Robert Black tours the world creating unheard of music for the double bass. He collaborates with the most adventurous composers, musicians, dancers, artists, actors, and technophiles from all walks of life.
He is a founding member of the Bang On A Can All Stars. Check out his solo CDs on Mode Records (The Complete Bass Music of Christian Wolff and The Bass Music of Giacinto Scelsi) and his All Stars recordings on Cantaloupe Records.
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The trio Jo Berger Myhre, Magnús Trygvason Eliassen and Tumi Árnason unite for an evening of free improv.
Jo Berger Myhre (b. 1984, Oslo) is a Norwegian musician temporarily residing in Reykjavík. Apart from spending time with his kids and baking bread, his main project is the drone-jazz band Splashgirl. He has over the last few years become a highly sought-after bass player, currently working with the unique Swedish singer/songwriter Mariam the Believer (Wildbirds & Peacedrums) and the Norwegian trumpet legend Nils Petter Molvær, as well as the occasional collaboration with a.o. Susanna Wallumrød, Jessica Sligter, Solveig Slettahjell and composing for visual and scenic artists.
Magnús Trygvason Eliassen plays music on drums!
Tumi Árnason is an icelandic saxophonist responsible for blowing the golden horn for bands such as Grísalappalísa and Ojba Rasta as well as being one of the people behind free improv focused label Úsland Útgáfa.
Ólöf Arnalds is an Icelandic singer/
Skúli Sverrisson is a bass-player, composer and producer from Iceland and the artistic director of Mengi. The collaborators have worked on each other´s music since 2006 with an outcome of five releases and various musical projects, including Skúli´s piece for Ólöf´s voice and symphony orchestra, premiered at the Tectonics festival in Reykjavík last Year.
DE PROFUNDIS CLAMAVI AD TE DOMINE…
The anti-music opus PNTGRMTN, á “chamber-opera” in 5 parts for voice, electronics, electric bass and computers. Conceived, composed and assembled by the artist Oberdada von Brútal and performed by Oberdada along with his auxiliary self, the Anti Musick Faktor:E. The work is approximately one hour in duration. For the past five years it has survived various types of serious weirdness as a work in progress and deals with topics like satanism and demonic possession, psychoactive drugs and ecstasy, human deviance in all forms, especially the darker and perverse varieties. Admission is 2000 ISK. and also includes a 10 page booklet with further texts and graphics towards a fuller exposition of the themes and content of the PNTGRMTN. The first 10 to arrive will receive as an added bonus a copy of the indisputably unique CD “Rás 14” (Channel 14), first released and distributed by Oberdada about 10 years ago.
The venue opens at 20:00 and the evening starts off with some variations on the theme of noise by the musician Harry Knuckles.
Fair warning: Please note that PNTGRMTN contains audio and visual material not suitable for children or people of a delicate disposition.
The trio will play and improvise known jazz songs which have been a part of Jón Páll´s repertoire throughout the years. This is the first time this particular trio plays together as an official trio, but both Richard and Matthías have played with Jón Páll on other occasions.
Jón Páll Bjarnason is one of our best jazz musicians and has played with bands undir his own name as well as numerous others, e.g. Útlendingahersveitin and Sigurður Flosason.
Richard Andersson has shown himself to be a real gem for Icelandic music lovers in the two years since he moved to Reykjavík. Many of them probably remember a terrific performance he had here at Mengi with his band UDU last fall.
Matthías Hemstock has played with many of the best jazz musicians in the country and has for the past two years been a member of Richard´s trio along with Óskar Guðjónsson, their trio toured Denmark last summer.
Chris Foster grew up in the south west of England, where he first started singing folk songs. A master of his trade, he was recently described as “one of the finest singers and most thoughtful inventive guitar accompanists of English folk songs, meriting legend status.” Over the past 40 years, he has toured throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA and recorded six solo albums as well as working on many collaborative projects. On stage his fine musicianship and powerful singing is underpinned by an urbane wit and engaging enthusiasm, which draws his audiences into the ancient world of storytelling through song.
• Introducing Funi http://www.youtube.com/
• Aldrei skal ég gleyma þér http://youtu.be/
• Live at Mystic Sea Music Festival, USA http://www.youtube.com/
• Live on RÚV http://www.youtube.com/
Bedroom Community is presenting a brand new bi-monthly residency program at Mengi.
The inaugural event will feature Valgeir Sigurðsson; Producer, composer and founder of the Bedroom Community label and Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík.
