tue 28/06/2016

Iceland

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 crime drama 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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Just in From Scandinavia: Nordic Music Round-Up 14

Don’t be fooled by the header picture. Despite the relaxed poses, Iceland’s Pink Street Boys are amongst the angriest, loudest, most unhinged bands on the planet right now. Hits #1, their debut vinyl album – which follows distorted-sounding, lower-...

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theartsdesk in Aix-en-Provence: Let's make a Euro-opera

It’s a brilliantly sunny January afternoon amidst a general drama of rain at an industrial park outside Aix-en-Provence, and members of a production team are gathering for the first time in the back yard of the festival’s rehearsal studios. Some...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2014

A slim 69-year-old man in a rumpled sports jacket looking like a gone-to-seed history lecturer with the colour-clash dress sense of Michael Portillo is gripping a microphone so hard it’s a wonder it hasn’t been crushed. He is barking lyrics in...

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CD: Kiasmos

As vaporous as the haze on its cover, the sound of Kiasmos resonates like clouds sweeping across low mountain peaks, intermittently breaking into a storm or opening to reveal wan sunlight. Although firmly within the boundaries of electronica, the...

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Of Horses and Men

Twelve minutes into the Icelandic film Of Horses and Men something occurs on screen which was obviously going to happen, but actually seeing it happen is astonishing. It’s something which would normally either occur off screen or be alluded to. Of...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2013

Kraftwerk closing a festival is a big deal. It’s an even bigger honour when the seminal German outfit reconfigure their set to acknowledge where they’re playing. Last Sunday, Kraftwerk performed the rarely heard “Airwaves”, from 1975’s Radioactivity...

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Björk, Alexandra Palace

While Lady Gaga’s conceptual antics left the crowd cold in Camden last Sunday, Bjork’s Ally Pally spectacular last night showcased the musical artistry that sets her so far above other female pop pretenders. While Gaga’s affected oddities have...

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