The South Iceland Chamber Choir performed at Sigur Rós's festival, Norður og niður, in Harpa on December 27th 2017. The choir performed with Fufanu, as well as performing work by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Unnur Malín Sigurðardóttir.
The choir performed with legendary Icelandic singer and songwriter Megas at The National Theatre on November 2nd as part of Iceland Airwaves 2017 as well as at a KEXP off-venue concert at KEX Hostel on November 4th. The music was arranged by Thordur Magnusson.
Einars Falur, music critic at Morgunblaðið, wrote:.
"Loks stýrði Hilmar Örn Agnarsson firnafínum kór með félögum úr Kammerkór Suðurlands og MÍT kórnum. Og jafnvægið í mýkt og ágengi þegar það átti við hefði vart getað verið betra...og eftir dúndrandi klapp og stapp og hneigingar var kórinn einn eftir á sviðinu og flutti "Erfðaskrá" af plötunni Millilendingu á vægast sagt hrífandi hátt..."
The South Iceland Chamber Choir was invited to perform Surrounded by Strangers by Eyvind Gulbrandsen at the Nordic Matters Programme at The Southbank Centre's Chorus Festival in July 2017. The piece. originally commissioned for the choir as part of Moving Classics (sponsored by Creative Europe and SASS and pemiered at Cycle Music and Art Festival in 2015) was further developed for the festival by Gulbrandsen, Hilmar Orn Agnarsson, and members of the Southbank Centre's Voicelab.
Audiences were invited to dive into this vocal testimony, wandering through the performance space. Instead of following a formalised framework, the piece created space for the singers' individuality, eccentricities and expressions. The result of this collaboration was a remarkable, personal and emotional experience, which brought audiences face-to-face with performers laying themselves bare.
Audiences also enjoyed the performance of Birta by young Icelandic Composer Georg Kári Hilmarsson and SICC participated in a Nordic Big Sing along with other Nordic choirs.
The participation in Nordic Matters was made possible with support from the Embassy of Iceland in London and a grant from Iceland Music Export (ÚTÓN).
New work from Jobina Tinnemans and Jacob Tekiela will launch Curated Places' Sunday programme of John Grant's North Atlantic Flux - 4 days, 6 venues, 47 artists at Hull City Hall with a newly formed Hull choir putting their take on "Reflections Over Verisimilitude" the work JT created with Kammerkór Suðurlands as part of the 2016 Moving Classics residencies.
Check out the original work over on http://movingclassics.eu/…/reflections-over-verisimilitude…/
For more information on the event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/690222504513755/
On March 21st 2017, the South Iceland Chamber Choir held a celebratory concert at Landakot church in Reykjavik to celebrate the publication of its new album, Come Creator - Kom Skapari, on the choirs’ 20th Anniversary. The concert was dedicated to J.S. Bach for his birthday and as part of the Eythor Franszon Wechner, organist, performed work by the master, such as the well known H-moll prelude.
The choir has been working on the album for the past five years and part of the work was premiered at Dark Music Days in Reykjavik in 2012. The choir has throughout the years worked closely with young composers and premiered four new compositions by composers who have work on the album; Georg Kari Hilmarsson, Snorri Hallgrimsson, Orlygur Benediktsson, and Unnur Malin Sigurdardottir.
Since 2004, the South Iceland Chamber choir collaborated with British composer Sir John Tavener who commissioned the choir to premier some of his work at various occasions. The choir performed some of his rarerly heard work at this celebratory concert, inluding work he composed for his daughters and gave to the choir before his passing.
The choir also performed Islands by Welsch composer Jack White with soloist Bjorg Thorhallsdottir, as well as Raddir by Olafur Arnalds which was recorded for his video project and album Island Songs in 2016. Among other work performed are Niður by Hallvardur Asgeirsson, which is a music and dance piece created in collaboration with Saga Sigurdardottir, as well as Veronikukvaedi arranged by Jakob Hallgrimsson which was on the choir’s fyrst album, Ég byrja reisu mín, and Norhern Lighst by long term friend and collaborator Pall a Husafelli.
Visit here for video recordings from the concert.
South Iceland Chamber Choir presents its fourth album, Kom skapari - Come Creator, published by Smekkleysa - Bad Taste Music.
The album contains new Icelandic compositions commissioned for the choir. The majority of the composers comes from a pop music background while the choir has showcased and published contemporary music, so the outcome is both surprising and entertaining.
Among composers are Kjartan Sveinsson, Snorri Hallgrímsson, Bára Grímsdóttir, Páll Ragnar Pálsson, Vala Gestsdóttir, Haukur Tómasson, Benedikt Hermannsson, Örlygur Benediktsson, Ragnhildur Gísladóttir, Magga Stína, Georg Kári Hilmarsson, and Páll Guðmundsson á Húsafelli.
