Soffía Björg celebrates the springtime by performing in Mengi an intimate set of songs that she has been working on for the past months. Also music from her upcoming album will played with the help of Tómas Jónsson on effect-driven rhodes. The artist Sigríður Þóra will display video art on the walls of Mengi and also sing backing vocals with Soffía.
Jakob Bro, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan – together they created magical moments on Jakob Bros acclaimed and price nominated album trilogy Balladeering-Time-December
When Danish guitarist and composer Jakob Bro in spring 2014 was told that his trilogy Balladeering-Time-December
The careers of these four musicians speak for themselves: Saxophone player Lee Konitz has been one of the great voices in jazz since the late 40’s, where he, along with Miles Davis, was a part of the birth of cool jazz. Guitarist Bill Frisell had his breakthrough in the 80’s with musicians as Paul Motian and Jan Garbarek, and has enriched countless concerts and albums with his unique sound universe. Bass player Thomas Morgan from the younger generation has accompanied names like John Abercrombie and Craig Taborn, and with his melodic and sensitive playing he has been Jakob Bros sideman in several contexts. And Jakob Bro himself, who, after some years as a sideman for Paul Motian and Tomasz Stanko, had his international breakthrough as composer, guitarist and bandleader. One of Bro’s brilliant ideas has been to put together this group to interpret and record a number of his compositions. It is well deserved that the trilogy, that came out of this, was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2014. “A breathlessly beautiful work” and “a peculiarly magical, alluring sound” are only some of the words, Nordic Council used in the nomination. Jakob Bro has been taking some giant steps in his career through the last decade. One of the milestones so far was definitely when he published the 2009 album Balladeering – the first album in his trilogy with Lee Konitz as focal point. Balladeering Tour 2015 will be an opportunity to hear Jakob Bro and his favorite musicians recreate the magical moments of the trilogy.
Kevin Verwijmeren is a 23 year old physics student and electronic musician currently based in Delft, in The Netherlands. He is originally born in the southern part of The Netherlands close to the sea. Around the year 2013 he really started to develop music on a more serious level. His aim is to make music in such a way that when certain melodies and patterns are combined, create a landscape of sound(s). Next to his first album It’s The Colour Of A Cloud Covered Sky, he is featured on various compilations and his latest work is the soundtrack for the film ‘The wolf and the wayfarer’.
Sigrún Jónsdóttir has been studying composition at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts since 2011 and this will be her graduating concert.
The repertoire will include a piece for 4 instrumentalists; clarinet, viola, cello and double bass and an electronic piece made from the same material. Recordings of the intrumental piece will be taken apart and put back together according to atmosphere.
Parallax improvisational world will meet the soundscapes of Hafdis Bjarnadottir tonight. The Norwegian trio will try to merge their improvisations with the tempo and timbres of the field recordings of Hafdis. Working with extended instrumental tecniques, Parallax is often associated with non-instrumental soundscapes in their music.
Since they started in 2008, Parallax has developed a unique sound, often merging the sounds of the instruments giving the impression of being one big instrument. Their music can be strictly rhythmical, noise-like or meditative and poetic. Since the very start of their collaboration they have asked different composers to work with them, either write for them, play together with them or, as on their last record «Den tredje dagen» be their producer. In June this year they will start a project with composer/sound artist Anders Tveit where the live sound will be diffused in a multichannel setup. The trio are looking forward to collaborating with Hafdís Bjarnadóttir on their upcoming Iceland tour!
Parallax have during the years toured extensively in Norway, Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Slovenia, Singapore and China, and have released three albums: “Live In The UK” on FMR, “Krutthuset” on PlingMusic and «Den Tredje Dagen» on NorCD. They have collaborated with different composers, musicians and visual artists, among others with the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble on a commissioned work premiered in HK May 2013 and worked with Anders Tveit for The Ultima Festival 2015. Together with the light designers Elisabeth Kjeldahl Nilsson and Evelina Dembace made a production called “Lydrommet”; a project that exposes children to the world of improvised music (and lighting) see http://
More info on Parallax:
More info on Hafdís Bjarnadóttir:
Jimmy Nyborg trio is an Ensemble that features 3 Scandinavian musicians and composers with a broad background in classical, jazz and Nordic folk music.
