HERE YOU CAN LISTEN TO INTERVIEWS WITH SOME OF MENGI’S ARTISTS.
American composer Brian Griffeath-Loeb talks about his piano piece Basso Profondo (2012), based on fragments from Rachmaninov’s works. Basso Profondo will be performed at Mengi on Thurday, March 9th 2017 at the concert Lathyrus and other works. Performed by Lilja María Ásmundsdóttir. Listen here.
Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson, composer, shares his thoughts on time, notation and pulse in music. Will perform at Mengi on Saturday, March 4th together with Una Sveinbjarnardóttir (violin), Tinna Þorsteinsdóttir (toy piano) and Fengjastrútur (ensemble).
Interview in Icelandic.
Music (by Guðmundur Steinn):
– La noche obscura del alma Master
– Safmana. Listen here.
Hafdís Bjarnadóttir and her new music will be presented at Mengi on Sunday, 26th of February. A short interview with the composer and guitarist along with soundclips from a rehearsal.
Interview in Icelandic. Listen here.
English folk-singer Chris Foster about his latest album, Hadelin (2017). Chris Foster will be joined by Icelandic musicians for a release concert at Mengi on Saturday, February 25th 2017. Listen here. (Concert cancelled until April 2017, due to illness)
Siggi String Quartet (Una Sveinbjarnardóttir, Helga Þóra Björgvinsdóttir, Þórunn Ósk Marínósdóttir, Sigurður Bjarki Gunnarsson) on the joy and horror of playing together in a string quartet. Siggi String Quartet will give a concert in Mengi on Friday, February 24th 2017 with music by Bach, Beethoven, Bára Gísladóttir (wp), Una Sveinbjarnardóttir & Sigurður Sævarsson.
Music by Bach (Die Kunst der Fuge) & Sigurður Sævarsson (Hallgrímspassía) recorded at a rehearsal at Mengi, February 2017.
Interview in Icelandic. Listen here.
Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson from the quartet Fersteinn talks about the soundworld of the quartet with some sound examples. Fersteinn (Guðmundur Steinn, Páll Ivan frá Eiðum, Bára Sigurjónsdóttir and Lárus Halldór Grímsson) will give a concert in Mengi on February 23rd at 9pm. (Interview in Icelandic). Listen here.
Flutist Berglind María Tómasdóttir talks about her program at Mengi on Saturday, February 11th. Interview in Icelandic
Music (in the interview) performed by Berglind María.
Nicholas Deyoe: things written in the snow: 2. beneath a fresh layer
Anna Þorvaldsdóttir. Athereality. Listen here.
Sigurður Halldórsson, violoncello and tenor violon, talks about the program of Symphonia Angelica at Mengi on Friday, February 10th 2017. Interview in Icelandic.
Music performed by Symphonia Angelica:
Toccata by Frescobaldi
Largo by D. Gabrieli
Lucrezia by Haendel. Listen here.
Thelma Marín Jónsdóttir on her performance, Mountain of Me, at Mengi on February 9th 2017.
In Icelandic. Music by Thelma Marín.
Filmmakers Terra Long & Rebecca Moran and Þóranna Björnsdóttir talk about an event curated by Terra Long at Mengi on February 8th, 2017. Listen here.
Stephen Dorocke/Risofon, is the ongoing sonic research and exploration utilizing the “Resophone”, a modified and sometimes prepared metal body resonator guitar, set up for playing with a steel.
Listen to a short interview with Stephen Dorocke before his concert at Mengi on Friday, February 3rd 2017.
Jordan Munson, a sound and video artist, performs at Mengi on December 15th 2016. Listen to a short interview with the artist about his love for the arctic and more. Music: Firmament by Jordan Munson.
The American artist Ethan Rafal will host an evening of story-telling at Mengi, presenting his twelve year long autobiographical project Shock and Awe. He has toured the United States and Europe with stories from all around the States, beginning his journey after 9/11, 2001. Listen to a short interview with Ethan Rafal about this exciting project.
