mon 29/05/2017

Iceland

Sunday Book: Yrsa Sigurdardóttir - The Legacy

Anyone who's followed Yrsa's earlier novels, many of them featuring down-to-earth attorney Thora Gudmundsdóttir as heroine, will value her superb evocation of very distinct and haunting parts of Iceland - the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Heimaey island,...

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Sunday Book: Neil Gaiman - Norse Mythology

Odin the All-Father, “lord of the slain, the gallows god”, has two ravens that “perch on his shoulders and whisper into his ears” as he wanders in disguise around the world. They are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory. Over many centuries, the...

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Case, Channel 4

Another night, another woman battered/strangled/raped/murdered. On Sunday a pregnant woman was brutally slapped about by her husband in Call the Midwife, while Emily Watson’s character in Apple Tree Yard was the victim of a punishment rape. And so...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2016

On the final night of Iceland Airwaves 2016, Polly Jean Harvey and her band are ranged in a line just inside the edge of the stage constructed inside Valshöllin, a sports hall south of Reykjavík’s city centre. The festival’s five days have climaxed...

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Björk, Royal Albert Hall

I'll be straight: I wasn't sure what to expect at this show, because I've never been a Björk fanatic as such. I loved – and saw live – The Sugarcubes as a teenager, I've raved to her Nineties Debut and Post era tracks, and I've enjoyed plenty...

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CD: Jóhann Jóhannsson - Orphée

Despite culminating with “Orphic Hymn”, a musical setting of Ovid’s text, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Orphée is not a literal interpretation of the Orpheus myth. Instead, the album uses retellings of the story – quoting the press release – to inspire “a...

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Björk Digital, Somerset House

Australia and Japan were first to host Björk Digital, but it lands at London’s Somerset House with fresh, never-before-seen work. The immersive virtual reality exhibition collates several digital- and film-based works born from Björk's critically...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Nocturnes for Midsummer

After a grey start, there was a spectacular sunset around midnight on the second of my two days in Reykjavik. It's what brings one of Iceland's most brilliant younger-generation talents, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson (and yes, he's worked with Björk),...

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Trapped, Series Finale, BBC Four

A Nordic noir that began in a blazing fish factory was bound to have lots of red herrings. Trapped, however, did not cheat and eventually revealed not only who set the fire but who was the father of Maggi, the ginger cutie waiting ever so...

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Just in From Scandinavia: Nordic Music Round-Up 15

Is language a barrier to international recognition? Is English necessary to make waves worldwide? Musicians from the African continent and South America regularly perform in their native tongue beyond the borders of their home countries. But often...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2015

The attack is relentless. Its power pummels like a gale. The 2015 model Mercury Rev begin their set at Iceland Airwaves as they meant to finish. Never has this band been so forceful, so kinetic. Yet their trademark balance of filmic drama and...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Hugi Guðmundsson, Schubert, Les Siècles

Hugi Guðmundsson: Calm of the Deep The Hamrahlíd Choir/Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, Nordic Affect/Guðni Franzson (Smekkleysa)Calm of the Deep introduces us to contemporary Icelandic composer Hugi Guðmundsson. Who sees his music as “a dialogue between...

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