Magma (1998) 16 minutes.
First performance: Warsaw 1998, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Joseph Swensen.

A colourful score which explores what Tómasson calls the “cold and austere” sounds of the symphony orchestra. The thick, slowly evolving sonorities are reminiscent of flowing lava, and the central point of the work is occupied by an unexpected unisono melody, a stark contrast to dense, contrapuntal writing in the rest of the piece.

“…constructed with iron logic, while [its] clear and distinct sound brings to mind the purity and austerity of the Northern landscape.” Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), October 1998.

“A wonderful composition, simple in form… but with a deafening climax.” DV (Iceland), January 1999.

„A strong dose of sonic fantasy, melodic writing and cool rhythmic drive.“
Huvudstadsbladet (Finland), September 2000.

“Tómasson´s Magma is a vivid example of how a composer can draw parallels between the forces of nature and a modern musical language. The work conjures up an archaic spell, even though it is neither simple nor old-fashioned.”
Helsingin Sanomat (Finland), September 2000.

For further information please contact the Iceland Music Information at or the composer at

Listen to excerpt: