From Iceland — Mugi Goes to the Movies

Mugi Goes to the Movies

Mugi Goes to the Movies

Published September 3, 2004

It seems that this prolific young man–singer, songwriter, festival organizer, and now film scorer–has his fingers in a lot of pies around the country. I can’t seem to talk to anyone involved with Icelandic music without his name popping up. Gunnar Tynes from Múm characterizes the situation, “there is actually a lot of good music in Iceland, but it’s not the popular music. So few people are listening to musicians like Mugison. I don’t understand.” With the release of Friðrik Þór’s international co-production, perhaps the melodies of Mugi will be able to reach more ears.
Mugi’s ridiculous luck
“I watched the movie about a million times to start with,” Mugi explains, “then I started to put the music together while looking at some scenes.” The music is a real deviation from Mugi’s previous album, Lonely Mountain. Some tracks like 2 birds are rather traditional in form, a guitar and two crooning voices. Other tracks like Patrick Swayze incorporate clips from the film followed by a sampled and computer-generated soundscape. Another track of note is I’d ask (finale), a marching lament executed with an accordion and a chorus of Mugi’s voices. Overall the music is evocative in only a way movie music can be, but despite the fact that its visual counterpart is missing, the album puts forth a palpable mood of melancholy and nostalgia. “I’m not a conscious musician, so I don’t really know how it happens. I just know I’m ridiculously lucky. This guy must be insane to trust a kid to make his soundtrack!”
However, the soundtrack is far from kid’s stuff. The entire record is laced with luminal sounds: water, breathing, distant talking, rattles, and pops. These tracks were painstakingly rendered. It’s a slow film and it needs lots of music. When I asked [Friðrik Þór] what kind of music he was thinking about, he just said ‘champagne!’ to me and hung up the phone.” The film has done well in the film festival circuit and will premier in Iceland soon. Mugison is currently working on his next album which should be out in the middle of October.

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