Gulli Óttarsson

Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson

Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson (Born December 11, 1954 in Reykjavík, Iceland), guitar player and engineer. He is a mathematician, an inventor, a practising polytechnic engineer, lecturer and the author of several scientific papers.

Childhood: first contact with science and music

Born to diplomat Elín Sólveig Benediktsdóttir (1937), and Óttar Hermann Guðlaugsson (1931-1991), a silversmith; Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson (also known as “Gulli”, “Guð Krist” or “Godkrist”, “The Third Ear”, “GodBles” or simply GKÓ), was in contact with technique and sciences from a very early age thanks to the silver and gold shop which had been owned by his paternal grandfather, Guðlaugur Magnússon (1903-1953), Erna Ltd., located next to Guðlaugur’s house.
His music career started at an early age as well: Guðlaugur’s paternal grandfather had played the trumpet, horns and participated in different brass, classic and jazz bands during the 1920s until the 1940s. Encouraged by his family, Guðlaugur started singing when he was around 6 years old having his first performance on the Icelandic Radio in 1961. As music was taught at all levels in elementary school, he took advantage of that and built his first string instrument when he was only 10 and received his first guitar when turned 11.

Jobs and studies

Guðlaugur had his very first job when he was 7, as a toy caretaker and maintenance at a child care centre. As a prodigious child he owned his first private lab when he was 9 and studied cosmology when he was 11, radio since 12 and physics since 14. Around this period, during seven summers, from 9 to 15 years old, he worked with a farmer over the South-eastern coast of Iceland. The farmer was a blacksmith and an electrician who built small hydroelectric power plants. This way Guðlaugur started gaining knowledge in electricity and technical work while combing them with the farming tasks.

From 13 to 15 years old he worked at high school as a physics laboratory assistance and when he was 16 started to work with seismic instruments and as an electrician until he turned 20 in 1975, and then entered at the University of Iceland and worked as an assistant to the mathematics professor and later as a computer teacher.
Guðlaugur graduated in 1981 when he was 27 and afterwards worked in general teaching and as a science and technology tutor. Since 1987 started working in different corporations as a software and hardware specialist, and in 1991 for the Icelandic Government in diverse fields: security, coding, navigation and rescue until 1999, when he started to work independently as an inventor, lecturer, and author of several scientific papers.
From the beginning, Guðlaugur has combined his scientific research with his music career, thus his life can be split into two broad sections: music and scientific careers.

Scientific career

Graduated from the Laugarvatn high school with specialization in mathematics and physics, in 1975 Guðlaugur began his studies at the Polytechnic Division of the University of Iceland where he specialized in mathematics, physics, informatics and electric engineering until his graduation in 1981.

His work spans through a wide range of topics: he has worked on issues related to physics and engineering, but mainly on electro-physics engineering. From an early age was immersed in electricity, sound and lightning.
He has designed electric equipments, and electronic devices for a broad series of applications, such as recording studios, power supplies for musical instruments, underwater communication systems, software and algorithms for navigation use, and has as well invented geo- and helio-thermoelectric high frequency generators, cooling systems for optoelectronic devices, to name but a few. In addition, he was written several papers that have been published on international journals and conferences, while other works remain classified.

Inventions

His first creation took place in 1973 and it was a multiplex matrix for guitar effects; the purpose of this was to eliminate the connection difficulties of guitar sound effects, because according to different permutations, the results tend to vary. By creating a programmable multiplex matrix of up to 8 effects, this would place them in any combination, either in series or parallel.
The next project was the creation of amplifiers of musical instruments based on the principles of Shannon and Nyquist and the adding or circuit designs and transistors to cancel all noises by connecting several amplifying devices in parallel.

In 1975 in the realm of informatics, he worked on a special software for IBM1620 used for composition and arrangement, as well as electroacoustic transducers for musical instruments.
In 1976 created a television system called multiscreen television. The idea was to have only one TV set at home, which would work as a reception and signal processor and that it could operate as many TV sets as desired in different parts of the house. This was never suitable for mass production given the risks of this high voltage distribution system, from which he acquired more knowledge for future developments.

