Bedroom Community

Valgeir Sigurðsson

Valgeir Sigurðsson's boundless approach to music informs his work as composer, musician, engineer and mixer. In high demand as a producer, Valgeir has spent over a decade cultivating projects by diverse international artists whilst developing his own particular magic brand of recording artistry – now with three solo albums to his name. Valgeir is the founder of the Bedroom Community record label as well as Iceland’s top recording facility Greenhouse Studios where his collaborators include Björk, Feist, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Camille, CocoRosie, The Magic Numbers, múm and many others.

Valgeir's formative years in a small Icelandic village proved fertile soil for his forays into self-taught recording technology; he studied classical guitar and plays keyboards, bass, percussion as well as electronics/programming. In 1991 he earned a Tonmeister degree from London’s SAE Institute. His career flourished in 1998 when fellow countrywoman Björk requested him 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.

Valgeir founded record label and collective Bedroom Community in 2006 with Nico Muhly and Ben Frost, later adding Sam Amidon, Daníel Bjarnason, Puzzle Muteson, Paul Corley, Nadia Sirota and James McVinnie to the roster. After years of success in the recording industry, Valgeir debuted his own album Ekvílibríum, which The Fader Magazine heralded as “a singular album, as ornate as it is direct.” In 2009, collective members Valgeir and Muhly co-composed and premiered Scent Opera for New York City's Guggenheim Museum. In 2010, Bedroom Community released an album of Valgeir's documentary soundtrack for Dreamland (Draumalandið). Valgeir then wrote Nebraska for the Chiara Quartet and scored Architecture of Loss by choreographer Stephen Petronio, the latter which was released in September 2012. Valgeir's works are available from Benjamin Britten-founded Faber Music.

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...

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Photo by Samantha West

What the press says

The music [...] can sound chill and eerie: there’s singing, echoing, rasping, crackling. At times, the piano emits single, spaced-out notes that sound like water dripping resoundingly on ice in a momentary thaw.

Arts Journal (June 21st 2012) Read all reviews

Hypnotic

New York Press (June 21st 2012) Read all reviews

Cool and haunting.

danceviewtimes (June 21st 2012) Read all reviews

A spare, melancholy, original score.

Solomons Says (June 21st 2012) Read all reviews

“…a staggeringly beautiful collection of heavyweight, noise-inflected classicist compositions….Fascinating and adventurous, we have a welcome foil to the overtly pretty side of modern classical music and a superb body of work in its own right.”

Squealer (August 22nd 2012) Read all reviews

...Sigurðsson appears to bridge the gap between the primarily electronic textures and ambience of his debut and the sweeping orchestral feel of his second album to create a vastly different set up, which intrigues and fascinates in equal measures.

The Milk Factory (September 12th 2012) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

...brilliantly harrowing

The Wire (September 14th 2012) Read all reviews

...a gorgeous album

Erik Otis — Sound Colour Vibration (September 14th 2012) Read all reviews

...Architecture of Loss is so dense, subtly varied and even ambiguous that to try and tie it down is an exercise in futility. Best to relax and bask in the numerous moments of touching, and troubling, beauty that run through its 10 mini-suites.

The Liminal (September 17th 2012) Read all reviews

The execution of production is second to none and bears all the hallmarks of [Valgeir’s] visceral, expansive sound design across its 10 diverse and striking parts.

Boomkat (September 18th 2012) Read all reviews

For Architecture Of Loss [Valgeir’s] turned off the computer and gone straight for your heart with strings. The result is, as you can imagine, rather downbeat but delightful in ways that you’d expect from an Icelandic man with such a resume.

Drowned In Sound (September 20th 2012) Read all reviews

A mind-numbingly beautiful take on your neoclassical thing utilising piano, wonderfully evocative viola/violin and plenty of…space.

Norman Records (September 21st 2012) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Architecture Of Loss is moving, beautiful and thought-provoking. It commands your attention, admiration and respect, transcending the noises in the speakers, becoming something that symbolises loss and grief through the medium of music.

Larry Day — Bearded Magazine (September 21st 2012) Read all reviews

“Architecture of Loss” offers a powerful and philosophically driven narrative at once sublime and disconcerting.

Q2 (September 24th 2012) Read all reviews

An album at once lyrical and avant-garde, full and concise, epic and contemplative, melodic and noisy…

Indie Rock Mag (September 25th 2012) Read all reviews

Architecture of Loss pits gravely emotive chamber music against furtive electronic frequencies.

Brian Howe — Pitchfork (September 28th 2012) ★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Architecture of Loss is a leap forwards in sound and form for Valgeir Sigurðsson, a massively confident statement, icily beautiful. Recommended!

John Boursnell — Fluid Radio (September 30th 2012) Read all reviews

Sigurðsson has created a soundscape that is coherent, timeless, and thrilling…This album is sparse yet deeply layered, foreboding yet hopeful, dense yet melodic. It is, quite simply, beautiful, heartwarming and a masterpiece.

Jez Collins — PopMatters (December 7th 2012) ★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

On Architecture Of Loss [...] Sigurðsson’s sound is even more mature, reflective and measured…As with the rest of Bedroom Community’s quality catalog, this is not an album to be missed.

Headphone Commute (December 18th 2012) Read all reviews

“...an exquisite, often programmatic work in instrumental and digital processes. Built on a ballet, the sense of movement and gesture is intact even in its sparest moments.”

Create Digital Music (December 26th 2012) Read all reviews

“...an indulgence in the best sense…Architecture of Loss lives up to its title as an aural meditation on not just loss but destabilization, an architecture coming apart.”

Ned Raggett — AllMusic (January 3rd 2013) Read all reviews

A true musical creation from one of music’s most gifted and essential modern composers.

