If you never leave Laugavegur to do your downtown shopping, you might easily miss it – Hljóðheimurinn Sangitamiya or, as it’s colloquially known, “that music store with the sitar in the window.” And when you first walk in, instruments such as gongs, kotos, didgeridoos and sitars are the first things you notice. The store’s most popular item is the xylophone, but this store also features smaller and equally overlooked instruments such as jaw harps, kazoos, tin whistles and bamboo flutes. You get the impression that in the very near future we’ll be seeing some of these instruments gracing the stages of Reykjavík’s clubs.
The store is a long time favourite among Reykjavík kindergarten teachers and people looking for different kind of birthday presents, but it is also frequented by members of the symphony orchestra, while Björk has been known to shop there as well.
Sangitamiya is not an exclusively high-end store. There are the aforementioned kazoos, jaw harps, xylophones and bamboo flutes, and even some instruments for children. Particularly addictive are the ‘swing straws’ – flexible plastic tubes that produce different tones when swung through the air at different speeds – and the ‘boom wackers’, which are plastic tubes that produce different tones when struck on the ground.
So, if you are searching for that special sound for your band, Sangitamiya is the place to look.