Next week Saturday, Cycle Festival, Iceland will feature a performance of a collection of six new works of mine titled ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’. The South Iceland Chamber Choir will be singing alongside their own echoes diffused over multiple speakers and their filmed counterparts in various fictional landscapes. These echoes navigate through space, history and fiction.
It begins at the beginning. ‘Á’ is the name of the opening piece, which translates as ‘river’ from Icelandic and pronounced as ‘Au’ in Latin, which is the abbreviation for ‘Aurum’ or Gold in the periodic table. ‘Á’ reflects the Elements before the dawn of language. The force of Nature. A free-fall to erodation.
Cycle Festival, Iceland will feature a concert of six new works of mine bundled in the title ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’. The South Iceland Chamber Choir will be singing alongside their own echoes diffused over multiple speakers as if you’re standing in various fictional landscapes. These echoes navigate through space, history and fiction.
The initial concept for this Moving Classics commission was that a choir would be singing live on a breakwater in the sea. Their sounds would reflect back from cliffs and mountains in the far distance over the ocean surface. This idea was inspired by ferry hooting I could hear from my cliff top house every afternoon at half two, the ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, with echoes reflecting back from cliffs from over 20 miles away. Given the chance, seals are very good at finding the sonic sweet spot where their calls resonate loudest on the steep cliff walls and seagulls know how to make use of natural reverberations with their loud vocalisations, as well.
We adapted the concept to be able to tour it around in venues, moving slightly away from the mad and quite risky initial outdoors idea. Together with film maker Jakob Tekiela we filmed the choir singing on location instead, in two frantic filming days end of June. Twelve members of the South Iceland Chamber Choir drove for three hours to the Snaefellsness peninsula to sing wildlife calls next to a very loud flock of kittiwake gulls at Hellnar and on Djúpalóns Beach …at midnight.
The stunning surrealistic landscapes Jakob has created from the video footage and the soundscapes I’ve edited from the field recordings will accompany the live concert. At times the choir will sing alongside themselves on screen.
‘Djúpalónsdóttir & Hellnarsson’ are the sons and daughters of Verisimilitude, perched on the lush green of rocks and cliffs, calling to each other in our intrinsic mother tongue.
This is one of the first amazing sketches Jakob Tekiela made for the Djúpalónsdóttir & Hellnarsson scenery.