Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist

The singer and songwriter Emiliana Torrini is constantly compared to Bjork, and that’s understandable. Iceland is a small country, and the two voices of such scale inevitably draw comparisons. There were times when this unavoidable parallel helped Emiliana Torrini: for example, film director Peter Jackson asked her to perform a song for the final scenes of the Two Towers movie, which the previously engaged for this Bjork couldn’t perform because of her pregnancy. But more often than not this comparison fails to do justice to the younger singer: although Emiliana Torrini can sound like a magical elf if she wants to, her emotional palette is much greater and she prefers the sensual and intimate human affairs. Her best known songs are the Jungle Drum rumba, showcased in a viral video that advertises Iceland to potential tourists, and the sensual pop hit Slow, performed by Kylie Minogue.

Starting with her debut album Love In The Time Of Science, recorded in 1999 together with Roland Orzabal from Tears For Fears, Emiliana Torrini has been experimenting with the symbiosis of the warm human voice and the detached electronic sound, searching for the balance of live acoustics and synthetic sounds. Her latest album The Colorist & Emiliana Torrini is the first in her portfolio, where the electronic sound plays a minimal role. It was recorded live with the Belgian ensemble The Colorist Orchestra, established in 2013 by Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans. The Belgians had put together an unusual set of instruments — violin, cello, double bass, bass guitar, grand piano, rearranged grand piano, marimba, xylophone, glass bowls and all sorts of percussions — and use it to perform the music, which they call “inversive karaoke.” Guided by the music of the great self-taught composer Harry Partch, the father of minimalism Steve Reich, and the Talking Heads, The Colorist Orchestra had put together new music arrangements for Emiliana Torrini’s best songs, which sound like a cross of pop, neo-classical and underground sound.

The concert program, in which Emiliana Torrini performs her own songs in the “inversive karaoke” of The Colorist Orchestra, has had a triumphant tour around Europe. This intimate performance of the Icelandic singer and the unusual Belgian orchestra alternates the moments of magic with dance grooves, and the fragile ballads with the hits such as Slow and Jungle Drum. And your heart starts beating like a tamtam.


SOUND UP continues to explore the music of Iceland. Following last year’s Russian-Icelandic musical collaboration Creative Lab, SOUND UP’s June concert will introduce a group of other performers from this fairy-tale island.

Coincidentally, “SOUND UP Iceland” will take place on June 15, a day before the first match that the Icelandic football team will play at the FIFA World Cup. This is why we expect the whole of Moscow’s Icelandic community to be present at the concert, to listen to the enchanting sounds that remind them of homeland, and to invoke the victory of their footballers, who had astonished the world at the latest European championship.

The event is organized with support of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Iceland.

15 june 2018, 20:00
Boiler Room, Hlebozavod №9
Novodmitrovskaya st, 1-17