Hi my name is Halldór Eldjárn and I am a musician and a programmer. I studied in Univeristy of Iceland where I got my bachelor’s degree in computer science, and I also finished music college, on drums and percussion. So I’m a percussionist and a computer programmer, which I think is a fun combination. It means I can understand both the unbridled world of music and creativity, while possessing the power of being able to create computer programs and tools. This is what I mainly do in my work. I’ve composed music and traveled the world with my band Sykur for over a decade, but recently I’ve been getting in to the world of installations and composing music as a solo musician. I am currently working on my first solo album, which is scheduled to be released early 2019.
My work takes place somewhere at the boundaries of art and technology. Music can be understood and represented through numbers, which makes it easy to use computers to aid with the composition of music. Often I get inspiration and discover new possibilities by listening to the output of a generative music program, and that affects my creative sense and drives me in directions that I would not have discovered on my own.
Project: POCO APOLLO
“In POCO APOLLO, my online generative music piece, I used a library of photos and let the computer turn them in to music. The photos are from NASA’s Apollo space missions, 15.000 of them. What I did was compose an algorithm that looks at and tries to understand the picture, selects musical notes, rhythm and atmosphere to fit with the picture. The result is 15.000 short musical pieces. The website shows you a random photo slowly fading in while playing the music generated from that photo. I have not heard all of the music pieces, and I think it would take about 2 weeks to listen to them all. But I have selected four of my favourite tunes from that library and am preparing a release on vinyl, played live by a small orchestra.”