Hilda Örvars’ long awaited first solo album contains enchanting Christmas songs from Iceland and Scandinavia in mesmerizing arrangements by the world known film composer, Atli Örvarsson, performed by some of Iceland’s best musicians.
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Team

Helga Kvam

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Hilda Örvars Christmas album

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  • Arrangements
  • Recordings at Akureyri Church
  • Other recordings
  • Mixing and Mastering
  • Title for the album
  • Album design and layout
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution and marketing
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Further Information

When I decided that it was the time to make a solo album, I wanted to try and join together the elements that have played the biggest roles in my musical creativity the last few years. On one hand, the enchanting and magical world of film music that I have been working on with my brother Atli and on the other hand the sincerity and fondness that runs through all the work I do with Eyþór, both at the sorrowful and happy events and ceremonies we work at. I feel that Christmas does join those things, Christmas time is magical full of joy along with a bit of melancholy. Atli and Eyþór joined me on this album and we had no problem figuring out that Akureyri Church should be our recording venue, it is a magical place every day with all it’s beauty and unique acoustics. Right from the first day of recording, the album took on a life of it’s own, carving a distinct artistic path and pushed us to really look at what it is we cherish most about Christmas; whether it is the soft, fluffy snowfall on Christmas Eve, the respect for the nature beginning yet another circle at Winter’s Solstice or the pensiveness that steals quietly into our hearts on New Years Eve.

I hope with all my heart that this album will bring you all the things you love most about Christmas.

HILDA
Þórhildur Örvarsdóttir is an Icelandic vocalist with a voice of rare beauty and clarity. She grew up surrounded by musicians in the family which made the choice to dedicate her life to music an easy one. Her professional career started at the young age of 14 and since then she has worked in fields as diverse as opera, world music, jazz and film, both as a soloist and a member of various ensembles. Since finishing her studies at the Complete Vocal Institute in Copenhagen, she has also become a prominent educator and vocal coach and has given masterclasses in Iceland and around Scandinavia, in addition to coaching many of Iceland's top singers.
Hilda's immense diversity and immaculate technique as a vocalist, combined with her stunning voice, have made her a favorite collaborator of many film composers and she's been a featured soloists on film scores such as Man of Steel (Hans Zimmer), The Eagle, Babylon AD, Mortal Instruments, Colette (Atli Örvarsson) and 300: Rise of an Empire (Junkie XL).

The stark natural beauty of Iceland continues to inspire Hilda and is mirrored in her love for the traditional folk songs and ethnic music of this volcanic island in the middle of the North Atlantic. She has found an outlet for this passion as the lead singer of world music group Torrek, which combines Icelandic and Celtic music traditions with electronic ambient soundscape, producing a mesmerizing and unique result.

ATLI
Originally from the small town of Akureyri, Atli Örvarsson became established in the local music scene at a young age. He earned three platinum and two gold records as a member of the Icelandic band Salin hans Jons mins before studying film composing at Berklee College of Music and the North Carolina School of the Arts. He excelled in composing and was awarded the Pete Carpenter Fellowship, which brought him to Los Angeles. He began working alongside TV veteran Mike Post on NYPD Blue and three Law and Order brands. Soon after that, Atli met composer Hans Zimmer, who extended an invitation to join his team at Remote Control Studios. Atli’s accolades include several ASCAP & BMI Film & TV Music Awards and he was nominated for the prestigious World Soundtrack Academy’s “Discovery of the Year Award” for his score for Babylon A.D.
As a composer, Atli Örvarsson displays musical diversity throughout his action-film scores in The Eagle, Vantage Point, Babylon A.D., the Morgan Freeman caper Thick as Thieves, The Fourth Kind, and the Nicolas Cage medieval fantasy Season of the Witch. Atli’s most recent credits include The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, darkly funny Icelandic family and sheep drama Rams, the drama/thriller A Single Shot starring Sam Rockwell and the hit NBC series Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.

EYÞÓR
Eyþór Ingi Jónsson works as an organist at Akureyri Church, is the conductor of the choir Hymnodia and a teacher at the National Church Music School. He is prominent in Akureyri’s music scene; as a conductor, accompanist and an artistic consultant. Harmonium organs are Eyþór’s favourites, he learned of their magic while living in Sweden around 20 years ago. Since then Eyþór has used the harmonium hundreds of times both in Iceland and abroad as a solo instrument, accompanying instrument with choirs and soloists and in various ensembles in many different music styles. His old black instrument also features on a good few recordings.

EINAR
Einar Scheving has been a sought after drummer and percussionist in jazz, pop and classical music from an early age and has played in over a 100 recordings. Einar graduated from FÍH Music School and then went to further studies at the University of Miami where he finished a Masters degree in 2002. He became a teacher at the university after graduation and worked as a performing musician in the States. Einar has put emphasis on composition in the last few years and has been awarded the Icelandic Music Awards 3 times including the albums Cycles (2007) and Land míns föður (2011). Both those albums got excellent reviews both in Iceland and abroad. Einar’s latest album, Intervals, has gotten quite an attention and was nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards in 2015. Einar has been a teacher at FÍH Music School since 2006.

GRETA SALOME
Greta Salóme began playing violin at the age of four and showed a special music talent from an early age. She holds a bachelor degree in violin performance and a master's degree in music. Greta Salóme works and tours as a performing artist and is known for her fiery, high energy performances both as a violinist and a singer/songwriter. She has a unique way to combine her classical background with her current pop style, thus creating her original signature sown.
She represented Iceland at Eurovision in 2012 and released her debut album called In the Silence that same year. She gives concerts all over the world and also holds a position as the concertmaster of The North Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 Greta Salóme won the national selections for Eurovision for the second time and represented Iceland with an original song called "Hear them calling"

STEVE
Grammy Award winning producer Steve McLaughlin has produced, recorded and mixed the scores for more than a hundred and fifty major feature films, including the Die Hard series, the Lethal Weapon series, and the Academy Award nominated scores for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) and Michael Collins (1996). Steve began his career in film in 1987, when he was approached by composer Michael Kamen to work on the score for Ridley Scott's Someone to Watch Over Me (1987). Kamen and McLaughlin worked together for the next 15 years. In 1991 Steve produced, with Kamen and co-producer Chris Brooks, the classic score for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) The soundtrack album went on to sell over 3.5 million copies. 1995 saw Steve win a Grammy Award for his work on Tom Petty's Wildflowers album. Between 1995 - 1998 Steve received two Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards, and two Nominations, for Best Scoring Mixer. In 2001/2, Steve produced Badly Drawn Boy aka Badly Drawn Boy's critically acclaimed score for the Weitz Brothers' About a Boy (2002).Layer Cake (2004) led to a collaboration with director Matthew Vaughn and composer Ilan Eshkeri, through Stardust (2007) and Kick-Ass (2010) Recent work includes further collaboration with Eshkeri and director Ralph Fiennes, on Coriolanus (2011) and The Invisible Woman (2013).

OTHER ARTISTS
Of course there are other artists involved in making this album. The guitarist Kristján Edelstein brings his unique sensitivity to the songs he plays in and he also oversaw all recordings at Hof. The cellist Ásdís Arnardóttir also took part in creating the Christmas soundscape and I owe her many thanks, my Irish friend, Flaithri Neff joins me playing the tin whistle on one track. Helga Kvam is perhaps the person who owns the biggest part in this with me and I owe her a great deal. All from the first idea, choice of songs, organization and now in the final run, she has stood by my side and done all jobs big and small as if the album was hers. A more generous and reliable coworker is hard to find.

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