The Magnetic Tapes of Iðunn

 

Image result for Segulbönd iðunnar  

For those that don’t know, Iðunn is the goddess of poetry in the old Norse mythology. The Iðunn rímur song society has recently published a large collection of notations, along with recordings, of traditional Icelandic folk songs in the genre known as kvæðalög, or the melodies used to perform this form of traditional Icelandic epic poetry. It so happens that the 160 transcriptions in the book were done by yours truly (during a precisely 10 year period). Which is not to say that it wasn’t edited and redone and labored over by several people.

   

Nevertheless, I think the outcome is fantastic, and the book is a highly collectible object, an independent sequel to Silfurplötur Iðunnar (a similar publication from 15 years earlier). I hope it does justice to the people who supplied the material for this collection of recordings.          

Scandal in the Church of Árbær

 
Atli Ingólfsson - Wikipedia
Professor Atli Ingólfsson

        Atli Ingólfsson, composer and professor at the Iceland Academy of the Arts recently published a lengthy article in Icelandic about my chamber opera Einvaldsóður. It appeared in the 3rd issue of the online music journal Þræðir. The title of this post is a translation of his title for the article. The article reflects my work Einvaldsóður not just in length but also in form.      
One of the performers, in the role of a priest, elaborates on theological issues to the congregation, outside the church after the “sermon”.
  The title of my opera, Einvaldsóður, means literally and Ode to Monarchy (or even absolutism or the rule of one), a perennially controversial topic. In both the article and the piece there is twist in the title you only discover towards the end.   The 2 performances took place last year in an old traditional sod house church in an open air museum in the outskirts of Reykjavík. Again, here’s a link to the article:     https://lhi.is/tolublad-3-skandall-i-arbaejarkirkju

Whale Choir

This is a drill of the whale sounds choir of visual artist Marina Rees. She asked me to compose a number using this vocal technique which I did and which is not the one here above but I believe it was premiered on July 3rd in the Old Low Light Heritage Centre somewhere in the North of England, marking the opening of her exhibition and the culmination of her residency there. Apperently this “opening act” and its rehearsals got some media attention locally and internationally with interviews with her along with whale choir sounds appearing in BBC television and the Reuters website, to name a few. Quite astonishing actually. We want to try to get the piece performed by other choirs soon.    

Krákulán released on VauxesFlores

Travis Johns, sound artist and artisan boutique gadget maker runs has released my record Krákulán on his label Vauxesflores recently.

This is a collection of electronic pieces written in the summer of 2016. They experiment with various types of midi controlled just intonation and is charecterized (as often is the case) by sharp percussive sounds and elastic rhythms.    

Lárviður Release Concert in Mengi






Fersteinn is celebrating this album coming out in Mengi, Reykjavík, tonight. It is released by Traktorinn. We will play old and new material. The oldest piece will be Lardipésa and the newest are two Hörkvartetts.





We are happy about this amazing cover made by Sam Rees. The record is available both digitally and physically from here. The previous record from Traktorinn will also be for sale. So, release concert in Mengi 21:00 tonight, 2000 kr entrance.



Field//// premiers The Loft

The Canadian improvising quartet field//// asked me to do a “grid” for them after our collaboration in 2015. What that means is a chart for a structured improvisation. Each of the writes a grid which only indicates time, what people are playing, and which instrument they play. No other information is allowed. No Italian.

https://i1.wp.com/i.ytimg.com/vi/imXvEYxk2WI/maxresdefault.jpg?resize=700%2C394&ssl=1

So my grid is called “The Loft” and will be premiered at the Graffiti Gallery in Winnipeg, September 22nd. The concert will also include other grids by the members. Should be an interesting show.

Toyen fil og klafferi premiers Leyfðu barninu on Ultima Festival.

Tomorrow Toyen, fil og klafferi will premier my new piece Leyfðu barninu for bass clarinet, bassoon, viola and cello. It forms a pair of pieces with Leyfðu hjólinu which the same ensemble premiered and performed earlier this year in different parts of Norway, Sweden and Iceland.

 
The concert starts at noon at Sentralen, and is part of the Ultima Festival 2017. The concert will include pieces by Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, Lars Skoglund and the clarinetist of the group Kristine Tjögersen.    

Látrún released by Traktorinn

Traktorinn has just released a new record of some of my electronic music. It is called Látrún and is available here:

   
It is a work consisting of recordings, samples and electronic sounds where everything fits into a scale of 16 notes in just intonation in a scale developed by fellow S.L.Á.T.U.R. composer and architect, Magnús Jensson. Sounds of flutes, bowls, folk harps and purely electronic sounds in layered pictures.

Two interviews

Before a  concert I had  on March 4th in Mengi there were two interviews, both in Icelandic relating to the concerts and the concept behind working with old computers.

Pétur Grétarsson did an interview for the radio program Víðsjá which will be there just a little while longer,     http://ruv.is/sarpurinn/ras-1/vidsja/20170302     and Elísabet Indra with Mengi did an interview for Mengi.      

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