The fellowship explore and interprets the Nordic cultural heritage in a contemporary tone language. The music and compositions are a result of the meetings with nature, culture, history, people and not least the music of the regions traveled. The trio uses the musical and technical craft of its members to renew the sound of traditional and modern music.
Jimmy Nyborg – Trumpet (SE)
Richard Gudmundur Andersson – double bass (DK)
Tore T. Sandbakken – Drums (NO)
A celebration of accomplished musician/composer Atli Heimir Sveinsson´s work.
The program will be as follows:
Trio fur Blasers
Djúp er sorgin
Dona nobis pacem
Trio fur Blasers repeated
Arngunnur Árnadóttir – clarinet
Melkorka Ólafsdóttir – flute
Michael Kaulartz – bassoon
Örn Magnússon – reader.
“Fearless and innovative” (Music OMH) Kazakh violinist Aisha Orazbayeva presents an evening of violin music featuring works by Iannis Xenakis, Simon Steen-Andersen, Helmut Lachenmann and Elvis Presley. The concert will also include Aisha’s recent video piece “RMER” and solo violin improvisations.
Violinist and musician Aisha Orazbayeva is in demand with a repertoire extending from Bach and Telemann to Lachenmann and Nono. As a soloist, she has performed at the Aldeburgh, Radio France Montpellier, Klangspuren and Latitude festivals, and venues including Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York and La Maison de Radio France in Paris. Her two solo albums “Outside” on Nonclassical and “The Hand Gallery” on PRAH recordings have been critically acclaimed. Aisha has worked with ensembles including the London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Modern, and has performed live on BBC Radio 3 and 4, Resonance FM, France Musique and Kazakh National TV. She also co-directs London Contemporary Music Festival with Lucy Railton, Igor Toronyi-Lalic and Sam Mackay.
The Amaranth Duo is a newly formed international ensemble comprised of Icelandic violinist Geirþrúður Ása Guðjónsdóttir and American guitarist Christopher Ladd.
Their upcoming performance on May 17 in Mengi will feature works for violin and guitar with compositions from America and Iceland. In addition to newly composed music from around the world the program also contains well known works including Romanian Folk Dances by Béla Bartók and Dances in the Madhouse written by David Leisner along with a world premeier of “A lily for Freyja” by Lief Ellis.
With her flawless musicality and interpretation, Geirþrúður Ása Guðjónsdóttir has awed audiences around the world.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Geirþrúður Ása came into a family devoted to the arts. Beginning her studies at the age of 3, and instantly became mesmerized with the instrument. At the age of 12, Asa was admitted to the Reykjavik Conservatory, ultimately leading up to her acceptance at the prestigious Icelandic Academy of the Arts where she studied with Auður Hafsteinsdottir. Geirþrúður Ása has cultivated her talent with some of the greatest musicians in the world, of which includes Routa Kroumovitch at Stetson University, Boris Kuschnir, in Vienna, and most recently with Anton Miller at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut where she received her Master of Music degree.
As a winner of the Reykjavik Conservatory Concerto Competition in 2004 she gave a raving review performance of Sarasate’s Zingeunerweisen with the Reykjavik Youth Orchestra. In 2006, she was awarded Third Prize at the Simon-Fiset Violin Competition in Seattle, WA.
Geirþrúður Ása has been regularly invited to perform in concerts and music festivals in Europe and United States, as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Her recent performances include a performance of the Mendelsohn Violin Concerto with the Icelandic Youth Orchestra, third Brandenburg Concerto by Bach and a premiere of Depo Flux, concerto grosso by Ken Steen at Lincoln Theater in Connecticut and at the Dark Music Days, contemporary music festival in Iceland. She is a recipient of the Visa cultural award in Iceland, Fulbright Foundation and the American-Scandinavian Foundation.
Award winning guitarist Christopher Ladd has rapidly become known throughout the country as one of the most promising classical musicians of his generation. Fingerstyle Guitar hails his performances as being “… rendered confidently and expressively.” Praised as “… an exercise in extremes.” by Soundboard Magazine, he is highly sought after as a soloist and chamber musician.
Performances of note include Mengi and the Kaldalon Theater at Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland, the DiMenna Center in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Viennese Opera Ball hosted by the Austrian Embassy, the historic Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY and for former vice-president Al Gore at his residence in Washington, D.C. Active also as a chamber musician, Mr. Ladd is a founding member of the New England Guitar Quartet, The Pandora Duo which features acclaimed flutist Janet Arms, and The Amaranth Duo with Icelandic violinist Asa Gudjonsdottir.
In addition to performing pieces of standard repertoire, Mr. Ladd has premiered numerous new works by composers such as Kenneth Steen, Robert Carl, Nolan Stolz, Lief Ellis, Kathryn Swanson, Ty Alan Emerson, Ernst Bacon, Phillip Houghton and Frank Wallace. Recently he had the opportunity to work with Grammy and Academy Award winning composer John Corigliano, in a performance of his work Troubadours for guitar and chamber orchestra conducted by Edward Cumming.
Mr. Ladd has been a prize winner in numerous competitions including the Appalachian Guitar Festival Solo Competition, American String Teachers Association Competition and was twice a semi-finalist in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America International Competition.
Mr. Ladd is currently serves on the faculty of The Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut as an Artist/Teacher, Director of The Hartt School Guitar Festival and as the Chair of the Guitar and Harp Program.
After a ten day working period and participation in the newly established Seydisfjord Festival, an international group of visual artists and musicians turn their attention to Reykjavik to share the fruits of their labour with a series of events in Mengi. The concerts will showcase the work that resulted from their time in Seyðisfjörður.
Each and every participant shares a common thread through the musician Berglind Ágústsdóttir who is the initiator and head curator of the Seydisfjord Festival in collaboration with experimental musician Elvar Már Kjartansson, a.k.a. Auxpan.
Mengi proudly presents an ancient – yet modern – art form, not really discovered in Iceland: The Art of Tea.
For the next 6 weeks we will be joining forces with two Hungarian tea lovers Olga & Andras, to present a pop up teahouse between May 6th – July 1st, called Menghai Tea House. Menghai is a county in China, famous for their Puerh teas, also a tea producing factory that invented the modern method for aging Puerh tea. This method had a huge impact on the tea world.
The project focuses on quality tea at its best, rather than the above mentioned quantity. Menghai Tea House presents a real gourmet menu – both for drinking on the spot or to take home. Some of them are harvested in March this year, some of them – the aged ones – are 19-25 years old. The teas come from China, Taiwan, India and Japan.
There will be a special focus on functional and beautiful accessories as well. Júlia Néma, probably the most known Hungarian ceramic artist made a few tea wares exclusively for Menghai Tea House, using high temperature wood firing pottery technique.
Beside the gourmet experience, Olga and Andras aims to spread appreciation and understanding of quality tea by giving workshops, tasting sessions and gongfu tea ceremonies.
Official opening hours (when we are surely there):
Tuesday-Friday, Sunday: 12-18h
On Mondays we are closed but we are available for small group tastings, lectures, gong fu tea sessions.
Whenever we can, we will stay open until later so it’s worth checking in.
Different Rooftops / Ólík þök A concert with five pieces by Bára Gísladóttir composed from 2014-15. The pieces are for different combinations of clarinet, saxophone, double bass and electronics. The music consists of games of extended techniques and sound worlds along with interaction between acoustic and visual expression. Bára graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts with a B.A.-degree in composition under the guidance of Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson. She studied the double bass with Hávarður Tryggvason before moving to Milan where she now studies composition in the Master-program of Milan Conservatory under the guidance of Gabriele Manca. Náttey ensemble was established in the start of 2015 by Bára and her companions Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason, Björg Brjánsdóttir and Steinunn Vala Pálsdóttir. The idea behind the chamber group is that it will serve as a pop-up ensemble that will play in different venues with varying performers from time to time. Performers: Bára Gísladóttir playing double bass, Helgi R. Heiðarsson on saxophone and Hilma Kristín Sveinsdóttir playing clarinet. https://soundcloud.com/baragisla
Jim Black is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians bringing jazz into the 21st century. In addition to being one of the most influential drummers of our time, he is also the leader of one of the world’s most forward-thinking bands, AlasNoAxis, featuring his longtime collaborators Chris Speed, Hilmar Jensson and Skúli Sverrisson. Based on the foundation of his virtuosic but highly personal approach to jazz drumming, Black’s aesthetic has expanded to include Balkan rhythms, rock songcraft and laptop soundscapes. Though he is revered worldwide for his limitless technique and futuristic concepts, what many listeners treasure in most Jim Black’s work is the relentless feeling of joy and invention he brings to his performances. Jim Black’s smiling, kinetic, unpredictable presence has enthralled and inspired audiences worldwide for over twenty-five years.
