Concert Photos: Ólafur Arnalds @ Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL)

Just 24 years of age, Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer Ólafur Arnalds is known for bringing classical instrumentation together with programmed beats and loops. His music shifts from restrained piano balladry to soaring crescendos at the drop of a hat, and his ear for a dramatic melody has made him the composer of choice for many filmmakers, as well as a frequent collaborator with Sigur Rós. Arnalds stopped in Chicago on January 30, performing for free at the Chicago Cultural Center and again later that day at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The former was a mostly demure affair, resembling a traditional classical performance — until the thunderous drum beats kicked in.

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