Gylfi Gudjohnsen (b. 1993) was born in Reykjavík, Iceland. He developed an interest in music at the age of fifteen when he started playing the guitar. At the time, his musical interests lay almost entirely in rock and heavy metal, but he fell in love with Western art music upon discovering Béla Bartók’s Second String Quartet. Over the following years, he has worked tirelessly to learn as much about music as he could, becoming intimately familiar with the music of significant composers of the 20th century as well as the old masters. In 2014, he was admitted to the Iceland Academy of Arts where he studied composition with Atli Ingólfsson. In 2017, he received a bachelor’s degree in musical composition, minoring in viola performance.
Kvintett fyrir gítar, tvær fiðlur, víólu og selló (2017)
For guitar, two violins, viola, cello
The piece is written for a quintet consisting of solo guitar and string quartet. This particular combination of instruments has very rarely been written for throughout music history, but this fact should not be taken to be a testament to its failure as an ensemble. Quite the contrary, the guitar and strings’ timbres complement each other beautifully and offer many possibilities for colorful scoring. The piece is heavily based on the concept of pulse and the various dimensions thereof and was an attempt by the composer to write a piece which generated the bulk of its interest through rhythmic manipulations and bringing the pulse into and out of the foreground.