From Iceland — Sóley Steadfast: Icelandic Artist Unmoved By Earthquake During Livestream

Sóley Steadfast: Icelandic Artist Unmoved By Earthquake During Livestream

Published February 26, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
Sunna Ben

Icelandic musician Sóley Stefánsdóttir kept calm and carried on last Wednesday, while an earthquake rocked her live-streamed performance from the University of Iceland in Reykjavík.

The multi-instrumentalist was about 22 minutes into her performance when one of a series of earthquakes—the largest being of magnitude 5.7—hit the capital region, shaking Sóley’s performance space.

The musicians all stopped playing and looked at each other. Sóley said, “Oh my god, this was an earthquake—it’s mother earth. Back to what we were doing.” Then they continued to perform Circles, the track from her forthcoming album that they were playing when they were interrupted. The moment can be seen below, courtesy of Vísir.

As cool as an Icelandic cucumber

Soley told The Grapevine that there’s a secret to her cool: “I think the earthquake that happened at the show was number eight, or something. During the first one yesterday I was just outside getting my gear in, but I really felt it. I thought they were just bombing somewhere! Anyway, it always surprises you when it happens, even though you live here.”

The seismic interruption was strangely appropriate, as Soley’s upcoming new material revolves around themes of mankind’s abuse of Mother Earth—and her potential to retaliate.

“It’s basically a concept album, in a very abstract way, about the end of days and the end of our days,” Solely explained. “And of the violence we commit against the earth.”

Grace under seismic pressure

Icelanders are very accustomed to earthquakes shaking their nation, since the island is located in an area of high seismic activity. Sóley’s grace under pressure echoes that of Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir last October, when an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 rocked her house as she was being interviewed on a live stream. You can see her reaction here, along with what went down inside the Icelandic Parliament when that tremor struck.

You can see Soley’s full performance at the University of Iceland, along with Mother Nature’s interruption, below.

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