Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson is an Icelandic composer writing music based on irregular or non-pulse oriented rhythms. It inhabits a world where grids or straight lines are almost non-existent. This often requires presenting the music as moving graphics on computer screens. That way the most irregular things can become very intelligible.
He has been active with a composer collective in Iceland called S.L.Á.T.U.R. and taken part in founding its festival Sláturtíð and used to be a co-curator of the Jaðarber concert series and Fengjastrútur Ensemble. He runs his own multi-instrumentalist quartet which is called Fersteinn.
His music has been performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Caput Ensemble, Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Adapter, Tøyen Fil og Klafferi, Ensemble l’Arsenale, Ensemble CRUSH, Aksiom Ensemble, Nordic Affect, Defun Ensemble, Iceland Flute Choir, Duo Harpverk, Roberto Durante, Markus Hohti, Mathias Ziegler, Georgia Browne, Timo Kinnunen, Shayna Dunkelmann, Una Sveinbjarnardóttir and Tinna Þosteinsdóttir.
Some of the festivals that have included Guðmundur’s music are Tectonics Reykjavík and Glasgow, MATA, Musikin Aika, Ultima, November Music, Transit, Music for People and Thingamajigs, Nordlichter Biennale, Timisoara International Music Festival and ISSTC 2014 in Maynooth, Ireland, where Guðmundur was also Keynote speaker.
His music has also been heard in venues such as Schloss Benrath (DE), Bergerkirche (DE), Wendel (DE), De Player (NL), Chiostro di Santa Catarina (IT), Villa Correr Pisani (IT), Estonia Concert Hall (EE), Sala Capitol (RO), Borusan Müzik Evi (TR), Wenshui Cultural Center (TW), The Stone (US), Le Poisson Rouge (US), Secret Project Robot (US), Empty Bottle (US), Berkeley Trinity Chapel (US), Stanford (US), Princeton University (US), Videopool (CA), Literaturhaus (DK), Tivoli (DK), Ålborg Kloster (DK), Notam (NO), Skånes konstforretning (SE) and Cinnober Teater (SE).
Guðmundur Steinn studied composition at Mills College, Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavík College of Music, privately and at summer courses in Kürten and Darmstädt. His teachers have been Alvin Curran, Fred Frith, John Bischoff, Atli Ingólfsson, Hilmar Þórðarsson and Úlfar Ingi Haraldsson.
In 2011 Guðmundur Steinn won a composition competition celebrating the 80th anniversary of the National Radio of Iceland. Other projects include activities such as transcribing and documenting Icelandic Folk Music, participating in panels and lecturing on the subject. Guðmundur Steinn has had his music released by Carrier Records, Tonestrukt Records, Bad Taste Records, Edgetone Records and Traktorinn which he co-founded with Páll Ivan frá Eiðum.