We will have a first this Friday on Music FridayLive! - an interview with the composer of a rock musical. And this is a first for him because he has not written a musical before, so this should be lots of fun. And he is from Iceland. Ívar Páll Jónsson ( I promise I will work on the pronunciation) is the genius behind the rock musical Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter oepning next month off Broadway. Author of the book, lyrics and music, Ívar has been writing music since the age of 15, perfecting his craft by writing thousands of songs in his career, most of them unpublished. He learned writing as a journalist, not the usual path to composing music, but it seems to work from what I have seen. (Somehow my journalistic career went to academia and the radio, not to Broadway - oh well.)
Ívar's ambitious new concept album just released has guest appearances by renowned songster Liam McCormick (The Family Crest) and an all-star lineup of Iceland's top singers. From the cuts I have herd it is going to be a knockout, despite the long title: Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter. Of course it's also the score for his off-Broadway theater production featuring former Miss America Kate Shindle and Tony winner Cady Huffman. The musical is an homage to the grandeur of classic rock at its most epic with influences including Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, and Sufjan Stevens. Both the musical and the album weaves a tale of love, war, and brotherhood that that all takes place within the microcosm of an oblivious man’s elbow. I can hardly wait to talk with him this Friday and to see his play when it goes on the road and hits LA (or maybe I will go to New York).