From 1984 to 1991 Guðlaugur worked on the service and maintenance of Sinclair QL computers and wrote many of the utilities of the operating system for the Icelandic market. One of the most important works in 1986 came when he created a multilingual translation console. This allowed the user change the language while the equipment was in use. The word “console” was employed here to represent the keyboard and screen combination.
With this system it was possible to change the keyboard’s and screen’s drivers, and the error message system to any of the 7 available languages without having to reboot.
With the experience gained with this work, he would later be involved in the area of electronic navigation and cartography.

Following the same year, when working in theatre chains and music stands, Guðlaugur created a battery charger, but the funds requested for further development were denied. Years later, alkaline chargers became a reality.

In 1989, under the request of a Swedish art galley, he created an artefact for the restoration of oil paintings. This mechanism was formed by a table warmed by internal wires which were controlled by means of a thermostat and the painting was held on its place thanks to an air bomb. “The reason that I was recruited to design this was the astronomical cost of the equipment used by Louvre and the heavy-duty galleries. This often happens, that I am supposed to be able to make very expensive things cheaper by clever design and allying the newest technology.”
In 1989 Guðlaugur designed a circuit called Mark - special indicator for drummers in live. It was a device that marked the difference between two notes and displayed the results with LED lights. This creation was useful when the musician worked with sequencers and computerized beats; thus the performer could keep in time with the artificial beats.
A unit of this device was designed for Sigtryggur Baldursson, who at that time was working with The Sugarcubes.

In 1993 created a representation of geocentric coordinates with integer words of limited bit size which allowed the compression of geographical coordinates without losing accuracy.

In 1996 cooperated with the University of Iceland, the Sea Research Institution (HAFRÓ) and Radíómiðun to create a database based on 10-year fishing reports from Icelandic waters classified with coordinates, dates, species and catch weights. The system was complimented with a software interface used for queries and an electronic cartographic system. This catch prediction system allowed the user to know where fishing banks were located and it also was updated as new data was registered helping determine fish migration paths. Presented at the International Fisheries Exhibition in Iceland, it represented a step further in the fishing industry.

Later, he designed an underwater acoustic transmitter which worked under the principle of silence modulation. The information was transmitted from the fishing equipment on the silent breaks of certain frequency. This device could operate for a long time without recharging thanks to a low-power syntesizer which was phase-locked to the system clock. Further development on the transmitter by VAKI-DNG allowed the creation of a catch sensor for trawling.

Another work related to this device was the topological discrimination system, which allowed determine whether a certain latitude and longitude were inside or outside a specific area. For this task tens of millions of coordinates had to be sort into different fishing grounds, legal areas etc. Therefore a theorem from the complex contour integration was used to determine the location of certain point within a predetermined area. By integrating the function f(z) = 1/(z-a) around a certain path, 2π was obtained if the point a was inside the contour and cero, if it was outside the contour. Further calculus helped transform the contour integral into a sum of arch functions. Ultra-high-speed-integer algorithms were used on Motorola 68K and Risk processors.
In 2005 the system was adapted to the cartographic and navigational system, MaxSea. The applications span from cost protection, establishment of risk areas, fishing limits, etc. The system was introduced to the Icelandic Cost Guard, rescue units and air traffic authorities.

In 1998 worked on an underground magnetic sources detector in homogeneous material. This project was the attempt to retrieve the wreckage of a Dutch freighter which was carrying gold and diamonds and then sank in Southern Iceland in the Seventeenth century. Guðlaugur designed a SQUID sensor to detect the presence of magnetic and gravitational fluctuations in sandy grounds. This project was put on hold, until the necessary funds are gathered.

Research, scientific papers and other works

In 1984 Guðlaugur conducted a research on the ways to counteract electromagnetic pollution in buildings. This problem was discovered when he was working with audio and video equipments; these showed certain failures on the recording qualities due to an improper placement and badly edified buildings. On this approach, which was unique at that time, four clear results were obtained: 1). Electronic equipments could fail if exposed to a very intense pollution, 2). Humans are also prone to be affected under the same circumstances, 3). Animals are as well prone to get ill if exposed to these conditions and 4). Insects and primitive forms of life do not seem to be affected by intense magnetic fields.
This topic has gained currency during the past decades due to the controversy caused by cellular phones, the high rates of people suffering of cancer (mainly children and the elderly) registered in areas where there are exposed to high tension lines. This work made him render his services to Orkulausnir, a company created by his colleague and friend Brynjólfur Snorrason. Later, Guðlaugur joined Helgi Geirharðsson, founder of Eco-Electrics á Íslandi, with Bogi Pálsson as an investor.

