The recently founded publishing house Benedikt celebrates its catalogue at Mengi. Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir reads from her first novel. Refreshments. Free entrance. From 5pm to 7pm.
American jazz guitarist Nir Felder with Icelandic bass player Valdi Kolli & trumpet player Ari Bragi Kárason join foces at Mengi. House opens at 8 pm. The event starts at 9 pm. Tickets: 2000 ISK.
Ari Bragi Kárason began his music studies in his home town at Seltjarnarnes Music School. At first, he played the clarinet under Anna Benassi and Lárus H. Grímsson. Ari’s father was his first teacher when he began playing the trumpet at the age of 9. Later, Ari Bragi studied under Kjartan Hákonarson, Eiríkur Örn Pálsson, Ásgeir H. Steingrímsson and Sigurður Flosason at Seltjarnarnes Music School and F.Í.H. Music School. In 2008, he began studying at New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York.
In the summer of 2006, Ari Bragi was among 16 award-winning students at the renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, USA. In 2008, he received the first grant from the Árni Scheving Memorial Fund. In 2011, he was chosen the Best newcomer at the Icelandic Music Awards.
Ari Bragi has recorded with various artists, e.g. Norah Jones, Jeff Tain Watts, Grizzly Bear, Sigur Rós, Hjaltalín, the Reykjavik Big Band, and most recently a CD with saxophone player Jóel Pálsson.
Called “the next big jazz guitarist” by NPR, hailed by the New York Times as a “whiz kid”, and dubbed “incredible” by the Montreal Gazette, Nir Felder is a new voice in jazz guitar. After attending Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, Felder moved to New York City in 2006 and quickly became one of the city’s most highly sought after sideman, notching credits in bands led by Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington (whose recent release featuring Felder on guitar won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album), Jack DeJohnette, Greg Osby, Joey DeFrancesco, Eric Harland, Jose James, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Cindy Blackman and performing with the New York City Opera, Dianne Reeves, Bobby McFerrin, Stanley Clarke, Lizz Wright, Matisyahu, Black Sheep and others at venues including Radio City Music Hall and the Village Vanguard and national television stations NBC and Fox.
Encouraged by praise for his unique sound and style and seeking a more personal creative outlet, Felder formed his own group in 2010, performing sold-out shows in New York City and around Europe. Nir brought Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, and Nate Smith into Sear Sound in September of 2011. The group had a strong chemistry and sound that was beautifully captured in two days of recording by engineer Chris Allen. Next, Felder tapped legendary engineer and producer Bob Power (The Roots, Erkyah Badu, D’Angelo, Tribe Called Quest, Meshell Ndegecello) to mix and master the new album. The new release, “Golden Age” (Sony/OKeh), deals with the themes of political, cultural and technological upheaval, with ennui and redemption, with paradise lost and then regained, blurring the lines between jazz and the rock, hip-hop, and pop music Felder grew up listening to
Crash Ensemble performs at Mengi on Wednesday, November 2nd at 9pm. House opens at 8pm.
Donnachy Dennehy – As An Nós
Valgeir Sigurðsson – Ghosts
Valgeir Sigurðsson – Past Tundra (with Nadia Sirota)
Nico Muhly – The Only Tune (with Sam Amidon)
Crash Ensemble is Ireland’s foremost contemporary music ensemble; a group of world-class musicians who play the most adventurous, ground-breaking new music of today.
Crash Ensemble, an Irish new-music collective with international cachet and considerable chops The Washington Post, 2011
Founded in 1997 by composer and Artistic Partner Donnacha Dennehy, the Ensemble features on recordings by labels such as NMC, Cantaloupe and most recently Nonesuch, with the release of Grá agus Bás by Donnacha Dennehy in May 2011 which has received international praise. *****(5 stars) The Guardian, 2011
The Ensemble has worked with many well-known artists from diverse musical backgrounds, such as Steve Reich, Gavin Friday, Dawn Upshaw, Terry Riley, David Lang, Íarla Ó Lionáird, Julie Feeney, Gerald Barry, Gavin Bryars, Michael Gordon, David Lang and Louis Andriessen.
The Ensemble is committed to broadening the repertoire on offer to audiences by commissioning, producing and performing new or recent works by internationally acclaimed composers, up-and-coming composing talents and collaborating with culturally relevant artists.
As well as performing regularly throughout Ireland, Crash has appeared in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, the UK, Australia, USA and Canada.
Concert starts at 9pm. House opens at 8pm. Tickets: 2000 ISK
Two concerts at Iceland Airwaves with the fantastic Sóley Stefánsdóttir. Starting at 7 pm & 9 pm.
Improv with Shahzad Ismaily and friends. From 6pm-8pm. Free entrance.
Improv with Shahzad Ismaily and friends. From 6pm to 8pm. Free entrance
A night dedicated to visual performances, held at Mengi on the first Monday evening of every month.
Performing this evening: Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir, Bergrún Anna Hallsteinsdóttir, Mia Van Veen & Guðrún Tara Sveindóttir og Unnar Örn Jónasson Auðarson.
Curated by visual artists Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Bryndís Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir, Eva Ísleifs, Ingibjörg Magnadóttir & Katrín Inga Jónsdóttir Hjördísardóttir.
House opens at 8pm. Event starts at 9pm.
Entrance: 2000 ISK
The recently founded publishing house Benedikt celebrates its catalogue at Mengi. Auður Ava Ólafsdottir reads from her new novel. Refreshments. Free entrance. From 5pm to 7pm.
Music and poetry performed by Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir. Starts at 9pm. House opens at 8pm. Tickets: 2000 ISK
A concert from two adventurous percussionists. Starts at 9pm. House opens at 8pm. Tickets: 2000 ISK
A night of adventure with visual artists/musician Snorri Ásmundsson on his 50th birthday. Participants: Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Helga Óskarsdóttir, Ingibjörg Magnadóttir, Goddur, Sara Björnsdóttir and Spessi.
Door opens at 18:00
Concert starts at 19:00Free admission – Limited seats available so make sure you register at: https://
“Decades ago the Sugarcubes proved to the rest of the world that Icelandic rock was its own original creation – now Nordic Affect promises to do the same for the country’s new-music community.”
– The Chicago Reader
For their special appearance at the Nordic Embassies in Berlin the prize winning ensemble Nordic Affect brings an exciting program titled ‘Warm life at the foot of the iceberg’. Among the lineup is music by renowned composers on the international scene, i.e. Anna Thorvaldsdottir (IS), Mirjam Tally (EE), Hildur Guðnadóttir (IS) and Valgeir Sigurðsson (IS). Also on the roaster is music by Nordic Affect’s long time collaborator María Huld Markan of indie band amiina as well as the intimate sound world of Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir. An added treat is music by one of Iceland’s fast rising stars, Úlfur Hansson who has collaborated with Nordic Affect on a piece that invites audience participation so there’s something special in store when Nordic Affect comes to town. Mengi is an operation, created and managed by artists in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Mengi(berlin) is a three month long project in collaboration with the Embassy of Iceland in Felleshus, Berlin and sponsored by WOW air and Inspired by Iceland.
Please note there is a limited capacity for both the talk and concert with Hildur, with seperate registration for each event:
Register here for Creative Cites talk:
Register here for Hildur Guðnadóttir: (SOLD OUT)
The Embassy of Iceland in Berlin and Mengi invite you to the third round of Creative Cities Talk between the two creative and experimental cities, Berlin and Reykjavík.
Feeding Culture – Growing Cities
17:30 – 19:30
Welcome by Martin Eyjólfsson, Ambassador of Iceland
Talk moderated by Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir, Rector of Iceland Academy of the Arts
Burkhard Kieker, CEO of Visit Berlin
Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir, Director dept. of Culture and Tourism, City of Reykjavík
Bjarni Gaukur Sigurðsson, Founder of Mengi, Reykjavík
Tatjana Kaube, Advisor Musicboard, Berlin Senate Chancellery
Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, musician and founder of Cycle Music and Art Festival
19:30 – 20:30
Burgers by Tommi’s Burger Joint, Icelandic Beer by Einstök Brewery and drinks.
