Austerity. Starkness. Love. Grandeur. Magic.
This week I discovered (much too late I may add) the beauty of the music of Sigur Ros, a band forged in the volcanic magnificence of Iceland. Looking at the trailer of their DVD, Heima, a documentary, concert film, travelogue and art photography experience, I dare anyone to watch it without getting goosebumps. Sigur Ros (the name means victory rose, named for one of the member’s sisters, Sigurros, a common girl’s name in Iceland) is one of the most original bands I’ve heard in a long time. Lyrics are in Icelandic, but sometimes in a wordless sing-song they call hopelandic.
It’s stark simplicity reflects the harsh landscape they grew up with and sometimes seems to summon up the sound of the earth itself crying out. Or maybe that’s the sound of the Icelandic financial system. It’s powerful stuff, and no one can really explain or describe it. You have to listen and be moved.