The distinction between techno and classical music has in recent years started to blur. Aphex Twin’s 2003 remix of Philip Glass’ orchestral version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ distills the emotional intensity of Bowie’s vocals even further than the 1977 original. Local experimental techno duo Kiasmos continually explores the area between the acoustic and synth-heavy electro pop. Two years ago, American techno-pioneer Jeff Mills released ‘Planets,’ an electronic-classical concept album paying tribute to Gustav Holst’s 1916 orchestral score ‘The Planets.’
The new kids on the electronic-classical block are Geigen, a local techno-violin duo whose members come from two disparate worlds. Artist Gígja Jónsdóttir and composer Pétur Eggertsson have many years of violin training between them and share a desire for experimentation, brought on by a stagnated music education system.
Having shelved their violins for a while, Gígja and Pétur have now brought the instrument back into their work. The duo told Electric Dreams in a written statement that: “Geigen are rebels against the classical image of the violin, it is the need to break out of traditional systems, it embraces the violin and attempts to bring it into the future.” They stretch the sonic world of the acoustic instrument which they feed through a slew of effects and filters, mixed over techno.
Geigen’s concerts are experimental, constantly developing multi-sensory experiences that they call ‘The Geigen Galaxies.’ These concerts also venture into participatory installation territory, as audience members take on the role of passengers and fellow travellers on ‘Spaceship Nightclub.’
The first Geigen Galaxies was performed at Mengi in January, and the second earlier this month at Vorblót 2019 at Tjarnarbíó, as part of the Reykjavík Dance Festival. Geigen is currently working on releasing their first song and music video and are planning the next Geigen Galaxies as well. All hail the violin.
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