The prolific Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir talks about her poetry, art and music. She performs at Mengi on Thurday, November 10th at 9pm. Interview in Icelandic. Music by Ásta Fanney. Listen.
Sick Llama – a.k.a. Heath Moerland – performs at Mengi on October 20th, Thursday together with a solo set by Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson. Born in 1977 and based in the experimental hub Detroit, Heath uses tapes, organ, synth, clarinet, and whatever else is laying around to balance a fine line between composition and improvisation. Listen to a short interview with Heath. Music from his most recent album – Surrounded by Gold and Death.
The Spanish composer, improviser, interpreter, visual artist Héctor Rey gives his debut concert at Mengi on Thursday, September 29 at 8pm where he will premiere pieces that he worked on at Seyðisfjörður, east of Iceland. New music for mouth organ and bass concertina. Listen to a brief interview with Hector including excerpts from his piece Siza building.
Brazilian vocalist, composer, performer, improviser Marcela Lucatelli invites two Icelandic musicians, Bára Gísladóttir on double bass and Frank Aarnink on percussion to improvise on the stage of Mengi on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 9pm. The improvisation being part of her project Obrem. A short interview with her along with soundbites from her fantastic album Phew! – The Last Guide for a Western Obituary (2016). Listen here.
The violinist Aisha Orazbayeva talks about her approach to Telemann, Nono and Sciarrino. Orazbayeva gives a concert at Mengi on Friday, September 23rd at 9pm where she follows up her latest album with Fantasias by Telemann along with music by Nono and Sciarrino. Listen here.
Teodora Stepančić and Assaf Gidron, composers and performers perform at Mengi on Friday, August 25th, 2016 at 9pm. As a duo they perform on keyboards, piano, found objects and sine tones. The main focus of their programming is written and improvised music that speaks in a voice that does not try to draw attention to itself, that stresses intimacy, clarity and focus, and seeks to draw an audience into an inclusive, permeable and generous mode of listening.
They share some thoughts on their music and improvisation here. (Interview in English).
Fragments from following compositions:
-Dora – for piano and helperperformer by Teodora Stepančić
-Chorale III by Assaf Gidron
-Piano-Sine Tones by Assaf Gidron.
Elísabet Birta Sveinsdóttir is currently studying fine arts at the Iceland Academy of the Arts as well as working as a freelance dancer. She graduated from the Contemporary Dance Department in 2013.
Elísabet works in a variety of medium, whathever suits an idea and concept. e.g. performance, film, installation, painting and photography.
Her main focus at the moment is on feminist theory and the fourth wave of feminism; concepts regarding the post-feminist pop-star, male gaze and the representation of the female body in mainstream media and art as well as researching femininity, feminine- and feminist art.
Birta will give a performance at Mengi on Thursday, August 4th at 9pm. LISTEN HERE
Miss Naivety is a project of Irina Shtreis, a singer songwriter from Saint Petersburg currently living in Iceland. Her music comprises elements of folk and ambient. Being inspired by beauty of Northern countries, she composes songs which can remind of Scandinavian landscapes and Russian wild woods at the same time. She will give a concert at Mengi on Thursday, July 7th, 2016 at 9pm.LISTEN HERE
After three years of recovering, Kristján Hrannar will finally perform his new material at Mengi, Friday the 8th at 21:00.
The album Sea take one / Haf taka eitt will be composed and recorded on the spot. The tracks are named after sealife being affected by climate change and ocean acidification.
After interval, Kristján will perform new material from his upcoming sophomore album, Brestir kæru gestir. Pumping dark electronic with Icelandic lyrics. LISTEN HERE.
Before their first concert ever the duet Schóbó, founded by Icelandic drummers Einar Scheving and Ólafur Björn Ólafsson (Óbó)in April, 2016, talk a bit about their collaboration and what it means to be a drummer. For a start it requires a heavy gear and love for all kinds of sounds.