Since the mid-90’s, Black has played a major role in the incorporation of new sounds and techniques into the jazz/creative music context. As a member of the collective group Pachora (with Speed, Sverrisson, and guitarist Brad Shepik) Black was one of the leaders in the study and adaptation of Balkan music into jazz-based music. His advanced techniques abstracted the odd time signatures of the Balkans into a new polyrhythmic language equally informed by modern jazz, drum&bass and the dumbeks of the Balkans. Black has also been an innovator in the use of electronics in improvisation, bridging the gap between electro-acoustic improv and more jazz-based traditions. Today, Black’s performances are just as likely to feature his laptop-based electronic textures as his drumming. Born in 1967, Jim Black grew up in Seattle alongside future colleagues Chris Speed, Andrew D’Angelo and Cuong Vu. After cementing their personal and artistic relationships in Seattle’s various youth jazz ensembles, in 1985 they moved to Boston, where Black entered the Berklee School of Music. In Boston, Black, Speed and D’Angelo formed Human Feel with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, which rapidly attracted the attention of the jazz cognoscenti in Boston, New York and beyond. By 1991, Black and the other members of Human Feel had moved to New York City, where they electrified the Downtown music scene then centered around the Knitting Factory and rapidly became among the city’s busiest sidemen. Black’s early years in New York saw him take featured roles in some of the most critically acclaimed bands of the time, like Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin’s trio, and Dave Douglas’s Tiny Bell Trio. Thus began fifteen years of near-constant touring and recording, with the above bands as well as artists like Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Nels Cline, Steve Coleman, Tomasz Stanko, and Laurie Anderson. Hilmar Jensson has performed and recorded in a wide variety of settings and appeared on over 50 records including 8 as a leader or co-leader. Performed in 35 countries with his trio “TYFT”, Jim Black’s AlasNoAxis, Trevor Dunn’s MadLove, Mogil, Outhouse, BMX and others. One the founders of Kitchen Motors, an Icelandic record label, think tank and art organization. Recorded and/or performed with Tim Berne, Andrew D’Angelo, Jim Black, Chris Speed, Skuli Sverrisson, Trevor Dunn, Herb Robertson, Eyvind Kang, Marc Ducret, Chris Cheek, Seamus Blake, Cuong Vu, Tom Rainey, Peter Evans, Matt Garrison, Briggan Krauss, Ben Perowski, Jamie Saft, Ches Smith, John Zorn, Ted Reichmann, Ben Street, Wadada Leo Smith, Arve Henriksen, Terje Isungset, Per Jörgensen, Per Oddvar Johansen, Anders Jormin and many others. JO BERGER MYHRE Bassplayer from Sandefjord, living in Oslo. Bachelor degree in performing improvisational music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. He has also studied for one year with Anders Jormin at the Music Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has become quite a sought-after bassplayer and is performing regularly around Europe with Nils Petter Molvær, Blokk 5, Ingrid Olava, Solveig Slettahjell amongst others.
Græna augað radíóklúbbur #4 proudly presents Tomas Rajnai and Jens Nielsen from Osynliga Teatern, Stockholm. Osynliga Teatern works with choreographed acoustic experiences and express themselves in the boundary between performance and audio theatre. They create cinematic experiences where the audience are invited to become part of the story and the choreography and now are visiting Reykjavik with the immersive audiowalk Engram, a piece that asks the question – and makes you ask yourself the question: What if you only had 640 breaths left? This evening at Mengi Jens and Tomas will talk about their experience of creating Audio Walks. They will talk about how site-specific audio walks can uncover hidden stories all around us and that each story has a place and every place has a story, and of course – they will share some of their treasures for you to hear. Osynliga Teatern is also part of Reykjavik Arts Festival and will perform Engram between 26-28 of may.
