Faroese artist Elinborg Pálsdóttir on the creative bond between Iceland and the Faroe Islands
Each year the connection between the artistic communities of Iceland and the Faroe Islands grows stronger. Through personal and professional connections between the two countries, the confluence of both places seems increasingly prevalent. Some even go as far to make Reykjavík their home, like Faroese musicians Janus Rasmussen, Sakaris, Guðrið Hansdóttir and Eivør Pálsdóttir. Although those last two later returned to the native islands, both Guðrið and Eivør have maintained a spiritual and creative bond with the Icelandic capital.
Long-time visitor, first time performer
With its inception in 2019, the Faroe Music Export ensures the islands’ presence at Iceland Airwaves. This year’s edition features four artists revealing different facets of the archipelago’s contemporary music. Among these acts is Elinborg Pálsdóttir, a songwriter who travelled to Iceland for the first time at the age of eight and has long dreamt about performing at Airwaves. Now, on a visit to her mother’s house in Syðrugøta (also the home of Faroese open-air G! Festival), Elinborg brims with excitement about her upcoming shows at Iðnó and Kex Hostel.
“I stayed in Iceland for a few months earlier this year,” she recalls. “Everyone was so nice to me so I felt as if I was home. I had never felt it anywhere abroad. I don’t why, but even when Icelanders come to the Faroe Islands they have a homey feeling somehow. It makes you want to come back.”
From the start, Iceland felt welcoming. One of Elínborg memories of visiting Iceland for the first time is of a TV show on RÚV that was featuring her big sister Eivør. For Elinborg, those ventures were a chance to hone her skills as a performer. “Every time Eivør played a show there, I would go along. I was also performing with her in the early days. We played together at Harpa which was an unforgettable experience. As I got older, I decided to go on my own and eventually got my own gigs.”
Stalwart patron of Faroese music
Collaboration with Icelandic music industry professionals became essential for Elinborg, who has been working with FOH engineer Hallur Jonsson. As her debut album gradually takes shape, the artist hopes to get more Icelanders involved. Talking about the artistic community here, Elinborg exudes gratitude.
“Iceland has played such a big role. Airwaves, for example, opened doors to many Faroese artists. The Faroese scene wouldn’t be as diverse as it is now without the support of the music industry there and collaboration with Icelandic artists.”
That said, it is the support of the Faroe Music Export that really made things happen for the artists of the archipelago. Elinborg admits that the launch of the Faroese export office in 2019 was game-changing. Although somewhat younger than Iceland Music Export, a vanguard of local talent since 2006, the FMX reshapes the artistic landscape of the archipelago.
“The Faroese music industry has blossomed since the Faroe Islands music export was founded four years ago. It’s such a gift for us Faroese artists to have a platform such as FMX to turn to. It gives us more opportunities for collaboration and helps us get our music out to a broader audience. [Founder of FMX] Glenn Larsen has such a fiery soul and has done a tremendous amount of work for the Faroese music industry.”
Still, Iceland casts a spell. “I recently played with Lea Kampmann and Icelandic artist K.óla, and that was a really beautiful experience. We went to a summer house together, wrote a few songs and then performed them at Kex a few days later. We were standing on stage together and it felt very safe. That’s the memory I’ll always treasure.”
Catch Faroese artists Aggrasoppar, Marianna Winter, Jazzygold, and Elinborg perform at IA 2023. More details are available on icelandairwaves.is
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