Song of the Day: “Opus 56” by Dustin O’Halloran

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Dustin O’Halloran (Photo by Anna Maggý Grímsdóttir)

Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning US composer and pianist Dustin O’Halloran unveiled his new single, “Opus 56,” recently.

The track is the second single from his forthcoming Deutsche Grammophon debut, Silfur, which arrives on June 11.

“Opus 56” is one of two brand new works on Silfur, which frame thirteen new recordings of reimagined compositions from previous albums (see below for track list). Recorded by O’Halloran in Iceland in 2020, the track acts as a thoughtful work of introspection and a bridge linking his repertoire from past to present. “Sometimes we have to turn off, we have to try to get away from the constant distractions and noise to listen to ourselves, to tune into the music we have inside us,” Dustin said. “Working on this record was like rolling back time and getting back to a pure, uncompromised language and an understanding about where I came from.”

Stream “Opus 56” by Dustin O’Halloran on YouTube:

Conceived as a collection that both refines and expands upon the composer’s concepts of time, past and present perceived through music, Silfur includes 10 solo piano performances alongside collaborations with fellow American composer and multi-instrumentalist Bryan Senti, Icelandic cellist Gyða Valtýsdóttir and the Siggi String Quartet. Dustin recorded the album with Berlin-based sound engineer Francesco Donadello and Icelandic musician Bergur Þórisson.

Dustin worked on Silfur during the lockdown in Iceland, where he ordinarily spends part of the year. Unable to return to his other home in Los Angeles, he drew inspiration from isolation and Iceland’s unique atmosphere, revisiting works from four solo albums and refining them through the prism of his Icelandic experience. At the first recording session for this album he was given a gift of silfurberg (“silver rock”), a native Icelandic crystal, which inspired its title. “As light enters it,” explains O’Halloran, “it’s reflected into two perspectives. It felt like that’s what I was doing in making this record. And I feel the place you’re in always has a resonance — it somehow comes through the music.”

Visit Dustin O’Halloran online for more music.

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