For almost two years the Danish bass player, Richard Andersson, has been living in Reykjavik, where he has collaborated with a large number of the musicians from the local jazz scene. Now his stay here is sadly coming to an end. As the last act he is going to do his first solo concert ever. As a special treat the audience at this concert will get a free download of the yet to be released album, which Richard recorded in December 2012 in Boston at the home of the drum guru, Ra-Kalam Bob Moses. The recording features: George Garzone – saxophone, Jerry Bergonzi – saxophone, Ra-Kalam Bob Moses – drums, Richard Andersson – bass.
Richard Andersson was born in October 1982. He grew up in a musical family, but never showed much interest in music. My parents strongly encouraged me to play classical piano, but I never bothered to practice. Yet I did have a secret dream about becoming a cool guitarist, mostly to impress the girls. At the age of 14 everything changed, when childishly playing around with fireworks took away Richard’s sight. Soon after the accident Richard started taking lessons in classical guitar and suddenly he saw the beauty of music. Later I took up the piano again, then rock/jazz guitar and at age 16 the bass became my main instrument. Richard Andersson earned his diploma degree at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music, in Odense, Denmark (2008). He studied in the masters program at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York (2008-2009), and is currently enrolled at the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen, studying in the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma program. In the spring of 2010 Richard Andersson received the biggest danish prize for young jazz talents called Stjerneprisen. Later the same year he released his first CD as a bandleader. Richard Andersson Sustainable QuartetPlease Recycle BlackOut Music features three great New York based musicians including saxophone player Tony Malaby. The CD was very well received and achieved excellent reviews in both Scandinavia and New York. In New York, AllAboutJazz placed it on the list of Best Danish Releases of 2010. Also in 2010 Richard Andersson was awarded Funen Jazz Musician of the Year. Despite his relatively young age Richard Andersson is already ”one of the most interesting characters of the Danish jazz scene” (Iver Rod/Gaffa), performing with Danish and international artists such as Jeff ”Tain” Watts (US), Bob Moses (US), Phil Markowitz (US), Andrew D’Angelo (US), Dave Kikoski (US), Bill McHenry (US), Tony Malaby (US), Rudi Mahall (DE), Tomas Franck (S), Kasper Tranberg (DK), Jesper Zeuthen (DK), Ben Besiakov (DK), Uffe Steen (DK), Loren Stillman (US), George Garzone (US), Frank Tiberi (US), Kresten Osgood (DK), Jacob Anderskov (DK), Henrik Walsdorf (DE). Richard Anderssons second album, Richard Andersson/ Intuition (Stunt Records) features one of Denmarks most significant pianists, Jacob Anderskov besides the great saxophone player Bill McHenry (US) and drummer R.J. Miller (US). Music Critic Iver Rod (Gaffa Music Magazin) wrote: Sublimely beautiful improvisational music. The result of the insistence of a focused, musical being.
For the second year in a row, the Reykjavík Arts Festival and culture house Mengi will collaborate on a concert series during the festival.
Mengi has for the past few years run a vibrant programme, boosting Reykjavík’s cultural life with various events such as concerts and musical happenings, receiving nominations for the Icelandic Music Awards and the DV Culture Prize. This year, Mengi will host four concerts during the festival. Four Saturdays in a row, women musicians will appear at Mengi; women who are either at the height of their career or taking their first steps in the music world.
In her new solo performance Maya Dunietz explores space through airwaves. Through voice, piano and a unique projection technique Dunietz plays with layers – layers of sound, image and consciousness. The piece includes an exploration of spirals and loops and deals with the materialization of sound. Coming from the notion that music is movement of air in space, Dunietz is creating a multi-sensual experience. For this new piece Dunietz developed unique technologies including a tiny wireless mouth-speaker, projections of body on body, acoustic feedback and a multi-dimensional electro acoustic sound layer. This work was created for Palais de Tokyo, 2014. Video & Sound by Daniel Meir.
Maya Dunietz , born in 1981, is a composer, pianist and sound artist. Her work ranges between composing for ensembles and choirs, performing as pianist and singer, creating performance and sound installations, and building electronic instruments. Dunietz founded the experimental vocal ensemble “Givol Choir” and is a member of the Israeli band “Habiluim”. Dunietz also performs regularly around the world playing free improvisation and has played with numerous artists such as John Butcher, Zeena Parkins, Ghedaliah Tazartes, David Moss and Steve noble, to name a few.