2 January 1978 |
Sigur Rós (1998–2013)
Kjartan "Kjarri" Sveinsson (Icelandic pronunciation:
[ˈcʰar̥tan ˈsveinsɔn]; born 2 January 1978) is former
keyboardist for the
Sigur Rós. He joined the band in 1998.
multi-instrumentalist, he has also played such instruments as the
guitar and even the
banjo, as well as many of the unorthodox instruments that contribute to
Sigur Rós's distinctive sound.
Kjartan has performed under the pseudonym "The Lonesome Traveller" with Sigur Rós bandmate
Orri Páll Dýrason and
violinist María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir (whom Kjartan married
 in 2001). "The Lonesome Traveller" covered
Sigur Rós songs acoustically in an
Kjartan also composed scores for the 2005
Academy Award nominated short film
Síðasti bærinn (The Last Farm), for award-winning director
Ramin Bahrani's 2009 short film
Plastic Bag which features the narration of legendary filmmaker
Werner Herzog, and for the 2009 film
Ondine directed by
Neil Jordan. Kjartan also contributes to
orchestral and string arrangements, along with the group
Amiina. He is also featured heavily on
The Album Leaf's album,
In a Safe Place, playing a wide variety of instruments.
Kjartan is a member of the advisory board for
Kraumur Music Fund,
 which aims to "strengthen Icelandic musical life, primarily by supporting young musicians in performing and presenting their works."
On 16 November 2010 Kjartan Sveinsson performed in The Whitelight Festival, along with Jonsi & Alex and The Hilliard Ensemble. Kjartan composed Sonnets of his own, as well as the world premiere of his new piece entitled Credo. Credo is Latin for "I believe". The performance was streamed live on
On 17 April 2011
Q2 - a listener-supported, New York City-based Internet stream devoted to the music of living composers - along with NPR named Kjartan Sveinsson in a list of "100 Composers Under 40".
In a post on Sigur Rós's
Facebook page announcing an "ask me anything" Q&A session with fans via the social news website
Reddit on 24 January 2013, the band referred to themselves as being a "now three-piece band."
 The band confirmed Kjartan Sveinsson's departure during a
Reddit Q&A session, stating that "...he has left the band. He said he spent half his life in the band and it was time to do something different."
On 19 February 2014 Kjartan showcased 'his most ambitious musical work' since leaving the band in the form of a collaborative theatre set-piece with Iceland's acclaimed contemporary artist, Ragnar Kjartansson. The work, titled 'Der Klang Der Offenbarung Des Göttlichen (The Explosive Sonics Of Divinity)' was performed at Berlin’s Volksbühne theatre, in cooperation with the
Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg and the
In February 2015, Kjartan Sveinsson again collaborated with Ragnar Kjartansson, being involved in a performance art exhibition at the John Curtin Gallery and the Fremantle Arts Centre in Perth, Australia.