Work on the album started in 2012 and part of the music was premiered at Dark Music Days in Iceland in February that year. Jonas Sen, a renowned Icelandic music critic, chose the concert as the best choir concert of the year 2012.
The album was published with generous support from Tónlistarsjóður, SASS, and Hljóðritasjóður.
The album can be found in the Smekkleysa shop on Laugarvegur 35, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland. We are working on setting up an online shop but until then, if you would like to buy a copy for international shipping, drop us a line and we’ll be in touch.
Bringing together one of Iceland’s most critically acclaimed choirs alongside a new video work shot on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula the work transports audiences to an immersive soundscape combining live performance with captured footage seeing the choir members sing alongside themselves on screen with their combined echoes diffused over multiple speakers creating various fictional landscapes, from minimalistic to surrealistic.
The work is themed around echoes navigating through space, history and fiction. Working collaboratively with digital artist Jacob Tekiela from Copenhagen, the choir was filmed and recorded whilst singing in the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland. Tinnemans’ imaginative experimental approach to new digital technology fused with conventional sound sources results in an exciting mix of manipulated field recordings and a live musical performance by the full choir.
The composition expresses verisimilitude as a place, similar to the Snaefellsness Peninsula in Iceland where Jobina Tinnemans in collaboration with Jacob Tekiela filmed and recorded the choir. The six new compositions tell the story of how sound is reflected geographically and of who we are and where we came from.
‘Á’ is the name of the opening piece, which translates as ‘river’ from Icelandic. It is a piece that reflects the Elements before the dawn of language. ‘Djúpalónsdóttir and Hellnarson’ tells the story of the sons and daughters of Verisimilitude, perched on the lush green of the rocks and cliffs, calling to each other in a universal mother tongue. ‘Sjórinn Shanty’, which is a dissected sea shanty, incorporates a work rhythm which, historically, eases tasks on ships. The final song, ‘Gloria Omnia’ brings together traditional choral performance with space age disco triggered by live processed voices of the singers.
The work was premiered at Cycle Music and Art Festival in Kopavogur, Iceland. During the performance the South Iceland Chamber Choir were standing in the middle of the immersive projection space, presenting a unique way of merging a live performance of a choir with digital sound effects. Sceneries will be projected around the choir, showing different settings for each song. Members of the choir wear a throat microphone picking up live signals from their voices which is then digitally processed into echoes, reverberations and counterpoints. Each song presents a new setting with different echoes, from short reverberation to a fictional use of reflections. Jobina used Ableton Live to bring in the live voices, process them and diffuse the echoes over four speakers into the concert space. Each speaker had a slightly different echo, effect and process, fitting to the scenery projected on the screens to create a multidimensional concert of sonic and visual immersion.
The South Iceland Chamber Choir was honored to be part of the recording of Raddir by Ólafur Arnalds as part of his Island Songs project.
For 7 weeks, Arnalds will travel to 7 different locations in Iceland – one per week – to record and film a series of new compositions. In each location he will collaborate with local artists to create and perform a new song and each week I will release the audio track and a video performance, shot by director Baldvin Z. Island Songs is a living musical film and therefore everything will be documented in real-time and released weekly.
For more information on Islands Songs, visit the project's website here.
Cycle Music and Art Festival has been nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards as Best Music Event of the Year in the New and Classical Music.
The jury of the Icelandic Music Awards has this to say about Cycle:
„A highly ambitious and exhilarating festival with focus on the present connection between music, sound art, performance art, visual art and architecture. The festival engaged the audience in a productive dialogue and the performances were of highest quality. The interdisciplinary music performance 'Mirror’s Tunnel' by artist Ólafur Elíasson, composer Páll Ragnar Pálsson and Skark ensemble, 'Electrical Walks‘ by Christina Kubisch and 'Dyptych' by composer Thráinn Hjálmarsson and artist Sigurdur Gudjónsson were among the numerous phenomenal events which took place during the festival."
Cycle Music and Art Festival is nominated for the respected DV Cultural Prize in Iceland in the category Visual Arts.
The South Iceland Chamber Choir premiered Surrounded by Strangers at Cycle Music and Art Festival in August 2015.
In an announcement made by the festival they emphasise that they share this honour with their main collaborators Gerðarsafn Kópavogur Art Museum, Moving Classics, Curated Place, and Import Projects as well as with all their amazing participants, artists and team.
The committee's description: "Cycle is a new and exciting art festival which was launched in Kópavogur last summer, but is in fact an international arts project, where music and visual arts are brought together in a powerful, collaborative way. It is particularly fitting to host such a festival in Iceland, where in recent years music and visual arts have increasingly merged in a common channel and where musicians and artists often collaborate closely. Many are active in both genres and in fact, do not even distinguish between the two. World renowned artists took part in the initial festival such as Ólafur Elíasson, The Icelandic Love Corporation and Simon Steen-Andersen, but also multiple young and upcoming artists. The festival incorporated an incredibly broad spectrum of art activity in the capital region and in collaboration with Import Projects Berlin, showcased chosen works for further promotion."
