The Sisters

New halldorophones coming into existence

Soul sister

Two new instruments are set for completion this year, “the sisters” will be the first time I create two halldorophones at the same time. One will be powered by BELA to allow for easy digital augmentation the other will have reworked analog electronics.

Vintage pinup beauty

These instruments are part of my PhD research at the University of Sussex and one will remain with the Department of Music at Sussex.

Deilt með tveimur

Music by Hildur Guðnadóttir and Skúli Sverrisson

Hildur and Skúli collaborate in an interdisciplinary performance with visual artist Elín Hansdóttir and choreographer Margrét Bjarnadóttir. Part of a series of works in the art festival Deilt með tveimur organized by Icelandic National Broadcasting Service and Reykajvík Art Museum in fall of 2017.

Hildur plays halldorohone in the piece.


Composition by Charles Ross

Halldorophone played by the composer to the accompaniment of digitally simulated bagpipes.

Scottish born, Iceland bred composer Charles Ross previews/premiers Burryman a composition for halldorophone and (faux) bagpipe at Sláturtíð 2017. Charles became interested in the halldorophone at Eiðar Composers´ farm 2014 an event organized by him and his wife Suncana at their homestead in the East of Iceland. This work has been expected since then and we eagerly await a version with embodied Scottish bagpipes.


Chamber opera by Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson

Dhorpmas The experimental lyres in this picture are prototypes of an attempt to create string instruments well suited to Guðmundur Steinn´s style of composing which can be made cheaply and consistently from generic parts and materials.

A halldorophone is included in the instrumentation of Einvaldsóður, a chamber opera by Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson premiered at Sláturtíð 2017. Singers explore aspects of kvæðaskapur and the baroque, accompanied by old and experimental instruments in alternative tunings. Also included in the instrumentation are prototype experimental lyres developed by Guðmundur Steinn and Halldór Úlfarsson, here are a few of Guðmundur’s words about the project:

Like many just intonation scales or natural tuning systems this system works with intervals in a palindromic fashion, ratios and its compliments. Compliment refers to when two numbers in a ratio are switched. This literally corresponds to playing a string on the other side of the bridge to hear the compliment of the note. In theory this is how it works and these instruments are a simple display of this natural function. Of course this is not the whole story as there are always multiple other variables that can affect the tuning. 36 (or 35 or 37) notes in one octave are played on 6 different 3 string but 6 note instruments. Needless to say, this project owes a lot to Harry Partch and other composers in that continuum.

Hildur Guðnadóttir with Sunn O)))

In concert at the Barbican, London

Long time halldorophone user Hildur Guðnadóttir opens for and performs with Sunn o))) at the Barbican centre as part of Convergence 2017. Hildur played solo halldorophone in her supporting set and played it also accompanying Sunn in their set.

Drone gods Image by Hildur Guðnadóttir


Film score - Hildur Guðnadóttir

Hildur Guðnadóttir scores director Baltasar Kormákur’s Eiðurinn (The Oath). The halldorophone is prominent in Hildur’s music for the film, for which she wins the icelandic film and TV industry award Eddan.


Film score - Jóhann Jóhannson

Composer Jóhann Jóhannson collaborates again with director Denis Villeneuve on the score for his acclaimed Arrival. Jóhann’s original music wins and is nominated for a variety of awards and recognitions including BAFTA and Golden Globe. The halldorophone is found in the instrumentation played by Hildur Guðnadóttir who collaborates with Jóhann on this project.