Published August 11, 2016
Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir is an Icelandic composer, currently finishing her master’s degree at Mills College in Oakland. Her summer has been filled with various intriguing projects.
She participated in the music festival Only Connect/Tectonics in Oslo, where the Oslo Philharmonic performed a piece by her. Afterwards she travelled to Iceland and was a part of the RAFLOST electronic music festival. There she composed a music piece and created an interactive video piece, performed by harpist Katie Buckley in Denmark.
This weekend, Bergrún will be travelling to Denmark to participate in Ung Nordisk Musik, a festival for composers under 30, of which she is a chairperson. This September she will also be premiering a piece at Sonic Festival in Copenhagen, as well as bringing to life a multimedia chamber piece for Ensemble Adapter, Curious Chamber Players, Scenatet and Nordic Affect, which will be premiered at the annual Nordic Music Days in Reykjavík, from September 29-October 1.
We asked Bergrún to share with us her five favourite Icelandic albums:
Stefán Íslandi – ‘Stefán Íslandi’
Because summer is still with us, the amazing Icelandic tenor Stefán Íslandi has been constantly playing in my ears. This is because I really love listening to dramatic music when driving around the country, and no one does drama better than Stefán. We also hail from the same beautiful fjord, Skagafjörður, and this is very important because Skagafjörður is particularly great.
dj. flugvél og geimskip – ‘Glamúr í Geimnum’
What an amazing album this one is. Steinunn Eldflaug, its creator, is a mad musical scientist and I am constantly holding my breath to hear what she creates next. This album is filled with golden moments but one of my favourite parts is when the drum slave in “Trommuþrællinn” has to do a solo for the king even when he is starving to death.
Skúli Sverrisson – ‘Sería II’
I think I have listened to this album around a thousand times now (not really, I wish though). Every time I put it on I am surprised that I am not sick of it already. Ólöf Arnalds adds to the beauty with her vocals (and charango), as well as countless other amazing musicians. What a world.
Páll Ivan frá Eiðum – ‘Bon appétit!’
This album hasn’t been released yet but I think I’ve heard every track that’s going to be on it through Soundcloud and let me tell you: this is going to be the best thing to happen in the year 2016. We need this. Good will conquer. Check out Páll Ivan’s music video to “Expanding.” It is the track of the album.
Haukur Ágústsson og Telpnakór Langholtsskóla – ‘Litla Ljót’ Ævintýri með söngvum’
Finally we then have a musical adventure. I had this album as a child but stumbled upon it on YouTube last weekend and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I loved this album. It made sense. Four beautiful sisters banish their ugly sister into the woods (because she is unfit for society due to ugliness, duh). In the woods, she encounters a fairy godmother, who turns the tables so that the ugly sister becomes beautiful and her four sisters ugly, and are in turn, banished to the woods. I think I am ok today despite my growing up to this mentality.