“By harnessing complete control over his soundworld, Sigurdsson possesses the power to weild darkness into a singularly mesmerising art”. —Tom Huizenga, NPR Music
“…one of contemporary music’s most gifted and innovative composers”
— Fractured Air
“Sigurðsson creates an evocative, vividly picturesque narrative”
— San Francisco Classical Voice
Composer and producer VALGEIR SIRGURÐSSON is known for his immersive sound-world, often blurring the lines between contemporary classical writing and electronic production. An explorer of sound, he composes for film, visual media and stage works and is active as a performing musician. He is the artistic director of Bedroom Community, the record label & collective he founded with friends and fellow composers Nico Muhly and Ben Frost in 2005. At Reykjavík’s Greenhouse Recording Studios which Valgeir founded in 1997 he has been a prolific collaborator—as producer, engineer and/or arranger—with artists from most disciplines and all corners of the world. His work has been presented in festivals and venues such as Liquid Music, Sónar, Semibreve, Barbican Centre, Philharmonie de Paris, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Elbphilharmonie.
Valgeir’s 4th LP DISSONANCE won ‘Album of The Year’ in the Classical & Contemporary category at Iceland Music Awards in 2018, and The New York Times named Dissonance Live among the top shows of the 2017 Sónar Barcelona Festival. DUST a piece for multi-tracked violin and electronics composed for Valgeir’s close collaborator British violinist Daniel Pioro, received a special jury prize at the International Rostrum of Composers in 2019. Valgeir’s scores for the environmental documentary Dreamland and Reykjavík City Theatre’s production of Medea were nominated for Best Score at Edda—the Icelandic Film Awards / Gríman—the Icelandic Theatre Awards respectively and in 2021 he won the Gríman award for National Theatre’s production of Vertu Úlfur. His chamber-opera Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists received the Music Theatre NOW award in 2015, and subsequently We Are in Time, an opera dealing with the subject of heart-transplant, was commissioned by The Scottish Ensemble’s to commemorate their 50th anniversary year 2020. In 2022 Valgeir collaborated with visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson, co-creating the score for the artist’s PERPETUAL MOTION, a multi-sensory sculpture for the Icelandic Pavilion’s exhibition at the 59 International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Valgeir is Associate Artist at the Arctic Arts Festival in Norway from 2019–2023, and he is currently scoring Danish director Ulaa Salim’s upcoming feature film Eternal.
His name contains the Icelandic character Ð (ð) and should alternatively be spelled “Sigurdsson”.
“Long before there were any Valgeir Sigurðsson albums in the world, many records bore the mark of his masterful production and engineering. […] Sigurðsson owns Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, which is also his home. He finds it important to share space and connect with the musicians who record there. He serves as producer, mixer, engineer, programmer, and composer for artists who record there. […]
Greenhouse Studios is also the nerve center for artists on the Bedroom Community label that Sigurðsson started in 2006. The Bedroom Community roster is a tiny but eclectic grouping of artists, all of whom Sigurðsson works with intimately. The label has fostered the careers of such critically acclaimed musicians as Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, and Sam Amidon. […]
Though Sigurðsson’s genius as a producer/engineer is staggering, the incredible depth of his vision best emerges in his own music. Whether he is crafting solo albums or writing commissioned pieces for orchestras, his works are all as carefully considered as they are deeply felt.”
“Dissonance embodies, almost by definition, the idea of things falling apart, a feeling of unrest, of issues unresolved, of disagreement. Sigurðsson offers that and more over the course of three symphonic works that are by turns dense and bleak yet magisterial. […]
Sigurðsson applies his engineer credentials […] to the way he composes, and how he meticulously records the Reykjavik Sinfonia. He divides the orchestra up section by section — even instrument by instrument — and records the parts separately; then, like a jigsaw puzzle, puts it all back together in the studio.
With this technique, one could argue Sigurðsson actually conquers the unresolved unrest of dissonance. By harnessing complete control over his soundworld (like Goya did in oils with his disturbing “Black Paintings“), Sigurðsson possesses the power to wield darkness into a singularly mesmerizing art.”