Iceland Airwaves festival day four – Björk's the star in her home country | Musique Non Stop


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Iceland Airwaves festival day four – Björk's the star in her home country

Björk’s performance was a standout – but the day showcased a score of artists worthy of collaborating with her

Iceland Airwaves may not have the A&R reputation of South by South West or CMJ, but it does offer as wide a variety of new music as any festival, both local and international (with an obvious focus on Icelandic and Scandinavian talent). And the bookers deserve a mention because they’ve ensured that wherever you alight, at whichever of the dozen or so venues in town (with a couple on the outskirts), you’re bound to find something of interest.

You could almost see it as a festival made in the image of the nation’s totemic individualist and experimentalist, Björk. Saturday is virtually a showcase for potential Björk collaborators. There is Bára Gísladóttir, an Icelandic composer and double bassist who has performed with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and isa member of the Swedish-Icelandic composers’ collective Errata. Her performance is both arthouse – a woman sawing away at her instrument with little attention paid to such niceties as accessibility and melody – and thrilling. She does to the double bass what Hendrix did to the electric guitar, using it to coax out thrillingly strange new sounds. There is a laptop, too, so it’s hard to ascertain precisely the provenance of all those faintly disturbing noises, but in one song alone they variously approximate the creak of a door in a haunted house and the wheeze of a pensioner gasping for breath.

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by Paul Lester via Electronic music | The Guardian
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