EYJOLFUR THORLEIFSSON - Eyland
I play both GAIA and AMBIKA mouthpieces. Fantastic mouthpieces, and by far the very best I have ever come across!
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Eyjolfur has been one of the leading saxophonists in the Icelandic music scene for the last few years. He is well recognized for his composing and has been nominated twice for the Icelandic Music Awards for Jazz Song of the Year. He has also done some film scoring.
Eyjolfur is the first call for many musicians when it comes to picking a sax player, due to his sound and versatility as a musician. His sound has been described as soulful and warm with a great balance of modern and old school.
One of these musicians is the master guitar player, Bjorn Thoroddsen, who is world recognized for his technique and musical approach. Eyjolfur was also a member of the popular funk bands, Jaguar and SJS Big Band, and toured with them within Iceland as well as abroad.
Today Eyjolfur leads the band “Eyland”, where he writes all the music. Eyland plays original high energy music with influences from jazz, pop and rock.
Why did you choose to become a musician?
When I was a kid and heard jazz music for the first time, I knew right away that music was something for me and would be a big part of my life. I chose music for the simple reason that music is what I like and understand the best.
What is your experience when you feel connected into the music?
The feeling is mystical. When I really feel connected to the music I hardly remember what I played afterwords. It’s like going to another place for some time.
What is your experience of when you don't feel connected to your music?
Awareness. Awareness of the notes I’m playing, awareness of being there and the environment around me.
Where does your inspiration comes from? What does it feel like?
It varies. Sometimes going to a concert or listening to recordings can inspire me. Some days a certain scent in the air can do the trick. Especially the scent of autumn and spring. Other days nothing does. The feeling is a blend of energy, optimism and enthusiasm.
What is your experience while improvising? Does it relate to any spirituality you may practice in your life?
I believe that everything in the universe is somehow connected. If you’re not spiritually connected while playing nothing can make up for it. But chops and being in good practice helps if the spirit is not there.
Where does your inspiration while composing come from? What is your experience of that inspiration like?
I almost never struggle while composing. When the idea is there it’s like a switch is turned on and a song will be born. Sometimes it feels more like just playing the song for the first time rather than composing it. The inspiration can come from discovering new kind of music, playing in a new band, etc. Many of the ideas come from listening to film scores, but sometimes I really do not know where it comes from. Just like someone sends the ideas to my head. But I wish I knew. It could come in handy.