From Iceland — TEABAGS & TUNES


Published February 11, 2005


In fact, some of the lyrics to her songs date back to her childhood in Denmark, when at the age of eight or nine, Sigríður started writing rhymes as gifts for her family. In 1949 she came to Iceland to work as a housemaid for a year, “but somehow I’m still here,” she says. As soon as her daughters had grown up, she began recording music in her flat, playing the Casio and singing. The huge amount of cassettes she bought at the record store Japis soon attracted the interest of the manager who persuaded Sigriður to release her songs on CD and sell them. By that time she had gathered 240 melodies.

Family, Dwarfs, Hitler and Bush
“Famous? Perhaps I am. I never tried to be,” she says. Although her CDs are being sold as far away as Japan, and Slowblow invited her to contribute two songs to the Nói Albínói soundtrack, Sigríður has never given a concert, and insists she never will. Last December, her songs were being performed live by members of Múm, Slowblow and Kitchen Motors at a concert at the Opera. “It was MARvellous, wasn’t it!” She shines a big happy smile and gets so excited she becomes hyperactive, meddling around in her kitchen.
In rapid succession she mentions her family, dwarfs, Hitler and Bush and how peaceful the earth would be if everyone had relatives in other countries. She herself finds peace and a purpose in her music. “I am very much alone, but I am never lonesome, because I can play music whenever I want.” Making up a tune usually takes her four or five hours, but the real difficulty is finding a title for it. Sometimes she thinks about it night and day.

Never Marry Anyone You Don’t Really Love
At the moment she is working on her fourtieth album. As she plays it to me, she makes up a little love story that connects the tunes. “A boy is on his way to a date – can you hear how light his steps are? I think he is dancing on the streets…” she says as she imitates his walk. Her new Casio is the playground of her dreams. Though she creates a lot of sound effects by herself, it provides a good deal of inspiration. “A lot of the sounds on the Casio are interesting, but have the wrong name. This one, for example, is definitely not a bagpipe!” It does, in fact, rather resemble a piano. Before I leave she gives me one final piece of advice: “Never marry anyone you don’t really love,” she says as I walk out the door.

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