An area of interest derived from this study was the interference isolation to equipments used in recording studios.

In 1988, while working as a science professor at the University of Iceland, he published his own text books. The first one was Mathematical Reference Manual and it was followed in 1990 by the equivalent version for physics. Both publications were used by university and pre-university students.

By early 1990s started working with multiplex modems, GPS tracking systems for ships, data transfer between ships of dissimilar equipments, underwater communication systems, software used for the fishing industry, three-dimensional underwater surface maps, etc.

In 1999 authored a paper titled The Physics of Action: Addressing Thermomagnetism, Nuclear Structure and Gravitation, which was published in 2001 after being introduced in various institutions and the University of Iceland. On this paper, Guðlaugur outlined about the states of matter, from an electrical stance, where states are denied as ion-solid, ion-liquid, plasma and photons, and he delved into the gravitational considerations from the Newtonian gravitational theory in comparison with Einstein's Special Relativity. In addition to this, he explained how in such changes of states, there are a series of thermal, electric, magnetic, optical acoustic, structural and gravitational phenomena. This paper also referred to the trapped light, which is related to Hubble radius, the frontier that marks the threshold of visible Universe based on the Expanding Universe Theory, in which galaxies are withdrawing from us at higher speeds as the distance increases; therefore, in the Hubble radius, galaxies would be travelling at the speed of light.

Guðlaugur’s work is also focused on thermoelectricity as a means to solve the problems derived from Iceland’s short endowment of energy resources. By 1999 he and Pétur Pétursson and Reynir Arngrímsson founded Varmaraf, a company whose goal was the boosting of thermoelectricity as a possible way to generate electricity from geothermal sources taking into advance the advantageous conditions in Iceland (for more information, see geology of Iceland). The three original members owned a third of the company shares, until the group was extended with the arrival of Dr. Þorsteinn Sigfusson in 2000, balancing the share distribution to a quarter per member. The board of directors expanded in 2003 with the entrance of Japan Steel Works Ltd.

Varmaraf has extended its activities to the construction of heat exchangers, hydrogen storage devices, with several applications on technology.

Due to his enthusiasm early In chemistry, At the age of 14He had found that it was possible to obtain ethanol from etangas and his interest In photosynthesis, led him years later to the idea of using tuned laserS and a nano-structured catalyst to aid the photosynthesis process by radiating CO2 and H2O molecules and then the bounds would break and merge to form carbohydrateS like CH3OH, C2H5OH or C3H7OH, which could Be separated by distillation.

By 1999He formed a task force to evaluate the possibility of using artificial photosynthesis to extract CO2 from the water-saturated atmosphere. The process involved sunlight and laser beams powered by the Icelandic hydroelectric power grid. He worked In the idea of creating fuel from the atmosphere and called airbrew, where the term brew refers to a brewery that uses air As the main source to make ethanol instead of sugar. It was during this period that Varmaraf was established As a leading thermoelectricity company In Iceland. The research was focused, among other things, on the creation of a thermoelectricity-powered greenhouse and Guðlaugur Óttarsson had the idea of turning greenhouses into a largescale project In order to counteract global warming. For example, there are many aluminum plants In Iceland which emit huge quantities of CO2, so by year 2004He proposed building greenhouses for each aluminum plant that would consume all the CO2 released by the aluminum plant into the air. Further research on this topic is currently underway.

In 2000 he worked on several papers such as The Accumulated Extraction, Optimising Electrical Connections for Hot and Cold Terminals, A Relativistic Thermoelectromagnetic Theory, work by which he was invited by the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This paper was published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2003.

In 2002 introduced a paper titled The Ladder Hypothesis and again in 2003, the IEEE published another of Guðlaugur’s work, A Ladder Thermoelectric Parallelepiped Generator

In 2002 worked with Þorgeir Jónsson and David A. Hubbell in a 2 year project financed by the Research Council for Traffic Safety (RANNUN, for the Icelandic initials) to the thermoelectric harvesting in road structures. United States, Italy and Iceland where the chosen countries where temperature profiles were analysed at surface level and at 1 meter depth. The importance of this study was that the idea of using thermoelectricity to light traffic signals and other road structures during the night. Three reports where the result of this research and the group patented a LED system lamp illuminated by the administration of thermoelectric heat, particularly useful for devices using hi-flux LEDs, including traffic lights, emergency signs and airport runway applications, among others.

