From Iceland — Good Morning, Seyðisfjörður!

Good Morning, Seyðisfjörður!

Published July 2, 2024

Good Morning, Seyðisfjörður!
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Seyðisfjörður Community Radio

Seyðisfjörður Community Radio stays relevant by keeping things loose

“Radio is within the realm of immediate publication. Which we have a great tradition for in Iceland, within the arts scene and the music scene,” Lasse Høgenhof ruminates, describing how Seyðisfjörður Community Radio fits into the greater art narrative.

Based out of the artist-run LungA School, Seyðisfjörður Community Radio hit the airwaves in 2016, birthed out of a workshop of the same name during which American sound artist Eric DeLuca introduced Lasse and collaborator Jonatan Spejlborg Juelsbo to the wonders of community radio. Suffice to say, they were hooked. When the workshop drew to a close, the duo took up the mantle of the station, broadcasting on historic Seyðisfjörður signal FM 107.1 and adding digital streaming to allow for listening outside the community.

The most random radio show might be the most poetic thing you’ve ever heard in your life.

Seyðisfjörður Community Radio’s broadcast schedule waxes and wanes in line with the interest levels of its coordinators, with Lasse explaining that, “if you go into the archive, it would be extremely active for two to three months and less active for three to four months.” Elaborating on this variable schedule, he reasons, “it’s just the method. Because to turn that timeframe around would also change the ethos of the radio quite a lot.” The scheduling is largely controlled by the tides of the LungA School, with the schedule peaking between September and April when they host students and artists in residence.

A menagerie of shows

With an archive of nearly 500 recordings, one would think it’d be impossible for Lasse to pinpoint a favourite episode — but that’s not the case. He enthusiastically recounts a late-night talk show called “Drunken Radio,” which was born out of former LungA School residents hacking into the online stream and taking to the air. Then there’s the show he and Jonatan hosted called “From L to JSJ,” a daily weather program and the list goes on. “The most random radio show might be the most poetic thing you’ve ever heard in your life,” Lasse says.

“We have these very low-production productions, and then we also have some productions that are fully funded and artists are getting commissioned,” Lasse explains. “Those radio shows run completely democratically alongside each other.” That’s a hallmark of community radio: no matter how different two shows or two radio hosts are, they remain on an equal plane.

But even the funded and commissioned projects align with the ethos of community radio and, more specifically, the objectives of the LungA School — they’re experimental and raw. “If we stop doing that and start making podcast-y, well-planned and produced radio,” Lasse reasons, “then we should just go and do that type of radio. So I think it needs to stay shitty to be relevant somehow.”

“Sometimes these radio shows, they kind of get integrated in the fabric of the local community in a really cool way,” Lasse says, referencing a program he’s been working on for which he ventured to the local supermarket with elementary school students to collect soundbites. “I think all those things together — the integration in the school, artists discovering it as a toy, in town, a way for people to keep in touch and reach out — I think that’s kind of the sum of the radio you can find now.”

Broadcasting near and far

In the past few years, the station has caught the interest of international broadcasters, leading to collaborations with The Lake Radio in Copenhagen and Hong Kong Community Radio. Integral to the station’s development in the past year is Seyðisfjörður Community Radio joining the Lithuania-based Independent Community Radio Network (ICRN).

I think it needs to stay shitty.

With nine other stations based across Baltic and Nordic countries, the ICRN has given Seyðisfjörður Community Radio the chance to reach an international audience and learn from its peers. “Being a part of this network has really given me so much access to [international] colleagues,” Lasse says. “It also means that we have gone from just being excited about making radio, to maybe starting to be a part of this field in a more substantial way.”

Humbly, Lasse says, “slowly we started getting a feeling that we were part of an ecosystem of peers. And also that maybe our radio has a position in some sort of radio constellation.We keep asking [the ICRN], ‘do you feel like we are valid members in our current form?’ And everyone says, ‘it is exactly because of your current form that you are relevant!’”

This emphasis of collaboration has allowed Seyðisfjörður Community Radio to share their work internationally, while platforming local and international artists visiting the LungA School. He tells me about a 2021 project where the station organised and broadcasted a rendition of Hawaiian poet Juliana Spahr’s “Everybody With Lungs” by vocal group ilinx in a church in Denmark.

Lasse reflects on this, saying “I really remember that I was like ‘woah. We can make work come.’ And create the conditions for work. I’ve hoped for that many times through curation, but the radio really opened it up for me.”

With support from Seyðisfjördur Community Radio, Reykjavík-based Radio Gufan will be broadcasting the final instalment of the LungA Festival, happening July 15 – 21. Stream Seyðisfjördur Community Radio broadcasts at


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