Eli Tausen á Lava

Raske Dregne

Eli Tausen á Lava

Eli Tausen á Lava, “the new minimalist of the Faroe Islands” (Jens Cornelius), is among the first Faroese artists to create music in a post-classical style. In his sophomore album ‘In a Field’, Eli Tausen á Lava continues his exploration of musical minimalism as started with his debut album ‘Impressions’.

From places he’s been to video games he’s played, Eli Tausen á Lava draws inspiration from a wide array of subjects. His music, which often sounds like it could be from a film or TV series, is characterised by a combination of Nordic melancholy and Faroese dramaticism. It’s saturated with natural imagery and reflects both the isolation and the community innate to the Faroese experience.

Eli Tausen á Lava has an organic approach in the studio — he follows his intuition and remains open to taking his music in any direction that feels right. Being a synaesthete, he associates sounds with colours and uses that ability to convey his music visually, resulting in the uniquely vibrant cover art for his releases.

Since he first stepped onto the classical music landscape in 2015, up-and-coming composer Eli Tausen á Lava has been continually exploring different ways of creative expression. He has written solo, chamber and choral music and has worked with several musicians and ensembles, both in his native country of the Faroe Islands and abroad. Eli won ‘Best New Artist’ at the Faroese Music Awards in 2019, marking the first time a classical composer received the award.

Eli has an intuitive and open-minded approach to making music — he believes there is no right or wrong way to make art and values creative thinking and authenticity above anything else. He draws inspiration from many different genres and traditions, and among his chief influences are such characters as David Bowie, Brian Eno and Philip Glass.

Eli knew he was on the right career path when ‘Freya Syngur’, a choral piece he wrote in collaboration with Faroese author Anna Malan Jógvansdóttir, was selected to be performed at a large, international music festival in Beijing. ‘Freya Syngur’ was performed in Faroese by a German choir in the Chinese capital, signifying to Eli the ability of classical music to connect people across cultures, religions and borders — territorial and linguistic alike.

A sense of playfulness and the curious exploration of new ways of thinking often characterizes Eli’s work. His music is performed regularly in the Faroe Islands, while international performances range from China, as mentioned above, to the United States, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.

“Eli manages to find depth in simplicity, humour in solemnity,” says renowned Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen, “or the other way around.”

Sunleif Rasmussen was Eli’s first teacher of composition at the Tórshavn Music School, which he graduated from in 2018. Eli is currently studying composition at the Malmö Academy of Music with Rolf Martinsson, one of Sweden’s leading composers.

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