Concert by Icelandic musician Hildur Guðnadóttir, a cello player, composer and singer who has been manifesting herself at the forefront of experimental pop and contemporary music. In her solo works she draws out a broad spectrum of sounds from her instrument, ranging from intimate simplicity to huge soundscapes. “Guðnadóttir takes a cello and gentle voice and, through software manipulation, scales simple phrases up to celestial heights” – The Wire: Adventures in Modern Music.
Entry for talk and the concert is free, but please make sure to register via Eventbrite to secure a spot!
Mengi is an operation, created and managed by artists in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Mengi(berlin) is a three month long project in collaboration with the Embassy of Iceland in Felleshus, Berlin and sponsored by WOW air and Inspired by Iceland.
A concert with the Latvian bassoonist Anrijs Ivanoskis.
Music by Gunnar Karel Másson (IS) and Emils ZIbert (LV).
Starts at 9pm. Tickets: 2000 ISKAnrijs Ivanovskis a professional freelance bassoonist and contrabassoonist. He has been playing together with a lot of renowned orchestras all over the Scandinavia, including Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Helsingborg, Gävle Symphony Orchestras and Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.Anrijs started his bassoon studies in Latvia in 1996. Two years later he got accepted to Liepāja Music College with Dz.Jurgelaitis.
Shortly after that, at the age of 19, he grounded 2nd bassoon position in Liepaja Symphony Orchestra and worked there until 2009.In 2007 Anrijs was admitted to A.Svendsen’s bassoon class in Malmö Music Academy. A year later he was invited to join a concert tour with a world famous chamber orchestra *Kremerata Baltica* in leadership of G.Kremer to perform at the most famous concert halls all around Europe.Anrijs was selected to be contrabassoonist at first *YouTube Symphony Orchestra* and he was performing in *Carnegie hall* together with Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas in 2009.
In 2009 Anrijs was admitted to Masters Degree program at Royal Danish Music Academy with A.Halvorsen.After graduating of Master’s Degree in 2012, Anrijs continiued his studies at Royal Danish Music Academy’s soloist class.
Anrijs specializes in contemporary music and has great cooperation with many composers around a globe. Many composers have dedicated their works especially to Anrijs.
A new dance piece by Ásrún Magnúsdóttir, Rósa Ómarsdóttir & Alexander Roberts.
Premiere at Mengi on Friday, November 18th at 7pm
TICKETS: 2000 ISK
Where do dancers and choreographers in Iceland seek inspiration?
How is Icelandic modern dance? What are the current trends in the Icelandic dance world?
An ode to the dance, to its history and to the greatest influences of dance. If you’re interested in dance you don’t want to miss out on this piece and if you’re not interested…well you will be after this performance.
Secondhand Knowledge is a research project between Rósa Ómarsdóttir, Ásrún Magnúsdóttir and Alexander Roberts where they look at dance history through the eyes of the geographical periphery of Europe.
Coming from Iceland, a very isolated island way up in the north, they relized that their perception of dance history was maybe not the same one as has been written about in central Europe. Their knowledge was mostly received second hand from the Eurocentrically claimed history of dance. When their only insight into what was going on in the danceworld was through youtube trailers of dancepieces, they found themselves fill in the gaps and imagine what the rest of those trailers was. Often this misinterpretation lead to something completely else.
Having a strong believe in the value of knowledge that is received secondhand, interpreted and often mistranslated, Rósa, Ásrún and Alexander make, remake and reconstruct danceworks that were important to them and others, with full artistic freedom to fill in the gaps. They will somewhat bypass the traditional sense of dance history, from the ballet tradition, as it is mostly irrelevant to our own history and many others we will work with.
