The Scent Opera, a strange olfactory & music collaboration that dates back to 2009, is the first release on Bedroom Community’s HVALREKI digital-series. Written by Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurðsson for Green Aria: A Scent Opera. ‘An opera for your nose’ by Stewart Matthew and perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Premiered at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in August 2009, this is the first time the recording has been released.

The opera’s premise is that a sequence of smells guides us through a oblique parable about industrialisation, through short episodic bursts of information. Some smells are dirty, like the rubber of a train in Paris, and others are classically blended harmonically well-rounded scents. Occasionally, a clean, neutral, pure sound arrives as a little flute-scented garden which should have the effect of clearing the chaos of the surrounding music (and, indeed, smells).

Nadia Sirota and Helgi Hrafn Jónsson join us as two of the essential voices that bind the narrative together. The multivalent collaboration yielded many surprising results: a 14-minute score that is funny, aggressive, shape-shifting, electronic, acoustic, and strange. 


“A century ago, the decadent Russian composer Alexander Scriabin dreamed of a mega-opera that would combine music, dance, color, and scent. Now the composers Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurdsson […] have taken a small step in that direction.” – The New Yorker

“A new performance art that pairs music with a carefully orchestrated sequence of smells, some pleasant and some real stinkers.” – The Wall Street Journal

“A new opera in which the nose plays as big a role as the ears.” It unfolds in the dark. Precisely timed to a score of about fifteen minutes, two dozen fragrances will be pumped out of a “scent organ” and into “scent microphones” attached to 148 seats in the museum’s music." – New York Magazine:


is a new series of digital releases from Bedroom Community. Stripping away visual design, packaging, and manufacturing processes, HVALREKI offers music that lands beyond our strictly curated HVALUR album series. In Icelandic, hvalur means “whale” and hvalreki translates as “beached whale.” The rarest and most precious of finds, hvalreki could sustain an entire village through winter. With so many special projects thriving in Bedroom Community’s waters, we invite fans to share our HVALREKI.



1. Scent Opera

Images/Cover Art