Snorri was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, October 28th 1963, the youngest of five siblings. He was born into a typical home, in which his mother was a homemaker and his father the breadwinner. Snorri claims he and his siblings had a wonderful childhood in a home, made a safe haven by a mother that was always present and a father who ensured there was always enough food and no financial worries.
Music was a rich tradition of the household and Snorri recalls many moments when his parents would play LPs with the classical works of Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and others. Occasionally his mother would play the family piano and he would carefully watch and later try to mimic what she played.
“It was probably during those years that I learned to appreciate a beautiful melody”. Says Snorri. “I picked up more watching my mother play than she would acknowledge and I became unwavering about acquiring the skill to play the piano the way she did. Simply hearing a beautiful melody made me stop whatever I was doing and just listen, mesmerized by its beauty.”
During the years that followed, Snorri would sneak to the piano, whenever he had the opportunity and practice. Being exposed to Classical Music at such an early age shaped Snorri's musical aspirations. His favorite artists included esteemed composers such as Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, and Debussy. “I listened to popular music too,” says Snorri, “but the importance of a beautiful melody and the complicated interaction of musical instruments was never far away. I would evaluate the quality of music using such parameters.”
By the age of 8, the sign of Snorri’s other passion, Science, became evident. “I would read any book on Science and Technology I could get my hands on.” He says. “I suppose it is in my personality to want to learn as much as possible about all things. I admired the scientists as much as I admired the late geniuses of Classical Music. In particular, my interest in airplanes was insatiable. I wanted to learn everything I could about them.” By the age of twelve Snorri knew he wanted to become an aircraft designer. “The only problem was that I could not follow that dream in Iceland because such a program was not offered at the University of Iceland.”
For this reason, Snorri moved to Florida in 1988, to pursue this childhood dream. Predisposed to the discipline, he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1991 with B.Sc. and in 1993 with M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 1995 he began working for Cirrus Design Corporation in Duluth, Minnesota. It was to be expected that one of his firstinvestments was a digital piano, but this enabled him to practice as much as possible “without ever having to worry about irritating the neighbors.”
The extensive practicing also led to a substantial amount of music being composed. “I had composed a few pieces now and then since I was a teenager, but now, that I spent so much time practicing, they just started to come. I had barely composed one piece when the next one made its presence known. Sometimes I had three to four compositions in the making.”
Iceland is a land of contrasts. It is largely a vast unspoiled wilderness. Large glaciers, frequent volcanic eruptions, geysers, deep fjords, and waterfalls make this small island resemble a depiction of Middle-Earth per Tolkien. It is no wonder why such a place would so richly influence Snorri’s music.
He readily admits to a deep love for Nature’s beauty. In his own words: “I used to go to remote places in Iceland, far from any populated areas, just to enjoy to the sights and sounds of Nature. The birds, tranquil lakes and streams, the wind, and snow covered mountain peaks were captivating. I would sit for hours and appreciate being immersed in Nature this way. It was then that I understood the importance of protecting the environment.”
He continues: “I would see little things here and there and ponder their presence. I would see a boulder in a river and wonder where it came from and where it must have been located thousands, if not millions of years ago. A drop of spring water trickling down the face of a rock next to some stream sufficed to make a connection between the small drop and the large river. I was captivated by the dance of the Aurora Borealis across the winter sky.” Moments like these later yielded compositions such as “The Brook” and “Aurora Borealis”. “Nature is full of stories,” continues Snorri, “I am trying to relay them with my music. And now that I have reached my professional goals, I can pursue my artistic ones.”
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