Fersteinn is an ensemble, a quartet of multi-instrumentalists and an ongoing compositional laboratory of composer Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson. He is joined by Bára Sigurjónsdóttir, Lárus Halldór Grímsson and Páll Ivan frá Eiðum.
The music might resemble naturals sounds or the movements of animals, rain drops et cetera, it is however not literally based on anything such The music often works with just intonation or microtonality, microrhythm, non-metrical or unmetered anything. Spaces are never even, lines are not straight. A scale, however, of sonic equivalences is sometimes present. Animated notation makes the synchronization of such ideas possible.
Fersteinn developed out of the Sláturdúndur concert series in
Reykjavík (starting in 2009) hosted by the Slátur organization and the related
The first pieces performed by Fersteinn were the quartets which subsequently have been performed by many others. The same can be said of the octets which likewise are for open instrumentation (to an extent). Other pieces such as the various Hrammdæla pieces, the Laflananam’s, the Hörkvartett’s and so on, are unlikely to be performed by anyone else due to the nature of them and the modifications of the instruments required. In some cases the instruments are even custom made.
The band started to appear in more varied contexts, touring
locally, playing various local festivals, town gatherings and public
spaces, public libraries, bookstores and avant-garde music, art and poetry festivals. Eventually the band started performing in other countries as well, particularly the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
Some of the band’s repertoire has been performed by others in festivals and concerts in
Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Turkey, Germany,
and the U.S.A. The band released a limited edition 10” on DOB records in 2012 of a live recording from a short tour in the Netherlands.
Fersteinn has appeared in: Chritoph Schiller Atelier Konzerte in Basel, The Wall Gallery in Rotterdam, De Player in Rotterdam, Delta in the Hague, Vhlesaal in Middelburg, Impremere Ephemere in Brussels, Forum für Kunst und Architectur in Essen, Bergerkirche in Düsseldorf, Alte Kirche in Bonn, Ljóðhátíð Ljóðfélagsins, Nýlistasafnið, Menningarnótt, Ljósanótt Keflavík, Mengi, Frafl, Sequences Festival, Raflost, Sláturtíð and various other events and festivals in Iceland.
Fersteinn has collaborated with Sue Schlotte, Christoph Schiller, Grúska Babúska and Charity Chan.
For a general preview of Fersteinn’s music see: