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Live Painting, Sound Bathing, Dance, Gramophones: The Art Of Norður Og Niður

Live Painting, Sound Bathing, Dance, Gramophones: The Art Of Norður Og Niður

Jessica Peng
Words by
Photos by
Art Bicnick Timothée Lambrecq, Norður Og Niður

Published December 30, 2017

As we approach the final day of Norður og Niður music festival, you probably have noticed that a lot of acts aren’t just traditional popular music. Rather, they are music infused with an art perspective. To go along with the unique curation of artists and bands, the festival also has several art exhibitions on the first floor at Norðurbryggja, with pieces dotted around the building. Here’s a roundup of all the exhibitions.

Gramophone installation
As you walk into Norðurbryggja, the first thing you see is the gramophone installation by Alex Somers, an American visual artist and musician based in Reykjavík. The piece is called “Siblings,” and it’s played back via tape loops and gramophone speakers. The speakers are aligned in a circle, with Alex’s piano and harmonium in the center. Alex gives a live performance every day at 10:25pm, with the backdrop of the Reykjavík harbour.

As he plays beautiful chords along with other string instruments in playback, the audience fall into a meditative mode. Some even shed tears over how touching the performance is. Today is the last day of the live performance, so make sure to check it out if you get a chance.

Live painting
Another super special feature of the festival is the live painting by Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir, Reykjavík-based visual artist. She has been painting 500 album covers for five different vinyl releases, which are only available for sale at the festival. The releases include albums by Jónsi, Jónsi & Alex, Sigur Rós and Alex Somers.

You can walk into Sigga’s temporary studio and observe her creative process, which is a refreshing experience. Because she’s using drops of ink to create the album covers, each cover is one of a kind. The vinyls are on sale at 4pm each day.

Flow VR
Put your VR glasses on, because it’s meditation time. Flow VR gives you an opportunity to be transported to a beautiful Icelandic landscape, and a soothing voice will guide you through a meditation. There’s still time, so make sure to check it out at Norðurbryggja.

Liminal Soundbath
This immersive ambient sound installation will take place in Norðurljós at 2.45pm on Saturday December 30th. Jónsi and Alex will mix unreleased live stems via an instrument named Solblossi. The project is the creative collaboration of Juan Azulay (Creative Direction), Perry Hall (live performances) and Jonathan Jones Morris (Code), and participants are advised to bring a pillow and blanket to lie on.

Dance performances
The Icelandic Dance company have been punctuating the days with specially devised performances to unreleased material by Sigur Rós, in collaboration with various special guests. See their final two performances at 4pm and 6pm at the Floi stage.

Video work & installations
There are also various video works and installations dotted around Harpa, including a piece by UK art scene rebel Gavin Turk on the ground floor, a playlist of video works by Icelandic artists near the Hörpuhorn stage, and a guitar and amp installation on the fourth floor. So keep your eyes open as you wander around.

Read more about Norður og Niður here.


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