Sequences – real time art festival celebrates its 10 year Anniversary Saturday November 19th in Reykjavík and welcomes everyone to the celebration.The festivities begin at 12:45 in The National Gallery where Margot Norton, the newly appointed curator of the next festival, taking place in fall 2017, will give short remarks, introducing the theme of the next festival and announcing the Honorary Artist. She will also introduce David Horvitz’s piece Let Us Keep Our Own Noon that will be on view in The National Gallery until winter solstice on December 21st. The work consists of forty-seven handbells created through the remelting of a French church bell dating back to 1742. The work is activated by forty-seven performers who, at local noon, taking place at 13:13 on this day, collectively ring the bells and then disperse throughout the building and out onto the surrounding streets of the National Gallery. The board of Sequences invites all guests to enjoy a homemade birthday cake after the performance.From there we move on to Mengi, performance venue on Óðinsgata 2 where Rebecca Moran shows a recent piece and an open sculpture tournament takes place and DJ Emotional (Ragnar Kjartansson) plays moods for listening and relaxation. Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir will host a show of .gif animations by various artists. The program finishes with the unveiling of DayBreak, Forever a sound installation by Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, that will be on view until next Sequences festival, fall 2017.
While this day’s program celebrates the 10 year anniversary of Sequences, it also serves as a bridge to the next festival that will be held in October 2017. The artists showing their works are, for instance, all exhibiting in the next Sequences and the curator’s involvement testifies to her commitment and interest in creating strong connections to the Icelandic art scene and artists and in exploring the cultural life of the city before and leading up to Sequences VIII. The anniversary program can thus be said to be a prelude to the ten day festival to come.
In conjunction with the anniversary David Horvitz will give a lecture on his works in the lecture hall of the Iceland Academy of the Arts (Laugarnesvegur 91) on Friday November 18 at 13:00. The lecture is open for all, admission is free.
The National Gallery is on Fríkirkjuvegur 7 and Mengi is at Óðinsgata 2, Reykjavík.
Mengi presents a performative exhibition conceived by Snövit Hedstierna (born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1980 and now lives in Berlin and Montreal). An ‘Issue Of Structure -Episode 5, The fracture‘, is the fifth session of a series of audio/visual installations that have been presented in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark during the fall. The exhibition is part of a longer intervention of art and research, concerning gender structures in the Nordic Countries, created during 2014 – 2016. The artist has been using spatial and audio installations to address and reveal the discrepancies between statistics and reality, related to gender equality in the North. For this show, where the main materials are humans and sound, the focus is placed on the act of listening and empathising with life stories and experiences told by people who identify as; transgender/queer/women/gender-fluid.
AN ISSUE OF STRUCTURE
“The subject matter I work with is often ignored or trivialized by public media and I therefore feel compelled to instigate large gestures and formats: long durational works, oversized prints, multi-channel video, and expansive installations”.
Although the Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark – are considered to be some of the most gender equal in the world, reports such as the “Global Gender Gap Report” (from The World Economic Forums) and ‘FRA Violence Against Women’, reveal that these countries have a high rate of violence and abuse. The Swedish artist Snövit Hedstierna has carried out approximately 250 in-depth interviews with women, queer, transgender and gender-fluid people in Nordic nations, collecting testimonies of their private experiences related to gender, equality and sexuality. 6,000 hours of work has resulted in an online audio archive and the exhibition “An Issue of Structure, Episodes”, which is currently touring the countries where featured stories originated. Large scale architectonic physical formations, such as labyrinths, corridors and sloping floors are combined with audio installations and long durational performances, to throw off visitors’ senses, evoking a feeling of discomfort which, accompanied by audio testimonies, symbolizes the struggle experienced by people whose stories are voiced.
Snövit “Snow” Hedstierna is a visual artist, performance artist, film director and curator from Sweden who is currently based between studios in Berlin and Montreal. She has exhibited at several international venues including recently Manifesta11, The Venice Biennale 2015, MoMA and Art-Athina. In 2009 she founded the gallery Pony Sugar and has since been curating 4 – 6 shows per year alongside her artistic practice. Hedstierna is also a writer for the Scandinavian magazine Cap&Design, where she has a standing article about contemporary art and a recurring chronicle about her life as an artist. Snövit holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal and has also been a student at the Royal Academy of Arts in Stockholm, Valand Academy of Arts and Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Open from 5pm to 8pm. Free entrance. Everybody welcome.
