Don't Blame Iceland

Now that the unpronounceably named volcano from Iceland has settled down, let's turn our attention to other unpronounceable acts that Iceland has released upon the world.

First up is probably Iceland's biggest musician, Ms. Guðmundsdóttir, better known as Björk. Initially the lead singer for The Sugarcubes, Björk has been around long enough to become a worldwide musical icon. Her inventive style often includes a great deal of innovation as well. Sometimes she's screaming, sometimes she's grunting, but every little thing she does is very musical. She even was the lead in a musical called Dancer in the Dark. It's pretty and depressing. Actually some would say it's pretty depressing. Bring your box of tissues.

From the other side of the island comes the all-male musical group, Sigur Rós. I love this band, and not just because they sing in a mixture of Icelandic and Vonlenska, an unintelligible language they created. Their range in music goes from a lilting tune to a deeply introspective piece in a heartbeat. I actually saw them play at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall where they ended the concert by spraying the entire audience with confetti. The film Heima, chronicles their journey home where they gave free concerts to the people of Iceland. It showcases their music perfectly, but also features the wonderful imagery that inspired them. 

I recently stumbled across yet another musical act from Iceland, Múm. They are a collective of musicians who also perform experimental electronic music. I wonder what it is about being from Iceland that inspires such unique music...perhaps it’s the volcanoes!