Drawings by Sara Riel – live performance with Sara Riel and musicians Skúli Sverrisson, Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson, Gyða Valtýsdóttir & Ólafur Björn Ólafsson.
Different ideas lie behind the exhibition of Sara Riel that will be opened in Mengi on Thursday, 3rd of December. Fruitful dialogue between friends, Sara and Skúli Sverrisson, where the source of creation and art were raised, discussions about Duchamp, Cage and more led to Sara reading a book by Kay Larson on John Cage (Where the heart beats). “A book that entered into my life at exactly the right moment” the artist says, who has like Cage been interested in eastern philosophy and religion for a long time.
Longing to create art from the subconscious mind led to some extent to the drawings that can be seen in Mengi. While listening to random music Sara Riel closed her eyes and let the pen lead her onwards. The music moulded the drawings that came alive without any censorship whatsoever.
Interest in graphic notation is another trigger for the drawings, a method that experimental composers in Europe and in the US began to develop when they realized the limitations of traditional Western notation. Composers such as Kagel, Stockhausen and Ligeti began to play with symbols and visual presentation that had not been known in Western music history, in the US, composers such as Christian Wolff, Morton Feldman and the aforementioned Cage. In Sara Riel’s drawings graphic notation is derived from listening to music instead of the notation being the foundation, the process is somewhat reversed.
Sara’s drawings were made over a period of time. At a concert in Mengi on Thursday December 3rd, musicians Skúli Sverrisson, Eríkur Orri Ólafsson, Ólafur Björn Ólafsson and Gyda Valtýsdóttir will improvise while Sara Ries lets the music lead her onwards. Her drawing will be projected onto a screen so guests can follow the process. The performance / improvisation takes approximately one hour, after that the new drawing will be framed and put on the wall where it will become a part of the total exhibition.
Concert at 21:00 on Thursday, December 3rd. Tickets: 2000 ISK.
The musician Arnljótur will celebrate the release of his fourth record, Úð, on Friday, December the 4th in Mengi.
Úð is symphonic in scale, a 70 minutes long piece in several movements where Arnljótur’s flute playing plays an important part. The music can be described as cosmic with a pulsating beat, somewhat influenced by German electronic music of the 1970’s. The music was recorded on two tracks at three concerts during the summer of 2015.The album was mastered by Sveinbjörn Thorarensen and a spectrogram by Leó Stefánsson comes with every copy.
Arnljótur is based in Reykjavík. He’s one of the founders of the band Ojba Rasta. His previous records are Listauki (2008), Línur (2014) and Til einskis (2015).
House opens at 20:00. Concert starts at 21:00
Tickets: 2000 ISK
The music ensemble Umbra consists of Alexandra Kjeld, double bass and voice, Arngerður María Árnadóttir, Celtic harp, harmonium and voice, Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir, baroque violin and voice, Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir, baroque viola and voice and Lilja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, voice and percussion.
Umbra is interested in combining the soundworld of authentic instruments and singing and use the methods of improvisation when working with old folk songs and songs from the medieval and renaissance period, which lyrics often deal with the more sombre and melancholic sides of human existence.
At the concert in Mengi the ensemble will mainly perform their own arrangements of old Icelandic carols as well as English Christmas carols from the medieval period.
Gyða Valtýsdóttir polychromatic performer, multifaceted musician who´s classically trained though untamed wildly in motion around the globe like an electron in an unpredictable process of improvised living. Now she´s settling down in her motherland´s snowy bosom, and coming home to her heart.
The concert in Mengi will be holy and high with music that span more than two thousand year; an arrangement done in collaboration with Hilmar Jensson and bagpipe player Michael York on the oldest song that has been found in its entirety on a tombstone in Turkey, Greek studies by the eccentric genius Harry Partch, hymn by the magic-nun Hildegard Von Bingen, God music from George Crumb’s Black Angels, a praise to eternity by the mystic Olivier Messiaen, a love song by Schumann and one of Schubert’s latest opus, Piano Trio op. 100 that some may know from Stanley Kubric’s movie, Barry Lyndon.
“Duo encounters I ” (FIN/IS)
HIlmar Jensson – guitar & Johanna Elina Sulkunen – vocal
A new collaboration with a Copenhagen based Finnish vocalist Johanna Elina Sulkunen and an Icelandic guitar player Hilmar Jensson. Mixture of composed and free improvised music, create indistinguishable stories with diverse sounds of guitar and voice and their endless possibilities.
They first met in collaboration with Hilmar and a Nordic Danish Grammy-winning improvising vocal group IKI (that Johanna is part of) on their second album “Lava” that was recorded in Iceland. www.ikivocal.com.
“Encounters I” is the first part of a more extensive project of Johanna Elina Sulkunen, who is exploring different aspects of duo playing in various settings.
Dance performance group Kraftverk returns with a brand new dance improv.
The Christmas story recreated
Christmas glogg and gingerbread
Who will get the almond?
