to appear with more frequency on concert programmes, and there’s a chance to hear her most recent orchestral work, METACOSMOS, at the Proms over the summer (and a CD including the piece will be coming out around the same time). While her reputation is growing, detailed explorations and studies of her work are pretty scarce, so our Dialogue will, i hope, substantially increase understanding of Anna’s musical outlook, intentions and methods.

We met at her home at the end of November last year, and i want to express my appreciation to Anna, her husband Hrafn, and to their beautiful cat Mosi (who sharp-eared listeners will briefly hear at one point) for their generous time and hospitality. i’m also very grateful to Sam Wilcock at Music Sales for festooning me with assorted scores and recordings to help with my research and preparation for the Dialogue. For more information about Anna’s music, check out her website, she also has a YouTube channel featuring a number of pieces, and there’s plenty available on Spotify.

As in all the Dialogues, i’ve included numerous excerpts of Anna’s music throughout to illustrate and elaborate upon the various topics of our discussion. A list of these excerpts, and the times when they occur, can be found below, together with links to buy the music. The Dialogue can be downloaded from the below link or streamed via Mixcloud.

List of excerpts:

  • 00:00:05 Dreaming (from Recurrence)
  • 00:11:20 Scape (from Aequa)
  • 00:15:16 Hrim (from Rhizōma)
  • 00:22:07 Fingerprints (from In Paradisum)
  • 00:27:19 Streaming Arhythmia (from Rhizōma)
  • 00:36:40 Aeriality (from Aerial)
  • 00:45:16 Dreaming (from Recurrence)
  • 00:51:05 Hidden – Inwards (from Rhizōma)
  • 00:57:41 Tactility (from Aerial)
  • 01:07:46 into – Second Self (from Aerial)
  • 01:15:51 Shades of Silence (from Clockworking)
  • 01:22:44 (from Speak, Be Silent)
  • 01:28:27 Impressions (from H e (a) r)
  • 01:34:32 aequilibria (from Aequa)
  • 01:40:19 Trajectories (from Aerial)
  • 01:45:03 In the Light of Air – 4. Remembrance (from In the Light of Air)
  • 01:50:26 Heyr þú oss himnum á (from Crossing Over)
  • 01:58:47 UR_ (currently unavailable)
  • 02:04:56 UR_ (currently unavailable)
  • 02:14:11 UR_ (currently unavailable)
  • 02:19:58 METACOSMOS (currently unavailable)
  • 02:24:34 Sequences (from Aequa)
  • 02:27:44 Ad genua (from Seven Responses)

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Fantastic. But I don’t see a link for the flac?


Thanks. Listening to this tonight while sitting in the rain will make my day.

David Sieber

Excellent. I first heard Anna’s work here through your site. Glad to see her reputation, and popularity, continue to grow.

An online score for Aeriality can be found here:

Thanks for bringing us all this great music.

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