Other works are: Factoring Cubic Polynomials for Circuit Theorists, Orka, Varmi & Vinna (Energy, Heat & Work), Light as the 5th State of Matter and the Limitation of its Transport Capability, Hreyfing Massa í Þyngdarsviði Newtons (Orbits of Point Masses in Newtonian Gravitational Fields), On the Binary Nature of Triad Structures in Subatomic Entities, among others.

Music career

Early bands

Steinblóm (Stone Flowers) by 1969, was his first group. It was a trio formed by Guðlaugur in electric and acoustic guitars, Haraldur Johannessen in acoustic guitar as well, and Gunnar Magnússon in acoustic bass.
Steinblóm played punk versions of renowned artists as Bob Dylan and his British counterpart Donovan, besides some original songs composed by Guðlaugur himself, and some folk songs. At that time, he was experimenting with homemade electro-acoustic guitars and amplifiers. Steinblóm did some gigs in Reykjavík and the suburbs.
The end of the band came when Guðlaugur moved from Reykjavík to Laugarvatn in order to assist high school.

Lótus was the next group. Created when being at the Laugarvatn high school, the group was active since 1972, and then in 1974 and 1975 and played all over Iceland in 1974 when the country celebrated its 1,100th anniversary (Iceland was founded in 874). Lótus was basically a rock band whose members were Óttarsson and Guðjón Sigurbjörnsson both on electric guitars, Böðvar Helgi Guðmundsson on electric bass, Guðmann Þorvaldsson on drums, and the vocalist Sigurður Pálsson.
The music performed by Lótus was in the style of jazz-rock of Dave Brubeck and some original songs written by Guðlaugur, including arrangements to Mozart and Beethoven in a rock style. Just like his first band, Lótus did not release any record, but they did some two-track recordings although they are believe to be lost..
Lótus disbanded in 1975 when Guðlaugur returned to Reykjavík to study at the Polytechnic Division of the University of Iceland.

He joined Sextettinn (Sextet) in 1977 when he was at University. On this group he joined guitarist Sveinbjörn Baldvinsson, Gunnar Hrafnsson (bass), Stefán Stefánsson (saxophone), Guðjón Hilmarsson (drums), and finally Kristín Jóhannsdóttir the vocalist. The music of Sextettinn was made of original themes performed in several different styles from country-rock, pop-rock to pop-jazz. This group was an important core of original and creative song writing.
Sextettinn gave several gigs throughout Iceland and also had a presentation at the local TV station, however, Guðlaugur stayed for a short time, as University studies were taking most of his time. The remaining members of the group followed on under a different name: Ljósin í Bænum, (The Lights of the City) and released an album still popular in Iceland.

Shortly after, Guðlaugur joined a group called Galdrakarlar & Wilma Reading (The Wizards & Wilma Reading) during the boreal summer of 1977. This band was very important and consisted of brass, keyboards, guitars, bass and drums. The band toured Iceland and gave around 30 concerts. Wilma Reading the vocalist, was the leader of the group. She was an American singer and actress with roots in Broadway and Hollywood.
The music style of Galdrakarlar & Wilma Reading was mainly jazz-oriented musicals with influences from George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Hammerstein II to Duke Ellington.
The members of Galdrakarlar & Wilma Reading, besides Guðlaugur and Wilma Reading, were: Birgir Einarsson (trumpet), Hlöðver Smári Haraldsson (keyboards), Hreiðar Sigurjónsson (clarinet and saxophone baritone), Pétur Hjálmarsson (electric bass), Sófus Jón Björnsson (drums), Stefán Stefánsson (saxophone soprano and flute).

Þeyr transcends the frontiers

By January 1981, a new band was created with the name of Þeyr and Guðlaugur Óttarsson joined Þorsteinn Magnússon in guitars, Hilmar Örn Agnarsson in electric bass, the vocalist Magnús Guðmundsson, and Sigtryggur Baldursson, the drummer.