Concert with cellist/singer/writer/dancer Steinunn Arnbjörg Stefánsdóttir. Starts at 9pm. House opens at 8pm. Tickets: 2000ISKg
EL QUINTO SOL
El Quinto Sol (Mexico)
El Quinto Sol was established in Mexico city in 2013 but the name comes from an the Aztec myth „El Quinto sol“. Their inspiration comes from mexican culture but mixed with rock, psychedelic, progressive, experimental…
In the beginning of this year they issued their new album „La gente de la hierba“ which will be for sale at the concert.
Juan Carlos Guarneros: guitar
Jorge Chiney: bass
Sebastian Lozano: drums
Starts at 9pm. House opens at 8pm. Tickets: 2000 ISK
Feeling the need to experiment with more abstract and artistic sounds, with melodic and unconvencional lines, the band Quinto Sol is established in 2013, with the participation of Juan Carlos Guarneros on guitar and Jorge Chiney playing bass. One year later Sebastián Lozano became part of the band, playing the drums.
Quinto Sol is originated from the Aztec legend of the five suns, highlighting the Mexican origin of the members of the band. The band uses creativity as their main instrument, which make each concert a true sonoro ritual.
This power trio believes in music as a link between man and the universe and as sensitive expression of spirituality through the fusion two worldviews, indigenous and contemporary.
Concert starts at 9pm. House opens at 8pm. Tickets: 2000 ISK
A celebration of the latest album of the band amiina, Fantômas. Starts at 8pm. Free entrance.
Join amiina for their latest adventure, Fantômas. Originally composed as a live score to a silent masterpiece from 1913, amiina’s members decided right from the start that the music would also be able to stand on its own, independent of the visual narrative.
Melancholic and ethereal, yet full of suspense, pounding rhythms and haunting melodies, amiina’s fans won’t be disappointed. Soundworld full of contrasts, from darkness and utter terror to heavenly melodies. The music thoughtfully composed, reorrucing themes and leid-motives build up a delicate structure where the listener can experience the piece as one entity – and then again different tracks or songs can be enjoyed independently. Violin, cello, drums, percussion, metallophone, table harp, ukulele and electronics are the source material for the sound world of amiina here, with their intelligent and imaginative usage of the different instruments and their varied and endless textures.
The score Fantômas premiered in Paris in 2013 at the prestigious, Théâtre du Châtelet, where amiina, together with musicians James Blackshaw, Tim Hecker, Loney Dear and Yann Tiersen, took part in a special Halloween event, celebrating the centenary of the Fantômas series, directed by the French film director Louis Feuillade in 1913 – 1914. The Fantômas series – in five parts – ran for six hours with every musician/ band providing their new live score for the series, the music commissioned by Yann Tiersen who curated the event.
Halloween especially fitting for this occasion that revolved around Fantômas, the sadistic and ruthless serial killer, the lord of terror and genius of evil who initially came to live in the crime fictions of French writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre in 1911. A huge success right from the beginning, Fantômas is an early example of the interplay between avant-garde intellectual and emerging mass culture, he was to appear in various films, television and comic book adaptations throughout the century but also highly regarded by the French avant garde of the 1920’s, especially the surrealists, e.g. René Magritte and Guillame Apollinaire, the latter stating that “from the imaginative standpoint Fantômas is one of the richest works that exist.”
When the magical, somewhat fragile sound world of amiina meets the lord of terror something unexpected and truly magical happens. Do step in.
Released by Mengi in 2016.
Distributed by Morr Music
Mengi and the Iceland Academy of the Arts collaborate on experimental events.
The events are open for students and teachers of the Academy to do experiments on or exhibit their projects or even to test a work-in-progress and will be held the last Wednesday evening of each month. Starts at 8pm. Free entrance and everybody welcome.
Artists performing on November 28th at 8pm.
Heðin Ziska Davidsen
Lóa Björk Björnsdóttir
Kari Vig Petersen
Selma Reynisdóttir & Þorsteinn Eyfjörð
Fuccmenn (Birnir Jón Sigurðsson)