Surrounded by Strangers, composed by Eyvind Gulbrandsen and performed by The South Iceland Chamber Choir, was performed as a Immersive Digital Choir Installation at SPECTRA, Aberdeen’s stunning Festival of Light, earlier this month. This is the second time the piece is performed digitally, the first time being in Manchester last November.
From Curated Place's website:
SPECTRA delivers a four day light spectacular growing from its home in Union Terrace Gardens to the Kirk of St Nicholas graveyard and into the signature building of the Granite City Marischal College, celebrating the Scottish Year of Architecture, Innovation & Design through this year’s theme “Spark of Inspiration”.
Featuring major public realm and gallery installations alongside new experimental works from the North East’s creative community the festival will enliven the city and celebrate Aberdeen’s creative past, present and future. Inviting audiences to engage with playful, accessible and high quality performances, spaces and works of art that marry light, sound and interactive experiences SPECTRA 2016 will be an exciting family event bringing light to the depths of winter.
Jobina Tinnemans has been chosen to work as a Resident Composer with The South Iceland Chamber Choir. Tinnemans contemporary classical works are unusual and exciting. They are usually site-specific, outside of concert halls, and are inspired by natural textures. Poetically, the sea is the rich source of many folk tales which echo through all times. The collaboration will produce the first work within a larger series of compositions situated on breakwaters around the globe, where the choir will perform by breakwater in Iceland.
The composition will be premiered at Cycle Music and Art Festival, a festival of new and progressive music highlighting young composers and which we see as an opportunity to attract and engage with a curious new audience who have not necessarily been in touch with new music before. It is such an honour to be selected for the Moving Classics commission.
“I am delighted to be working with Kammerkor Sudurlands and Curated Place to realise such an exciting new choral work. Placing a choir on a breakwater hearing their voices being carried over the ocean surface will be a fantastic spectacle. An engaging opportunity for new audiences to discover contemporary music in the harbour that becomes an amphitheatre for this concert.” – Jobina Tinnemans
Jobina Tinnemans is a contemporary composer of Dutch origin now residing in Wales, working in crossover disciplines of electronics, classical music and contemporary art. Incorporating analogue and digital, lo-fi and high-end techniques as well as non-musicians and ancient crafts. All to express the sounds she hears in the vast landscape around her, from the smallest micro-texture of rustling gorse to the dramatic sounds of the weather.
Page turning, knitters, hedge trimmers, kung fu and Shakespeare have all featured in her compositions. She was selected out of more than 600 submissions to compose contemporary classical composition with electronics for the 2013 edition of the MATA festival in New York, founded by Philip Glass, Eleonor Sandresky and Lisa Bielawa. Her highly acclaimed piece ‘Shakespeare and Hedgeshear’, involving two table tennis teams and hedge trimmers, was selected to represent the British section of the ISCM World Music Days 2014 in Poland. Her most recent work has been a trio of pieces written for strings, electronics, soprano and paper page turning, commissioned through the Sound and Music Embedded program.
Living on a Welsh cliff top, Tinnemans hears the ferry hoot daily being carried over the ocean surface and reflecting from the cliffs on the far side of the harbour. Natural sonic textures such as these are a recurring theme in Tinnemans’ work.
Originally posted by Moving Classics on January 26th 2016.
Surrounded by Strangers (Immersive Digital Choir) by Eyvind Gulbrandsen & South Iceland Chamber Choir
Moving Classics – European Network of New Music presents a one of its kind Immersive Digital Choir Installation in one of Manchester’s most extraordinary spaces – The Reading Room of the Central Library – providing the most surprising acoustics.
‘Surrounded by Strangers’ is inspired from stories from the members of the South Iceland Chamber Choir who Eyvind interviewed, prompted, cajoled and confided in to reveal their own very personal understanding of being surrounded by strangers through their own narratives. With 14 screens placed in the circular room surrounding the audiences, each screen will be showing an individual member of the choir performing solo with a single audio track- when synced together audiences will experience the entire choir.
Aiming to address the issues of modern society where more and more of us fail to fit into the increasingly standardised norms he has purposefully followed the personalities and stories of his collaborators to create a piece that creates a space for their individuality, eccentricity and expression rather than a formalised framework for his own creative ambitions.
The result is a remarkable, personal and emotional experience that brings audiences literally face to face with performers laying themselves bare through a piece of incredible music.
Surrounded by Strangers is produced through Moving Classics – European Network for New Music which is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Originally posted by Curated Place on 22 November 2015.