Icelandic pianist and composer, Eydís Evensen released her much anticipated second album ‘The Light’ on 26th May via XXIM Records. Following on from her successful 2021 debut ‘Bylur’, which put her firmly on the map as one of neo-classical’s leading artists and which has amassed over 40 million audio streams to date and her subsequent 2022 EP ‘Frost’, ‘The Light’ further expands on this young artist’s scope for talent and expression, presenting her not only as a pianist, arranger and lyricist but also for the first time as a vocalist.
Press release by Crossover Media
Evensen cites two underlying themes to the ‘The Light’: it is both a deep reflection on the rough and rugged landscapes of Iceland and how they have shaped her personality, as it is a personal expression of a sense of hope and brighter times following hardship. Both are represented by the theme of light – the inner light that guides us and the natural light, so rare in the dark Icelandic winters. Written from personal experience at a time of relief and closure in her own life, Evensen is passing on here a message of both personal and collective hope and resilience to her listeners that better must come. Having dealt with personal challenges in the very best way she knows how – at the piano, making music, this cathartic experience of intense composition and performance has culminated in ‘The Light’.
‘The Light’ reflects Evensen’s deep attachment to the rough landscapes and weather conditions of her native Iceland and how its unique environment impacts and shapes the people who live there. The title of the first single ‘Tephra Horizon’ – released today to announce the new album – refers to the extraordinary imprint left on a landscape by volcanic ash from a single eruption. Her inspiration behind this powerful track featuring interwoven piano, brass and strings is her witnessing the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption of 2021 with its potentially destructive power and dramatic outcome.
In the accompanying video directed by Einar Egilsson we see Evensen returning to a site near the eruption, dancing on the tephra layer, as if claiming the territory as her own. Evensen has spoken of the impact on her work of both the ancient Icelandic choral tradition and also its time-honoured poetry tradition, going back to the famous sagas from the earliest days of settlement on the remote island. For ‘The Light’ she wrote a choral piece – based on one of her own poems – entitled ‘The Light II’, performed here by acclaimed Icelandic choir Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis. The first part refers to “a beautiful light that froze” to which the second part returns, heralding “the beautiful light still survives”. Her own singing voice can be heard on her song ‘Dreaming of Light’, for which Evensen also penned the lyrics.
‘The Light’ is a very personal and emotional album for Eydís Evensen and is a true reflection of this musician of ever-growing maturity and accomplishment as she presents her listeners with a dynamic, wide and colourful palette that ranges from swirling strings to mesmerising song and takes them on a journey across Icelandic time and space and shows them that truly even a little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.
For more information and music samples, visit eydis-evensen.com.