Schóbó will give a concert at Mengi on Thursday, April 28th. Interview in Icelandic along with soundbites from Schóbó’s first rehearsal.LISTEN HERE
The American trumpet player and improviser Jacob Wick talks about the weather and how it affects his way of playing and improvising. Along with other stuff. Jacob & Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson will give a performance at Mengi on April 30th, 2016 on International Jazz Day.
Curator and video artist Emily Eddy talks about Weird Movies From the Middle of America, a program of seven experimental film and video artwork from Chicago and the American Midwest. Will be shown in Mengi on Friday, April 8th at 9pm.
-Carl Elsaesser – The Misbehaving Image
-Cameron Gibson – To the Realm of Precise Shadows
-Emily Oscarson – Don’t Say Goodbye to Me
-Jesse Malmed – Thimblerig
-Jesse McLean – Somewhere Only We Know
-Meredith Lackey – Iron Condor
-Steve Reinke – Amsterdam Camera Vacation
Curated by Emily Eddy.
Dora is a collaboration between two musicians coming from different musical backgrounds, Gatis Zakis and Jānis Šipkēvics who are both based in Riga, Latvia. Listen to them talk about their collaboration. Dora at Mengi on Saturday, March 5th. Listen.
Visual artist Johannes Tassilo Walter presents his book Night Tales with texts by P. S. Thor. The book will be presented at Mengi with sound installation from Nicolas Kunysz on Friday, March 4th 2016. Listen.
On Thursday, February 18th 2016, four artists from the Berlin-based label oqko will give a performance at Mengi. Among the four artists is the Icelandic artist Astvaldur Axel Thorisson who talks briefly (in Icelandic) about the label and his piece, Stjórn, based on recordings of speeches of Icelandic politicians at the Icelandic parliament during the last five years. His piece Stjórn will be performed at Mengi at the concert. Listen.
Rachel Beetz, flute & Jennifer Bewerse, cello, in Autoduplicity talk about the connection between the soundworlds of the French medieval composer Guillaume Machaut & the contemporary Austrian composer Peter Ablinger. They give a concert at Mengi on February the 6th 2016. Listen.
Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard from H2DANCE talk about their highly acclaimed DUET, premiered in The Place in London in 2013. Music by Sylvia Hallett. The Iceland premiere of the piece will take place in Mengi on February 4th, 2016.Listen.
Berglind Tómasdóttir, flutist and composer, talks about her show at Mengi where she will be performing her own music for the flutes along with videos, recent and one brand new. The concert is on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016. Music by Berglind.(Interview in Icelandic). Listen.
Percussionist Dustin Donahue talks about his love for John Cage, Earle Brown and more. Performance with Donahue and flutist Rachel Beetz at Mengi on January 22nd 2016. Listen (in English)
Kira Kira talks about her love for improvisation and telling the truth in music. Kira Kira has been working on a new album for the last three years and on Sunday, January 10th, 2016, she will give a concert in Mengi with a small orchestra and a choir that will be recorded and filtered into her new album. Listen (in English). Listen (in Icelandic)
Singer-songwriter Svavar Knútur and electronic sound artist KRAKKKBOT (Baldur Björnsson) have been friends forever. Their approach to music is really different however. Now is their chance to meet up and collaborate – at a concert in Mengi on Saturday, 9th of January 2016, sound artist AMFJ (Aðalsteinn Jörundsson) and KRAKKKBOT will distort the beautiful sounds of Svavar. Listen (in English). Listen (in Icelandic)
The French Opaque Transparent (Samuel Gouttenoire) talks about his great inspirations in music, the sounds and noise of everyday-life. Opaque Transparent creates sound sculptures from everyday life where the origin of sound is completely unrecognisable. His new album will be released by the French label Planespotting Records in Spring 2015. Opaque Transparent will give a concert in Mengi, Friday, January 8th, 2016. Listen (in English)
