We’re halfway through the festival and the schedule for tonight is about twice as long as the previous two days. Your head is probably spinning from the overwhelming thrill of so many possibilities, or maybe it’s the tiny and strangely organised type on today’s assaultingly blue paper. Let us try and steady you…
Grab any spectator spilling out of Gaukurinn tonight and ask him or her for an adjective to describe the experience. If they are pleased, chances are you’ll get a wide grin and a “raw.” And I’m sure it was, raw. But if you want to know the real ‘raw’ in a more…historical…sense, drop into Harpa tonight for Jóhann Jóhannson’s collaborative composition ‘The Miner’s Hymms’. This celebrated Icelandic composer worked with the American filmmaker, Bill Morrison, to score original archived footage of mining communities in North East England. The film and composition focuses on universal themes and hardships of pitwork in the infamous Durham coalfield. Now lets talk about raw.
Recently the word ‘festival’ has (both ironically and very seriously) conjured up images of too-high jean shorts, too little SPF, and flower headdresses. Did you just feel that 10 m/s wall of wind smash into your left side? That’s Iceland laughing at you. There goes your headdress. I’ll give the audience more credit. For the most part everybody is dressed and over-dressed for the occasion. But if you want to make believe for just one forty-minute set that it’s sunshine you’ve been blasted with, head to Iðnó for this all-girl “surf doo-wop” foursome. Right on the beautiful, beaming coast of Tjörnin.
RVK Art Museum
Listening to this Austrian electronic duo kind of feels like bobbing in the middle of a lake. Everything is shimmering. You’re floating. Sounds pleasant, huh? You’d never guess that the producers of this sensation were arrested on the plane ride over and spent their first night here in an Icelandic jail. COME ON, ICELAND, WHAT KIND OF WELCOME IS THAT??? But you can make it up to them tonight and give them the warm welcome they really deserve.
If you’re especially observant you may have noticed the tiny ‘FALK’ written under Harpa’s Kaldalón stage tonight. It stands for ‘Fuck Art Let’s Kill,’ and it’s where you’ll find this Polish Punk duo at the turn of the night. I think that the title is adequately revealing, saving me from having to come up with lazy metaphors about their sound. Show up if you’re curious about what it feels like to be blasted with a homemade “baritone missile.”
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