Producer and composer Valgeir Sigurðsson has been making musical noise for as long as he can remember, and professionally for over two decades. His formative years in a small Icelandic village proved fertile soil for his forays into self-taught recording technology, constantly refining his own recording artistry and composition, with three solo albums to his name, Ekvílibríum (2007), Draumalandið (2010) and Architecture of Loss (2013). Valgeir studied classical guitar and in 1991 he earned a ‘Tonmeister' degree from London’s SAE Institute.
Valgeir is the founder of the Bedroom Community record label and Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík, where he has established an influential sonic signature with recording techniques that push the boundaries of contemporary and neo-classical music production. Frequently pairing acoustic instruments with electronics, his scores have been performed by the likes of The Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Crash Ensemble, Chiara Quartet, City of London Sinfonia and Nordic Affect.
Works for theatre and dance include music for directors Falk Richter and James Dacre, and choreographers Stephen Petronio, Pieter C. Scholten and Emio Greco. Valgeir has also written music for film and TV, including the environmental documentary Draumalandið (Dreamland) by Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason, from which his most frequently performed orchestral work, the Dreamland Suite for Orchestra, is drawn. Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists, Valgeir's opera based on text by Canadian poet A. Rawlings, was staged at the Reykjavík Arts Festival in 2014. Scored for 3 singers; Alexi Murdoch, Sasha Siem and Ásgerður Júníusdóttir, Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists won the Music Theatre Now 2016 award.
His career began flourishing in 1998 when he was hired by Björk as engineer and programmer for Lars Von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark soundtrack, a monumental project that combined Valgeir’s passion for electronic, orchestral and film music. The soundtrack’s “I’ve Seen It All,” Björk’s duet with Thom Yorke, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Valgeir’s musical relationship as one of Björk’s primary studio collaborators from 1998 to 2006 thrived through contributions to her albums Selmasongs, Vespertine, Medúlla, and Drawing Restraint 9. A prolific collaborator, he works constantly with others, having produced and mixed every Bedroom Community release as well as participating in production of albums with musicians such as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Feist, Anohni (Antony Hegarty), Tim Hecker, CocoRosie, Sasha Siem and Damon Albarn. His mastering credits include Oneohtrix Point Never, Alarm Will Sound and yMusic, to name a few.
In all of his projects, Valgeir bends and blends familiar sounds to expose the new within the known, lending depth to pop and mainstream music through care and an ear for esoteric, eclectic sonic experimentation. His aural oeuvre and collaborative contributions collide organic with synthetic, acoustic with digital, connection with isolation, and domestic with ethereal – resulting in a body of work ripe with emotion, curiosity, and humanity.
Credits include: Damon Albarn, Sam Amidon, Rafiq Bhatia, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Björk, Daníel Bjarnason, Ane Brun, Call me Kat, Camille, CocoRosie, Feist, Ben Frost, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Hilary Hahn & Hauschka, Kate Havnevik, Alias Hilsum, Howie B, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Helgi Jónsson, Kronos Quartet, Ingrid Lukas, Machine Translations, Mia Maestro,The Magic Numbers, Magga Stína, Maps, Megas, Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards, Motion Boys, Erica Mou, Mr.Fogg, Nico Muhly, múm, Kate Nash, Njúton, Olivia Pedroli, Puzzle Muteson, Quarashi, Reykjavík!, Sigur Rós, Sleeping Dog, Slowblow, Sprengjuhöllin, Stars Like Fleas, Aaron Thomas, Unun, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, yMusic...
Photo by Magnus Anderson