Fractured Air (January 24th 2013) Read all reviews

I’ve fallen in love with the LP

Stereophile (February 22nd 2013) Read all reviews

 Here, Sigurðsson adopts a restrained approach to the soundtrack to a particularly grave film, and he does so with great lucidity, underlying the content with powerful yet discreet touches. His greatest achievement is to manage to give the music an identity away from the images it was written for.  

The Milk Factory (February 24th 2010) ★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

 On Draumalandid, a soundtrack for a new Icelandic environmental documentary, Valgeir Sigurðsson goes the extra mile to produce work that stands up against the best of its genre.  

Brian Howe — Pitchfork (March 3rd 2010) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Sigurðsson’s touch is at its most precise here, crafting an emotional weight that is moving, but not overstated. With such a keen ear for composition and flow, Sigurðsson has created a score that sounds remarkably evocative of the film’s main themes, while still able to stand alone as an album. At the very least, Draumalandið is another brilliant showcase of Bedroom Community’s burgeoning potential.    

“Draumalandið is a forceful and poignant piece of work, and as part of the larger film project its quite outstanding.”

Matt Poacher — The Line of Best Fit (March 16th 2010) Read all reviews

“Starting with a vocal number and ending with harrowing bombast, this soundtrack covers a lot of ground with grace…”

Greg Argo — Adequacy (June 22nd 2010) Read all reviews

“...everything about this collection of feelings, emotions and resonant creative constructions is pretty much immaculate.”

Joe Shooman — Grapevine (September 2nd 2010) Read all reviews

"The strength of Ekvílibríum is in the organic way [Sigurðsson] weds the electronic to the human... The result is a singular album, as ornate as it is direct."

Alex Waxman — The Fader Magazine (May 1st 2007) Read all reviews

"...almost collapses under the power of its own trembling beauty... Valgeir Sigurðsson delivers his bonded masterpiece... prepare to be dazzled."

George Bass — god is in the tv (June 21st 2007) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"Valgeir Sigurðsson is the most welcoming and thoughtful of hosts and, as he leads his companions through various narratives, he orchestrates one of the most exhilarating and perfect records you’ll hear this year."

themilkman — The Milk Factory (August 3rd 2007) Read all reviews

"an album for all connoisseurs of recorded sound, marrying exceptional electronic detail with real instrumentation on a grand scale."

Boomkat — Boomkat (September 1st 2007) Read all reviews

"...this is wonderful stuff"

Danny Clark — The Times (September 29th 2007) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Media

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Between Monuments

‘Between Monuments’ by Valgeir Sigurðsson
(Architecture Of Loss, 2012).

Video directed by Thomas Pons (prod : L’ogre).
Additional Animation:
Julie Stephen Chheng // Natalianne Boucher // Sarah Escamilla.
thomaspons.blogspot.fr

Between Monuments (live)

“Between Monuments” from Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Architecture Of Loss.
Performed live at Parterre, Basel by Valgeir Sigurðsson with Liam Byrne.
Video by Gordon Bell (gordypops.com)

Everything Everywhere All The Time - Trailer

This is a trailer for the Bedroom Community film Everything Everywhere All The Time.
With Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson.
Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
Directed by Pierre-Alain Giraud.

Sam Amidon - How Come That Blood (live)

A live performance of Sam Amidon’s How Come That Blood. Footage shot in Brussels on the Bedroom Community’s Whale Watching Tour. Also featured in this piece are Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson.

Shot and edited by Pierre-Alain Giraud and Stuart Rogers.

Whale Watching 2010 Tour Trailer

Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson return with this wondrous concert-series through Europe, starting at Berlin’s Admiralspalast on the 18th April and ending in The National Theater in Reykjavík on 16th May. Also featuring Nadia Sirota.

Video by Pierre-Alain Giraud & Stuart Rogers.

Ben Frost - Híbakúsja

Performed during the Whale Watching Tour 2009, Brussels.
With Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson. Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
Video by Pierre-Alain Giraud & Stuart Rogers.

Valgeir Sigurðsson - Past Tundra

Whale Watching Tour 2009 in Leipzig.
Valgeir Sigurðsson with Sam Amidon, Ben Frost and Nico Muhly.
Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
Video by Stuart Rogers and Pierre-Alain Giraud.

Whale Watching Tour 2009

Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson. Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
European tour November 2009.
Video by Pierre-Alain Giraud and Stuart Rogers.

Valgeir Sigurðsson & Dawn McCarthy - Winter Sleep

Winter Sleep by Valgeir Sigurðsson featuring Dawn McCarthy. From the album Ekvílibríum.
Video by Pierre-Alain Giraud.

Valgeir Sigurðsson & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy - Evolution Of Waters

Song by Valgeir Sigurðsson featuring Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Video director/animator: Una Lorenenzen

Ekvílibríum - Preview Trailer #2

The second preview trailer from Valgeir Sigurðsson’s ‘Ekvílibríum’. This one features vocals by J. Walker and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

Ekvílibríum - Preview Trailer #1

A preview of the music from Valgeir Sigurðsson’s album ‘Ekvilibrium’ released by Bedroom Community. A behind-the-scenes look into the recording process.

Hi-res photo

Latest News

25 June 2013

New Valgeir Video

29 April 2013

Valgeir Supporting CocoRosie

7 January 2013

Valgeir On Tour

Discography

Architecture Of Loss
Released on 17 September 2012
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Draumalandið
Released on 2 March 2010
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Ekvílibríum
Released on 27 May 2007
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Mailing List

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Upcoming events

Jun 17

No Nights Dark Enough
with Valgeir Sigurðsson
Village Underground
London (United Kingdom)

On the web

  • Find out more on Valgeir Sigurðsson’s website
  • Check out Valgeir Sigurðsson’s page on Facebook
  • Follow Valgeir Sigurðsson on Twitter
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