Portraits & Walls

spread joy, spread music

Five For Your Friday

This week’s edition of Five For Your Friday boasts mainly instrumental songs from Yann Tiersen, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Ólafur Arnalds, Laura, and Beats Antique. Enjoy!

Yann Tiersen

Born in 1970, Yann Tiersen has been playing music since his was born. Learning piano at age four and violin at age six, at 13, he dropped violin (quite literally, broke it into pieces) bought a guitar and formed a band.  Tiersen picked the violin back up in 1993 with adopting a vision referred to as “a musical anarchy”, stating  “Let’s live in an enormous world of sound we can use randomly, with no rules at all. Let’s play with sound, forget all knowledge and instrumental skills, and just use instinct – the same way punk did.”  Widely recognized for his composing featured in Amelie and Good Bye Lenin! Tiersen also plays live and tours, making his first US appearance in last year in Los Angeles, CA. Featuring a rich, full sound, outstanding musicianship and a breath-taking build up towards the end, “Till The End” is off Tiersen’s album Dust Lane.

“Till The End”

Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Created by Simon Jeffes, a classically trained guitarist, composer and arranger, Penguin Cafe Orchestra started four decades ago in 1972. Comprised of a collective of performing musicians, the group performed and recorded music  up until Jeffes passed of a brain tumor in 1997.  Simon Jeffes’ son revived the group in 2009 and began performing under the name of Penguin Cafe.  Perpetuum Mobile has been used and sampled a number of times, including on NPR’s This American Life as well as Mac Miller’s song “Missed Calls” . With swelling strings and a constant repetitive piano phrase (hence the name perpetuum mobile), this track speaks to ones soul and elicits a multitude of emotions.

“Perpetuum Mobile”

Ólafur Arnalds

Born in 1986, Ólafur Arnalds hails from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Previously the drummer  for the hardcore metal band Celestine, Arnalds released his first solo album, Eulogy for Evolution, in October of 2007. Multi-instrumentalist, music producer and composer, Arnalds work has been featured on So  You Think You Can Dance as well as other media outlets. Ljósið is a track from a weeklong project entitled Found Songs, Arnalds launched, where he wrote, recorded and released a song every 24 hours.



Started in 2001, Laura is a post-rock group with their roots in Melbourne, Australia. The quintet is comprised of  pianist, synthesizer player and guitarist, Nathan Biggin, guitarist and vocalist, Andrew Chalmers, cellist, Carolyn Gannel, bass guitarist, Andrew Yardley and guitar Ben Yardley.  Having released two EPs and four albums, the group is known for their loud live shows.”Radio Swan is Down Pt 2″ features echoing guitar, gentle cello phrases and bright xylophone.

Beats Antique

Beats Antique is the result of an interesting union between music producers David Satori and Tommy Cappel, who both have substantial backgrounds in multicultural music production, and Zoe Jakes, music producer AND world-renowned belly dancer. Mixing electronics and world music, Beats Antiques gives us the stimulating track “Runaway”.



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