The first concert with Þeyr took place on January 28 at the Hótel Saga. Þeyr was a group very sophisticated with a deep philosophical and physic inspiration, since all its members were by then intellectuals in music, sciences, philosophy, religion and even magic: “We were looking for a kind of ‘Theory of Everything’ which would unite all known disciplines of mankind into one coherent structure of wisdom. One man’s religion is another man’s magic, one man’s science is another man’s religion, etc... The very fact of us being here on Earth is both magical and religious, as well as scientific and philosophical. We went deeply into the ancient Nordic wisdom (before 800 A.C.) as well as the Middle Age’s alchemy as well as the dawn of the Galilean/Newtonian era up to the present Einstein/Heisenberg era”.

By that time, Guðlaugur was musically influenced by Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky, Alexander Scriabin, Joy Division, Holger Czukay, The Birthday Party, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Nina Hagen, David Byrne, Yes, Genesis, Grateful Dead, and John McLaughlin.

By spring 1981 their first single was on the streets. It was Life Transmission which contained the title song, the first work sung in English by the band. By autumn they came up with Iður til Fóta, a four-track single and its cassette version featured "Brennu-Njálssaga", the soundtrack to the film by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson about Njál's saga.
By late 1981 Þeyr released an album titled Mjötviður Mær, which contained songs like "Iss", "Þeir" and "2999" that could be deemed as attempts to create a futuristic pop style thanks to the use of voice distortions and additional beats and keyboards. On this record “Úlfur” stands out for embodying an angry voice style turning it into one of the most important, with “Mjötviður”, an instrumental song, and “Rúdolf”, an antifascist song performed in a rock anger mood.

In 1982 Þeyr released their last album with the title of As Above.... This work contains English versions of the group’s hits. An important song of this record was “Killer Boogie”, since it is considered as an attempt to achieve an international position. Also by 1982 the group performed on a concert in Reykjavík which was recorded and went out as a live concert release named Rokk í Reykjavík (“Rock in Reykjavík”). This concert gathered some of the most important bands at that time like Purrkur Pillnikk and Tappi Tíkarrass. Þeyr appeared in this compilation with two songs: “Killer Boogie” and “Rúdolf”. By the same year the group released an EP titled The Fourth Reich which contained a stronger use of percussion and rhythmic efforts than previous works, songs that stand out in this respect were “Zen” and “Blood”, with a deeper rock-style music.

Also by 1982, Jaz Coleman, the singer of Killing Joke, had moved to Iceland because he feared that the end of the world was looming. Once there, he collaborated with several music bands, but above all with Þeyr, and even created a group originally called Iceland, but subsequently renamed Niceland by Guðlaugur. Although this group was formed by Coleman and Þeyr’s musicians, it did not include Þorsteinn Magnússon, the other guitarist.
After rehearsing for weeks, Niceland was ready to record 5 songs in 1983, but two of them were not finished; the three recorded songs were: “Guess Again”, “Catalyst” and “Take What’s Mine”. They have never been released officially and still remain as unpublished material.

In 1983 Þeyr released the last singe: Lunaire and by June of the same year the band broke up.

In 2001, next to the support of family members and friends, he released a CD to commemorate Þeyr’s 20th anniversary. This CD contained newly discovered mixes of Iður til Fóta y Mjötviður Mær, and thus the CD was named Mjötviður til Fóta and it is currently the only available record of Þeyr. The other records have never been reissued because the masters are believed to be lost.

KUKL and The Elgar Sisters: a step towards experimentation

Following Þeyr, Guðlaugur and Sigtryggur joined Einar Örn Benediktsson, the vocalist of Purrkur Pillnikk, Einar Arnaldur Melax kaeyboardist from Medúsa, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, vocalist of Tappi Tíkarrass and bassist Birgir Mogensen from Spilafífl when Ásmundur Jónsson from Gramm (the most important record company in Iceland at that time) wanted to create a new band with all the cutting-edge artists at the moment to perform for the last edition of the radio program Áfangar which had been cancelled. After composing and rehearsing for two weeks the group appeared under the name of KUKL (“Sorcerer“, in Medieval Icelandic).

Although the style of music performed by KUKL was a type of dark gothic rock in the style of Killing Joke and innovative references of The Fall's post punk, it was later defined by Björk as “existential jazz-punk-hardcore”. KUKL’s music had rich compositions with a very advanced tonal structure, as Guðlaugur points out: “We had more in common with Stravinsky and Scriabin than with the Sex Pistols. We were also beyond the politics of the hippy, rock and punk thinking. We were driven by our musical discoveries and creative urge.”

While touring through Iceland, they performed with the pro anarchy group Crass and subsequently visited the United Kingdom in a series of gigs with Flux of Pink Indians.

Their first release was the single Söngull in 1983, a version of “Dismembered”, corresponding to their following release of The Eye, an album that came to light in 1984. With respect to this work, Sounds magazine gave it 5 stars (excellent) for expanding the music imposed by Crass Records. With decaying metals, disrupted rock sounds and vocal inflections of “Assassin” that show the essence of this album. There are as well other songs like “The Spire” that stands out with central phrases overlapped to background lines and the song “Anna”, maker of a threatening environment.

By September 14, 1984, KUKL performed in Paris, from which they recorded a cassette edited by French independent record label V.I.S.A. with the title of KUKL à Paris 14.9.84. KUKL continued with another album titled Holidays in Europe (The Naughty Nought) in 1986 and it was also released through Crass Records. This work is far much complex and all wind instruments were replaced by keyboards and bells. Songs like “A Mutual Thrill” have an exquisite mélange of pop and an experimental post-indie sort of music.

At this moment, Þór Eldon Jónsson, the guitarist of Medúsa had been dating Björk and she became pregnant, so KUKL became into a very exhausting task. Plus, Einar Örn was studying in London and when he came back to Iceland in the summer of 1986 decided that KUKL was over and a new project should be set up in order to deal with the group’s expenditures. That is how The Sugarcubes came into being. KUKL thus broke up. Guðlaugur y Birgir Mogensen were the only musicians who did not continue on the new project.

The Elgar Sisters was a group created by Guðlaugur and Björk which coexisted with KUKL, although it lasted a little bit longer. This group in spite of not having released any album, managed to record 11 songs in from 1984 to 1986. Guðlaugur Óttarsson not only took the place as an electric and acoustic guitarist, but also was responsible for the composition of most of the songs. Björk, besides of being the vocalist, composed three songs (two with Guðlaugur). So, The Elgar Sisters could be seen as their duo project.
Besides them, Elgar Sisters had the presence of other musicians: Birgir Mogensen in electric bass, Einar Melax in keyboards, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (HÖH) in keyboards and synthetic drums, Sigtryggur Baldursson in drums and percussion and Þorsteinn Magnússon in electric guitar.
Only a few songs recorded by Elgar Sisters came to light through Björks’s solo career and on Guðlaugur’s solo album released by late 2005.

Other music projects

Hættuleg Hljómsveit (“The Dangerous Orchestra”) was a group in which he participated along Magnús Þór Jónsson (Megas), Björk, Birgir Baldursson, and Haraldur Þorsteinsson. This group, which was active between 1990 and 1991 was established after the release of Hættuleg hljómsveit & glæpakvendið Stella, an album by Megas in 1990. The band did many concerts in South-western Iceland, in the outskirts of Reykjavík and later in rural areas of Northern Iceland, but by this period Björk was no longer a member. Hættuleg Hljómsveit never released any record.

MÖK Trio was a group formed by bassist Tómas Magnús Tómasson (mainly known by his work in Stuðmenn), Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, and Guðlaugur. In fact, the name stemmed from the initials corresponding to the middle name of each member. Their first gig was approximately by 1992. MÖK Trio did not use to play regularly and they never released any album. Their last presentation was in August 2001 at Galdrahátíðin á Ströndum, Reykjavík.

INRI: was a project of Magnús Jensson. Guðlaugur joined Magnús and played extensively through Iceland in irregular periods from 1993. Some tracks were recorded in 1995.

GVDL: was a group created in 2001 with Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and bassist Georg Bjarnason for the arrival of the American band Fuck. In fact, the initials GVDL correspond to Fuck switched a place. This band only had one performance at Kaffi Reykjavík.

Collaborations

Collaborations with Psychic TV: in 1984 added guitars on Psychic TV’s album Those Who Do Not. This work was produced by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Guðlaugur Óttarsson put in use one of his inventions, the P-Orridgemeter. It was a device that could be programmed within any given pulse of frequency and be activated by them to make an identical structure and pattern for other sampled sound. By this means, digital or sound samples were “played” by individuals who were not present in the space-time sense. For instance, a vocalist could activate a bells sound. This could be recorded as an identical pattern and then the voice was erased.
In 1987 the tracks of this work were reissued with a different name, Live in Reykjavik, an album which was released by Temple Records, the record label owned by Genesis P-Orridge.

