Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson was a pioneer in the use of computers when composing music and cleared the path for new ideas in recording and arrangements. He has worked on ambitious, experimental and original projects with various musicians, such as Psychic TV, Current 93, Sigur Rós, Steindór Andersen and Eivør Pálsdóttir.
Other projects and collaborations
In 1984 Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson and singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir, who at that time were in KUKL formed The Elgar Sisters, Hilmar joined them next to Einar Arnaldur Melax, Sigtrygur Baldursson, Þorsteinn Magnússon and Birgir Mogensen to record 11 songs from 1984 to 1986 and disbanded afterwards.
The Elgar Sisters did not release any album, but some of their works were featured during the solo careers of Björk and Guðlaugur.
In 1987 Hilmar began to work with Current 93, a band led by David Tibet and collaborated with 10 releases, among them, he produced the single Crowleymass in 1987 and in 1991 produced Island, an album which featured singer Björk as backing vocalist on the song “Falling”.
MÖK Trio was a group formed by bassist Tómas Magnús Tómasson (known by his work in Stuðmenn), Hilmar Örn and Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson. In fact, the name stemmed from the initials corresponding to the middle name of each member. Their first gig was by 1992. MÖK Trio did not play regularly and they never released any album. Their last presentation was in August 2001 at Galdrahátíðin á Ströndum, Reykjavík.
In 1992 he started to record with singer and trumpet player Einar Örn Benediktsson (from The Sugarcubes) on a new project called Frostbite and released an album titled The Second Coming the following year through label One Little Indian, but after this, the band was dissolved.
His collaborations continued with sound engineer Andrew McKenzie in The Hafler Trio (H3ÖH) and in 1993 released an album called Bootleg H3ÖH which contained remixes from Frostbite.
By November 1997 Hilmar and Einar Örn joined drummer Sigtryggur Baldursson to form Grindverk. After signing with FatCat Records they released their debut album, a 12-inch vinyl titled Gesundheit von K on January 1, 1999.
With 4 tracks, Gesundheit von K encompassed a wide range of styles: from the industrial funk of the title song to the exotic jazz of “Kastrato”. Grindverk showed with this album a dark music, with free instruments proper of the funk music or post industrialism of the eighties but in the context of the nineties.
They were supposed to release an album called T.h.e.r.a.p.i.s.t.s by July 1999, but it was canceled as Grindverk disbanded shortly after their debut release.
Hilmar Örn & Sigur Rós: In 2000 he collaborated with Sigur Rós on the soundtrack to the film Englar Alheimsins (Angels of the Universe), which was directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. This 10-track album contained 8 songs composed by HÖH with his mellow soothing trademark sound (classical guitars, strings and synthesizers) and 2 songs created by Sigur Rós (“Bíum Bíum Bambaló” and “Dánarfregnir og Jarðafarir”). Later, he also worked with Sigur Rós composing and performing on “Hrafnagaldur Óðins”.
GVDL: Was another music project formed in 2001 with Guðlaugur K. Óttarsson and bass player Georg Bjarnason. The group was established for the arrival in Iceland by the American band Fuck. In fact, the name of the band were the initials of the American group shifted one place further. They only had one performance at Kaffi Reykjavík, without recording any track.
In 2004 Hilmar Örn collaborated with singer Eivør Pálsdóttir in a joint project between Iceland and Ireland and performed with other musicians from both countries in two concerts, one in Reykjavík and the other in Tórshavn, in the Faroe Islands.
Score music compositions
From 1981 onward, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson has composed music for several movies, both Icelandic and foreign, and worked with film directors such as Henning Carlsen (Pan, 1995), Jane Campion (In the Cut, 2003) and Friðrik Þór Friðriksson (Brennu-Njálssaga, 1981 – Skytturnar, 1987 – Börn Náttúrunnar, 1991 – Bíódagar, 1994 – Cold Fever, 1995 – Djöflaeyjan, 1996 – Englar Alheimsins, 2000 and Falcons, 2002).
Hilmar Örn has received many awards for his contributions as a film composer. In 1993 he won the European Film Composer of the Year for his work on the Oscar nominated Children of Nature, the film by Friðriksson.