Gunnar Gunnsteinsson composer and Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, musician, poet and visual artist give a performance in Mengi on Thursday, January 7th, 2016 where Gunnar celebrates his new podcast and Ásta Fanney will perform a soundtrack to a movie that was never made and never will be. Listen (in English) Listen (in Icelandic)
American visual artist Aimee Odum, Belgian composer and vocalist Mariske Broeckmeyer and Kerryn McMurdo, dancer and coreographer from New Zealand will give a performance of their work Golden Blobess in Mengi on Friday, December the 18th. In Golden Blobess video, music and dance melts together as described by Aimee and Mariske in this short interview. Music composed by Mariske Broeckmeyer. Listen (in English)
Different Rooftops is a debut album by Bára Gísladóttir, composer and double bass player, that contains works for double bass, saxophone, electronics and voice. Bára talks about her inspirations, from Prokofiev to Sciarrino to Pablo Picasso’s works. Bára’s release concert will be held in Mengi on December 19th. Bára will perform along with Helgi R. Heiðarsson, saxophone player. Listen (interview in English)
Finnish vocalist Johanna Sulkunen talks about jazz, inspirations, improvisations, the music of sounds and more. Sounds from rehearsal in Mengi. Johanna performed at Mengi together with Hilmar Jensson, guitarist, on December 12th 2015. Listen (in English)
Umbra are five Icelandic young women who play harmonium, the Celtic harp, baroque violin, baroque viola and double bass. They all sing while they perform their program that mostly consists of baroque, renaissance and medieval music. Umbra’s members are Alexandra Kjeld (double bass and voice), Arngerður María Árnadóttir (Celtic harp, harmonium and voice), Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttur (baroque violin and voice), Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir (baroque viola and voice) and Lilja Dögg Gunnarsdóttur (voice and percussions). Lilja and Arngerður spoke briefly about their take on old music. Umbra gives a concert in Mengi on December, 10th, 2015. Listen (in Icelandic)
Arnljótur Sigurðsson talks about his latest album, Úð. Symphonic in scale, 70 minutes long and in several movements, inspired by Cluster, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream etc, the sound world of Úð is electronic along with Arnljótur’s flute playing. Arnljótur gave a release concert in Mengi on Friday, December 5th. Listen (in Icelandic)
Jóhann Gunnarsson, bass-player and composer, talks about his background in music and his latest release, genematrix perimeterstroke. Joined by musician Ari Bragi Kárason, trumpet, Jóel Pálsson, saxophone, Helge Haahr, drums, Hallvarður Ásgeirsson, guitar and Þórdís Gerður Jónsdóttir, cello, Jóhann gave a concert in Mengi on Saturday, November 28th. Listen (in Icelandic)
Brogan Davison, dancer and choreographer, is as member of the theatre group Dance for me along with Pétur Ármannsson, director. Their latest piece, Petra, is influenced by Pétur’s great-grandmother who was completely absorbed in collecting stones and minerals. Brogan shares some thoughts on the creative process behind this beautiful piece.Petra was shown in Mengi on November 27th (Friday) at 9pm. Listen (in English)
Leslie Ann Leytham gave a concert in Mengi on Friday the 20th. In a short interview she describes her way into contemporary music, what excites her about modern vocal techniques and the melting pot of new music in San Diego. Listen (in English)
Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir, violinist & Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson, trumpet player, talk briefly about their concert at Mengi on Tuesday, November 17th, where they improvised to new and old videos. Along with them at Mengi were Grímur Helgason, clarinet player and Hilmar Jensson, guitarist. Listen (in Icelandic)
Even though the multi-instrumentalists Gustaf Ljunggren, August Rosenbaum and Emil de Waal have known each other for quite a while, playing together in ensembles etc – they have never performed together as a trio. At the experimental and creative venue Mengi in Reykjavík, Iceland, they gave their first debut concert as a trio on November the 13th of 2015. They shared some thoughts on collaborating and what binds them together.Listen (in English)