Collaborations with Megas: Guðlaugur has contributed with several albums by Megas, the Icelandic rock father, as a guitarist, arranger and composer. His first contribution was in 1987 for the album Loftmynd and in 1988 appeared again on Höfuðlausnir which featured Björk and Rose McDowell as backing vocalists.
By 1990 Guðlaugur added guitars on Hættuleg Hljómsveit & Glæpakvendið Stella, an album featuring The Sugarcubes. In 1992 appeared on Þrír Blóðdropar, an album with the additional collaboration of Bubbi Morthens, Móeiður Júníusdóttir, and drummer Sigtryggur Baldursson. Another album followed in 1994, it was Drög að Upprisu.

In 2002 Guðlaugur contributions are featured on the compilation Megas 1972-2002 and the same year joined Megas playing the song “Edge and Over” for Fálkar, the soundtrack to Friðriksson’s film Falcons.

Collaborations with Bubbi Morthens: in 1989 worked with singer Bubbi Morthens for the 10 track album Nóttin Langa and part of this work is featured on Bubbi’s Sögur 1980-1990, a compilation released in 1999.

Featuring with Björk: in August 1993 Björk released Venus as a Boy featuring an Elgar Sisters song, “Stígðu Mig” on the second CD. By November Big Time Sensuality went out and it featured others Elgar songs, “Síðasta Ég” and “Glora”.
On November 4, 2002 Björk released a CD box titled Family Tree, containing three songs where Guðlaugur is featured, “Síðasta Ég” and “Fuglar” (also known as “Seagull”, which was taken from KUKL’s The Eye).

Featuring and collaborations with other artists: in 1987 worked on Crowleymass, an album by Current 93, the band led by David Tibet (ex Psychic TV), with the collaboration of HÖH who at that time was in Nyarlathotep's Idiot Flute Players. It was a single edited by Maldoror in a limited edition of 2,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
In 1990 Guðlaugur played in Crusher of Bones, an album released by Reptilicus. Produced by HÖH and it was an example of darkwave/industrial of the early 1990s.
In 1994 worked with Neol Einsteiger on the album Heitur Vindur and by 1995 added guitars on the song “Eftirmáli og Ályktarnir” which appeared on Kjöttromman, an album released by EXEM, the band led by Einar Melax and poet Þorri Jóh. By 1998 played on Ull by Súkkat, a band formed by Hafþór and Gunnar Ólafsson.

In 2003 played with Graveslime on their album Roughness and Toughness, an album with thick sound layers with a melodic approach. Guðlaugur only played the song “American Sleeper”.
By late 2005 played 8 songs from Hús Datt, the debut album of Megasukk, a band created by Megas and Súkkat.

Solo career

After the KUKL/Elgar Sisters period, Guðlaugur has given several performances along other artists as well as with material of his own composition.

With a free style and oriented Frank Zappa and Duke Ellington has performed on the national TV and radio station accompanied by other musicians or just guitar solo concerts. In 2002 released an album called Alone with Guitar which contained arrangements to five pieces of Bach and it was followed on by another CD of limited edition containing some tracks from The Elgar Sisters as well as some of his live performances.

On October 23 2004 he was called to compose a song to be performed by the belfry of Hallgrímskirkja (the Icelandic cathedral). The song was performed by the church organist during the Icelandic Airwaves Festival.
He was as well contributed to progressive music thanks to arrangements to pieces such as Suite No 3 and Toccata in Fugue in D minor, both by Bach, along other works by Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus, among others.

On December 9, 2005 he released Dense Time, his first solo album. It is a review of his music work, including new songs recorded for this album and featuring several Icelandic musicians like Björk, Megas, Agnar Wilhelm Agnarsson, Ragnhildur Gísladóttir, Guðmundur Jónsson (an operatic singer and Guðlaugur's stepfather), Magnús Guðmunsson, and others. It was produced by Guðlaugur with Arni Guðjónsson (leader of the band Leaves), and guitarist Guðmundur Pétursson.

