Emilíana Torrini was born May 16, 1977, in Iceland, the daughter of an Italian father and an Icelandic mother. Torrini grew up in Kópavogur, where, at the age of seven, she joined a choir as a soprano, until she went to opera school at the age of 15, and worked at her father’s well-known Italian restaurant, Italia, in Reykjavík. After releasing three albums in her native Iceland, she was “discovered” singing in the restaurant and relocated to London to launch an international career. She joined forces with Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal to produce her first widely released effort in 1999. Film director Peter Jackson invited Torrini to voice "Gollum's Song," the finale music for 2002's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, a job that Björk had previously accepted before backing out due to pregnancy. Torrini also composed three songs and contributed vocals to Thievery Corporation's 2002 album The Richest Man in Babylon and co-wrote two songs on Kylie Minogue’s 2003 album Body Language, including the number one hit single, "Slow." Torrini is best known for her 2009 European hit single, "Jungle Drum." Torrini’s fourth internationally released album, Tookah, is now available.
Torrini is a well-known singer/songwriter in her home country, where she holds the record for the most weeks at the number one album spot, but she is just beginning to launch a career in the United States. At the Apple Store Soho tonight, the soft-spoken Torrini sang with a cool, otherworldly croon while her band embraced elements of folk with a touch of electronica and trance. Torrini’s appearance was homespun, and her melodies were similarly slow and simple, like mom speaking to a child at bedtime. The execution of her poetic language fluttered between the singer-songwriter tradition and a more spacious and hypnotic modernity. It was all velvety mellow, and here was the drawback. Despite her smiles and chatty warmth between the songs, her performance lacked an energetic and dynamic reach. With all the bright lights on in the store and no spotlights on the stage, it was easy to drift off and become mindful of everything except her low-impact concert.
Visit Emiliana Torrini at www.emilianatorrini.com.