Who was Jesus and where did he come from?
Dj Ívar Pétur starts Christmas
Secret guest: The Icelandic Yule lad Askasleikir
Take a break from you Christmas stress
Come to Mengi and let the Christmas spirit enter you
Anna Kolfinna Kuran
Elísabet Birta Sveinsdóttir
Elín Signý W. Ragnarsdóttir
Guðrún Selma Sigurjónsdóttir
Ívar Pétur Kjartansson
Golden Blobess is a performance that merges video, sound, and dance. Through an ambiance of collisions between the dark and the fantastic, Golden Blobess brings consciousness to surrounding environments and objects that co-create human adaptability. As a futuristic creature confronts her own humanness golden objects and ecological spaces gain anthropomorphic qualities clashing her independent, self-absorbed nature.
Aimee Odum is a visual artist from the United States utilizing a diverse range of mediums including sculpture installations, ceramics, found objects and video. As a recipient of the Sturgis International Fellowship, she is currently an exchange student at Listaháskóli Íslands and will return to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville to complete her Masters of Fine Arts degree May 2016. Within the University of Arkansas, Odum co-directs sUgAR, the University of Arkansas student gallery, and assists with teaching foundation level courses. Odum’s work investigates the motivation and action underlying human experience in specificity to the natural world. Interested in how instinct and culture formulate our daily approach to environment, Odum tackles both the desire and tension arising through digital media, travel, and ecological exploration. http://aimeeodum.com
Mariske Broeckmeyer is a singer and composer from Belgium. She obtained a masters degree in Jazz singing at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 2015. Currently she is based in Reykjavik where she is focusing mainly on electronic music. Mariske is active as a singer and composer in other projects as One Bird Orchestra and Reuske.One Bird Orchestra has been in constant evolution. Their original compositions are brought to life by electronics and improvisation. Truthful lyrics create a contrast between the dreamy, yet imminent style of the group. Sounds from the sea and up to the clouds. Heavenly harmonies flirt with flashing beats!Reuske is looking for ‘beauty’ in a less conventional way. A search for new sounds and grooves derails and results in an unpredictable yet intriguing trip. Music that brings alarming lyrics, lots of impro and a blast of Scandinavianair.
Kerryn McMurdo is a dancer, choreographer, and creator from Auckland, New Zealand. Graduating with a Bachelors degree (BPSA) in contemporary dance from Unitec Institute of Technology in 2000, her diverse experiences have lead her to tour internationally with the NZ companies MAU/Lemi Ponifasio and TouchCompass Dance Trust. Recently she has participated in research/field projects for the Impulstanz International Vienna Dance Festival 2014 andcreated her own solo performances Fisk Kona and Prophecies of Þórdís. Kerryn’s creativity is stimulated by the spaces and tension between ideas, in which the body is the primary site for communicating complex vocabulary and concepts. Drawn towards experimental work, she allows her artistic motivation to transgress, subvert, and deconstruct genres of contemporary performance and art practice. Kerryn currently lives in Skagaströnd, Iceland co-directing the Nes Artist Residency and researching a new performance project BODY AT WAR.
Different Rooftops: Release concert
Bára Gísladóttir is a composer and a double bass player who is currently doing her master’s degree in composition at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory. Different Rooftops is her debut album.
The compositions are written for different combinations of voice, tenor saxophone, double bass and electronics.
Helgi R. Heiðarsson, tenor saxophone, will accompany Bára at the concert.
–Rooftops of Marakech (world premiere) for tenor saxophone and electronics
–Rooftops of Prague for double bass.
–Rooftops of Barcelona for tenor saxophone, double bass and electronics
–Rooftops of Berlin for double bass
–I nostri dei sono morti IV (world premiere) for voice, tenor saxophone, double bass and electronics.
–Rooftops of Milan for solo double bass.
House opens at 20. Concert starts at 21. Tickets: 2000 ISK.
Every year, the beasts of the Serengeti region rush northwest across the endless plains in search of fields for grazing. It’s a tremendous sight: Millions of mammals headed in the same direction like a river of majestic proportions, flowing across the vast land towards the ocean. Six months later the zebras and wildebeests and gazelles return south, once again sealing an infinite loop.
Animal hearts brimming with blood, thumping as they traverse Africa; this is the sensation Serengeti evokes for its listener. Ancient dust stirred by the great migration rises and settles in a new corner of the plain. The land is forever altered, yet the same. Whenever the wind blows, nature’s rhythms are unaffected. They are undying, relentless, constantly shifting and we are all subject to them. No use resisting.
Serengeti is a return journey. Although committed to plastic it never feels like the same route taken. The winds change, the dust re-settles, you mature, the music morphs. You close your eyes and your mind rushes across the plains under the burning sun just like it was the first time.
Performers: Davíð Þór Jónsson, Helgi Svavar Helgason, Sigtryggur Baldursson, Ómar Guðjónsson & President Bongo.