classical contemporary classical modern classical piano review

Stefán Hafsteinsson – Heima Review

Iceland delivers another great reflective composer

Sounds like…

The frozen stillness of an Icelandic landscape.

The review

Gentle, delicate, understated and humble. That is how Stefán Hafsteinsson composes his music for his debut EP. Out today on Moderna Records, Stefán fits immediately into their pantheon of musicians who take the piano, sprinkle some yearning strings and light electronics on top and serves up a treat.

‘Heima’ is a four track EP, a taster of what is to come hopefully. Each of the four tracks by the Icelandic composer describes a landscape frozen in time. The piano is soft, intimate and a step above minimalist. By that, I mean that there are fully fleshed melodies for each track but Stefán Hafsteinsson chooses to not pound them out with gusto. Instead, the title track and ‘Ótta’ carefully pick their way through like taking tentative steps forward into the unknown.

photo of Stefán Hafsteinsson
Stefán Hafsteinsson

Elsewhere ‘Haltu’ and ‘Ós’ have a serene synth side to them. The former has the gentlest arpeggios bubbling under the piano and strings. It is the most uplifting track on the EP, whilst the latter is a more pensive and reflective take. ‘Ós’ is the dramatic jewel in the EP’s crown though. Stefán keeps the strings and piano slightly separate and unformed early on in the track. As it evolves over its five-minute length, the two sides join together to support each other. It turns a track that feels like evokes a struggling march forward to an understated union of both instruments working in tandem.

Short but extremely sweet, Stefán Hafsteinsson has crafted a lovely EP with ‘Heima’. From its intimate production to its evocative use of volume and tempo, ‘Heima’ will entertain you. Sounds to me like we have another Icelandic composer who can nail that sad reflective vibe perfectly! What do they put in the water there?!

Recommended track: Heima

Support Higher Plain Music

Patreon Banner for Higher Plain Music

Higher Plain Music is part of the Higher Plain Network – a one-man indie media project. If you like what I do, please consider supporting me via Patreon for as little as $1/£1 a month. In return, you received additional perks for supporting me there such as behind the scenes content and free downloads. You can also donate using PayPal. Sharing the website helps too or using the affiliate buy now links on reviews. I receive a few pence per Amazon sale. All your support will enable me to produce better content, more often. I’d love to make this a full time media network and your support can make that happen. Thank you.

Stefán Hafsteinsson - Heima

8

8.0/10

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: