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STARA is the debut album by Halldór Smárason.
It was recorded in Halldór’s hometown of Ísafjörður, in the Westfjords region of northwestern Iceland.
STARA contains works from various periods of the composer’s life, from his student days in New York to the present day as a family man and freelance composer, and demonstrates Halldór’s development of a distinctive style and unique sense of narrative. All the works on the album are inspired by personal experiences and are often dedicated to people close to the composer himself.
STARA contains Halldór’s three string quartets: draw + play, Stara and BLAKTA, the guitar solo piece Skúlptúr 1, and the chamber works _a_at_na and stop breathing.
Halldór’s music has been described as atmospheric yet aggressive, characterized by an energy bubbling beneath the surface that erupts from time to time. His compositional voice is highly original and personal.
In each composition Halldór strives for a unique approach guided by the specifics of the composition (occasion, space, instruments, performer, etc.),
As a result, his sonic repertoire is extremely rich. He often incorporates extra-musical and music-theatrical aspects that create very unique artistic experiences. In addition, Halldór is known for his great attention to detail in terms of sound and notation.
STARA is intended to be an insightful portrait of the composer and an introduction to Halldór’s poetic sound world.
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