By mid October broke his left arm in an accident and several shows had to be cancelled. On December 16, Pronil Holdings is (a company in charge of his music royalties and scientific patents) is officially registered.
Dense Time is reissued by Bad Taste and goes to the streets for the Christmas season. On February 25 offered a concert performing Vivaldi and Bach and introduced some of his new compositions which would form part of his forthcoming album.

Guðlaugur Óttarsson is married to Valborg Elisabet Kristjánsdóttir and has two daughters: Ellen Svava (1973) and Hera Þöll Guðlaugsdóttir (1981).

Discography

Early bands

Steinblóm (1969)

  • No official releases.

Lótus (1973-1975)

  • No official releases - some recordings are believed to be lost.

Sextettinn (1977)

  • No official releases.

Galdrakarlar & Wilma Reading (1977)

  • No official releases - featuring GKÓ as a guest musician.

Discography with Þeyr (1981-1983)

Albums:

Singles / EPs:

Featuring:

Video clips:

Featuring on films:

Niceland (1983)

  • No official releases - In 1983 the group recorded three songs: “Guess Again”, “Catalyst” and “Take What’s Mine”.

Killing Joke (1983)

  • No official releases with them.

Discography of KUKL (1983-1986)

Single:

Albums:

Featuring and collaborations:

MEGAKUKL (1985)

  • No official releases: Megas and KUKL recorded about 20 songs during a concert, but none of them were edited.

The Elgar Sisters (1984-1986)

  • No official releases - 11 songs were recorded, but only three have been released during Björk’s solo career. (See section for collaborations) and few others during Guðlaugur’s solo career (see section for solo career).

MÖK Trio (1992-2001):

  • No official releases - some tracks were recorded in August 2001 during a concert at Galdrahátíðin á Ströndum.

INRI (1993-2004):

  • No official releases - they recorded some tapes in 1995.

GVDL (2001):

  • No official releases

Solo career

Collaborations of Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson

Inventions

  • 1973 - Multiplexing matrix for guitar effects.
  • 1976 - Multiscreen television.
  • 1981 - Sound reinforcement for concert halls.
  • 1981 - Scriabin.
  • 1982 - Audio multiplexer.
  • 1984 - Intelligent dissembler for 68 K processors.
  • 1985 - P-Orridgemeter.
  • 1986 - Multilingual console translation.
  • 1986 - Alkaline battery charger.
  • 1989 - Vacuum & hot table for oil paint restoration.
  • 1989 - Mark - space indicator for live performer drummers.
  • 1993 - Modem multiplexer.
  • 1993 - Representation of geocentric coordinates with integer words of limited bit size.
  • 1996 - Catch prediction system for the fishing industry.
  • 1996 - Underwater acoustic transmitter.
  • 1996 - High speed algorithm for topological discrimination in electronic cartographic systems.
  • 1997 - Intelligent dissembler for 80X processors.
  • 1998 - Underground magnetic sources detector in homogeneous material.
  • 2000 - High frequency geothermoelectric generator.
  • 2000 - High frequency heliothemoelectric generator.
  • 2001 - Thermoelectric electron extractor for thermoelectric power generation.
  • 2002 - Cooling system for optoelectric components.
  • 2003 - LED illuminated lamp with thermoelectric heat management.
  • 2005 - Thermally optimized torus inductor.

Publications for the University of Iceland

  • 1988 - Mathematical Reference Manual
  • 1990 - Physical Reference Manual

Scientific papers

Available in PDF format.

Presentations / conferences

Related bibliography

Music:

  • Rokksaga Íslands, Gestur Guðmundsson. Forlagið (1990).
  • Björk - Colección Imágenes de Rock, N°82, Jordi Bianciotto. Editorial La Máscara (1997).
  • Alternative Rock : Third Ear - The Essential Listening Companion, Dave Thimpson. Backbeat Books (2000).
  • Lobster or Fame, Ólafur Jóhann Engilbertsson. Bad Taste (2000).

Science:

  • The Meaning of Relativity, Albert Einstein. Chapman and Hall Ltd. (1960).
  • Thermoelectricity, P.H. Egli. John Wiley and Sons, New York, (1960).
  • Thermoelectricity and Thermoelectric Power Generation, D. Pountinen. Solid States Electronics (1968).
  • CRC Handbook of Thermoelectrics, D.M. Rowe. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, (1995).

External links

Music:

Science:

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