From Iceland — Track By Track: An Elixir For Intuition On Kira Kira's 'Alchemy & Friends'

Track By Track: An Elixir For Intuition On Kira Kira’s ‘Alchemy & Friends’

Published June 18, 2018

Track By Track: An Elixir For Intuition On Kira Kira’s ‘Alchemy & Friends’
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Each piece of music is an alchemical offering; an elixir for courage, a device for distilling faith, a meditation on patience or trust. If not a direct conduit to healing, the music is an act of friendship coiled as an alchemical substrate, offered with the intention of inviting transformation on some level.

Talk To Your Hands
The opening track is an elixir for intuition, you could say. I wrote it for my dear friend Dustin O’Halloran, a pianist who could hardly move his hands for over a year because of a spinal injury. The cause was a mystery for a while; another friend suggested he ask his hands what they needed. We’re our own best healers, but sometimes we don’t know the right questions. That’s what friends are for.

Alchemy For The Heart
This was a soothing hymn for a friend’s wounded heart. It went through all kinds of transformations between Los Angeles and Reykjavík. It features my beautiful friend Sillus, and percussionists Samuli Kosminen and Kristó.

This one started from an improvised recording of Kórus, a choir I founded three years ago. Guitarist Daníel Friðrik spun into that. I sang and played harmonium, and Hermigervill played a 300 year old viola. In essence it has to do with holding an open and free heart space even when there’s no apparent reason to do so.

Courage Walks At Night
This is built on organ recordings I made in an old barn in Vatnsleysuströnd. I’m dedicating it to a great spiritual luminary I know, writer Þórdís Björnsdóttir. She has been an inspiration in leading a life of integrity, going against norms, and dissolving stagnated energies in our human villages. She’s a fearless transformer of spirit; an energy I aspire to.

Logandi Úlfar
I recorded the vocals on top of a dark orchestral soundscape in Hermigervill’s studio at 3 AM two summers ago. I had a dream the night before, which felt very real and it came through the improvised lyrics fully formed. We were mixing and producing with no plans to do vocals, but Hermigervill has a way of pressing record before you know it and was able to capture this. 

Pioneer of Love
Hermigervill and I fell into a trance while being filmed for a documentary on friendship and musical collaboration. Six hours later, this song had emerged. Previously we’d had one of our deep heart to hearts about love and how every time we fall is like it’s the first time. Full on intense intimacy with no discount on absolute romance. 

Call it Mystery – Alchemy For Patience
My music family in LA, The Echo Society, commissioned this piece. It’s a live recording of a 15 piece orchestra, with Eskmo and I singing. We wound up recording a collab album, to be released later this year.

And When You Fall, You’ll Know You Have A Heart.
I stayed overnight in Alex Somers’ old studio on Laufásvegur and sometime in the wee hours I improvised this to tape, and released it as is. Now the house it was recorded in is my home. 

Alchemy For The End
Let this one be a mystery. Suffice to say that endings are also beginnings in their own way, in death there is open space for birth and healing to happen. Feel the feels, all of them, and let them transform you and your loved ones.

Read more about Kira Kira here.

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