Intuiting his love of nature, people and places into musical gifts, Ola Gjeilo recently recorded and released his new age piano music debut album, Stone Rose, with Norwegian record label 2L.
The music of New York City-based composer and pianist Ola Gjeilo has been performed and recorded in more than 20 countries worldwide, in venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Miami’s Knight Concert Hall and Jackie Gleason Theatre, the Copenhagen Opera House, and the National Galleries in London and Washington D.C.
Born in Oslo, Norway in 1978, Gjeilo now calls Manhattan his home. Having left Norway to study in London and the U.S., his homeland is never far from mind, especially as the young composer’s last name (pronounced Yay-lo) is a slight variation on Geilo, a famous Norwegian mountain resort town named after his great-grandfather.
Gjeilo grew up with music, improvising it before reading it, which encouraged him to develop his unique musical voice at an early age. He began formally studying jazz, classical piano and composition at the age of seven. After attending the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and earning a degree in composition from the Royal College of Music in London, he headed to the United States, where he completed his Master’s Degree in composition at The Juilliard School of Music in 2006.
Gjeilo, an admitted film buff, moved to Los Angeles to supplement his skills with a course in film scoring at USC in 2006 and 2007. While immersed in film composition, he solidified four film composers as his favorites: Thomas Newman, Dario Marianelli, Alexandre Desplat and, of course, John Williams. During that time, Gjeilo also launched a film music company called Nordic Screen Music, with composer Asmund Skuterud, based in Oslo and New York.
As a performer, Gjeilo has played piano all over the world, and most recently at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Mansion New York and Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan; he is planning a number of intimate performances in support of Stone Rose.
Composing, recording and releasing the new age album Stone Rose opened an exciting new stage in Gjeilo’s life. Moved to share a more personal side of himself through his music, 2L supported his ambitions with a rewarding recording experience resulting in the stunning quality of the Hybrid Super Audio CD in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound.
Ola acknowledges nature, people and cities as his primary inspirations, saying, “My favorite photographer, Jake Rajs, has a book called These United States, with beautiful images of American scenery. Many of the songs on Stone Rose are expressions of my love for America, or the people I care about and the cities I’ve experienced. It’s a very personal and reflective album, with an improvised feel.”
Gjeilo’s music publishers include Musikk-Huset and Walton Music, which became the exclusive publisher of Ola Gjeilo's choral music in 2007. 2L Electronic Scores has published some of the pieces from Stone Rose, available at their website, www.2L.musiconline.no