From Iceland — Track by Track: Bistro Boy - Píanó í þokunni (‘Piano in the Fog’)

Track by Track: Bistro Boy – Píanó í þokunni (‘Piano in the Fog’)

Published October 16, 2018

Track by Track: Bistro Boy – Píanó í þokunni (‘Piano in the Fog’)
Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

Bistro Boy – ‘Píanó í Þokunni’

‘Píanó í þokunni’ (‘Piano in the Fog’) is Bistro Boy’s third LP. The album is a dreamy tribute to Bistro Boy’s long-lasting relationship with his piano; a musical journey from past to present. “On this album I set out with a different approach from previous albums,” says the musician. “I was trying to keep the soundscape somewhat simple and throw in recordings of my old and out of tune piano.”

I’m trying to set the tone here—it’s dark and misty, but there are bright elements of a melody trying to break out. The soundscape is based on a sample of an old song I made a long time ago while playing my out-of-tune piano on top of it. I always have visual elements in mind when I’m making music, and for this song it was a remote foggy fjord.

This is a song about hope—how light shines through the darkest clouds. The song opens with me plucking the strings of the piano, evolving with pads and arpeggiators. But at the core, the strings keep it together. I had the pleasure of having my niece, Eir Ólafsdóttir, play cello on this track, adding an organic touch to the synthetic sounds.

Góða Nótt
The name of this song means “good night.” It’s a simple lullaby: a song about falling asleep on a late summer night, when there is absolute stillness outside.

This song came to me out of the blue. I was fooling around with some sounds and samples and this element opening the song spoke to me; the arpeggiated melody just happened and it all came together.

I wanted to keep certain softness to the album’s soundscape and this is one example of how that went. I used soft synths, a simple melody, restricted drums and soft “subby” bass to give it a soft touch, just like a laying on a thick green moss after a rainy day.

Like most of the songs on this album, this one can be interpreted very literally. It’s a song about coming home and missing someone or something. Like when you’ve been away for a long time and you just want to go home. Or when you haven’t seen someone you love for a while and it’s driving you crazy.

Mountain is a song about a journey, like when you’re driving and the world outside is flying past your window. It’s the only song where you’ll hear some vocal elements, which are some samples of my own voice.

Nýr dagur
This song, or some elements of it, was originally part of a live set at Húrra from earlier this year. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I didn’t give up on it and this is the result. It’s not obvious, but the opening arpeggiator is my piano sampled on my iPad, edited and played back manually. A refreshing tune that makes you dance.

Píanó í þokunni
The closing song is an epilogue: the closing frame. The fog comes crawling in again, consuming the daylight we’ve enjoyed and adding stillness to everything. It’s time to lay down and get some sleep.

Follow Bistro Boy on Facebook and Twitter and buy the album at Bandcamp. Read more Track by Tracks here.

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