Artwork by  Anastasia Savinova  The Call of The Mountain / Kristínartindar, Ísland

Artwork by Anastasia Savinova
The Call of The Mountain / Kristínartindar, Ísland

A Northern Year

a fifteen-minute piece in two parts for piano and percussion

Available March 20th, 2019
Hafdís Bjarnadóttir & Passepartout Duo

purchasable via Bandcamp

A Northern Year, composed by Hafdís Bjarnadóttir and performed by Passepartout Duo, indulges in the music that is hidden in everyday natural phenomena by transforming data about the sun’s position in the sky above Reykjavík into melodies and rhythms for piano, percussion, and electronics.

Beginning and ending at the solstices, the piece follows a cycle that is often a backdrop for life in the north: energetic and bright summers followed by introverted and dark winters.

Alongside the release, Passepartout Duo created a video for Part I (January-June) of A Northern Year. Seeking to further capture light’s interaction in the north, the duo chose renowned installation artist Jame Turrell’s Hardanger Skyspace at Kabuso Art Centre in Øystese, Norway as a location.

A Northern Year was recorded at Kunstnarhuset Messen and Wallcon Lydstudio in Ålvik, Norway. It was mixed and mastered by Sigurdór Guðmundsson at Skonrokk Studios / Skonrokk Mastering.

This project of Passepartout Duo was initiated with support from the Nordic Culture Fund and Nordic Culture Point.

A Northern Year - Album Trailer



A native of Reykjavík, Iceland, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir started playing electric guitar at the age of 12. She was soon performing in bands and writing her own music, with an initial focus on rock and folk. In 2002, she graduated in jazz guitar performance from the FÍH School of Music. Keen to develop her compositional voice, she earned a bachelor’s degree in contemporary composition from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2007 and a master’s degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2009.

With a reputation for breaking down barriers between different genres of music, her past projects include a sound installation for the Nordic Lighthouse at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai; an orchestral piece based on knitting instructions; two solo albums mixing different genres and instruments from different traditions; an ensemble piece based on financial graphs and charts from Iceland’s 2008 banking crisis; various commissioned pieces for solo instruments or chamber ensembles; and a piece for a mixed choir and electric guitar. Her second solo album, JÆJA, received critical acclaim and was nominated for the 2009 Iceland Music Awards.

Her piece for accordion and halldorophone, “A Day in February”, was nominated by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service for the 58th International Rostrum of Composers in Vienna in 2011. She lives and works in Reykjavík.



Through the creation of interdisciplinary collaborations and immersive musical events that thrive at the intersection of different cultures and aesthetics, pianist Nicoletta Favari and percussionist Christopher Salvito have earned a reputation together as advocates for contemporary classical music as they continue their years-long journey around the world. Influenced by their ever-changing location, the duo commissions new repertoire, composes original pieces, and films music videos that seek to capture their interpretations in a creative and engaging format.

The ensemble has performed at prominent music festivals like the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (US), and the Festival de La Habana de Música Contemporánea (CU). The duo was also awarded an ensemble fellowship at Eighth Blackbird’s inaugural Creative Lab in 2017.

Information and items on this page should not be reproduced without the permission of Passepartout Duo or Hafdís Bjarnadóttir.