Valgeir will be performing new material with Liam Byrne, written for electronics and viola da gamba.
The entrance fee is 2,000 kronur
Cryptochrome is a Reykjavík-based progressive rap-pop ensemble whose members hail from London, Hamburg and the Icelandic capital. Though relatively new to the local scene, the group’s three members have worked together in various configurations for the best part of two decades (the first record of which was released in 2003 on DJ Vadim (Ninja Tune) label Jazz Fudge) and have recently regrouped into their current incarnation. They are in the final stages of completing their second studio album ‘lightstation’ for release this summer, and are very excited about the high-level attention it has already been receiving in the UK. All three members are trained visual artists and collaborate on the majority of the band’s videos, graphics, and stage design.
Cryptochrome’s live set is a bass-heavy soundscape of electronic semi-improvisation, at times psychadelically disjointed, at others daringly catchy, overlaid with Una’s hauntingly warm hook lines and hippy-punk rap songs, and Anik’s passionate delivery of casual metaphysics.
Icelandic Sound Company is a collaboration of guitarist Ríkharður H. Friðriksson and percussionist and keyboardist Gunnar Kristinsson. Aside from their “normal” instruments they both use computers and audio effects processors to widen up the sound to the extent that eventually it’s often quite hard to hear where the sound came from originally.
The music of Icelandic Sound Company is mainly based on free improvisation, with certain concept or structure appearing occasionally. The progress of the music is otherwise determined by impulsive inspiration and interaction between the members. Sound is more important than melody or harmony, as can be clearly deducted from the group’s name.
The group’s style is hard to pinpoint; it has been called classical, free-jazz and electronic music alternately. None of these labels are appropriate because the group is totally in its own orbit, steering conscientiously away from normally established musical styles.
Icelandic Sound Company has been playing together since 2004, celebrating their tenth anniversary last year. It has, for the most part, been run from Basel, Switzerland and played concerts in Iceland, Switzerland, Germany and France. Distance from Basel and the smallness of the venue cause this to be an “ISC-light” concert, where only a selection of their instruments are used. That does in no way imply that the music itself will be light in any way.
More info here:
Árni Grétar (born 6 December 1983), best known under the pseudonym Futuregrapher, is an electronic musician described by Grapevine magazine in 2009 as “fucking brilliant.” He was one of the leading members of the local Weirdcore scene and has been praised for his great live performances. He founded the record label Möller Records in 2011 with Jóhann Ómarsson (aka Skurken).
Released two critical acclaimed albums; ‘LP’ in 2012 and ‘Skynvera’ in 2014.
Futuregrapher has made remixes for many artists, like Mick Chillage (Nice & Nasty Records), Skurken (Möller Records), Ruxpin (n5MD), Samaris (One Little Indian) and Worm Is Green (ata:digital).
Live events with Biosphere, Mixmaster Morris, Solar Fields, Dave Clarke and played at the Icelandic Airwaves festival numerous of times, Sonar Reykjavík, Aldrei Fór Ég Suður, the infamous Extreme Chill festival and toured in Canada and Germany.
Futuregrapher will perform new stuff and will be joined on stage with three live performers; Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir (clarinet), Veroníque Vaka (cello) and Magnús Björn Ólafsson (spoken words).
Good Moon Deer is the stage name of one Guðmundur Ingi Úlfarsson, musician and type designer. He’s been a part of the Icelandic music scene for the past few years and played at festivals such as Iceland Airwaves and Sonar Reykjavík, as well as playing in both Denmark and Germany. Guðmundur is planning the release of his debut album in March as well as a tour of England.
The audience can expect an experimental set at Mengi of the tracks from the forthcoming album.
Græna augað #1 – with a special guest from In the Dark!
Græna augað radíoklúbbur – The Green Eye radioclub is a collective of radio lovers who will be curating audio storytelling listening events in Reykjavik on the last Wednesday of every month. The very first event is in collaboration with In the Dark from London http://
In The Dark is a collaborative project between a new generation of radio producers and radio enthusiasts aiming to create a mini-revolution in the way people think about spoken-word radio by lifting it out of its traditional settings and celebrating it in new and exciting ways.
In The Dark’s London curator, Rosanna Arbon and Græna augað´s Þorgerður E. Sigurðardóttir have spent the past few weeks bouncing their favourite pieces of radio back and forth to build this evening’s selection. Græna augað will continue to share the rich world of stories told through sound with the people of Reykjavik with more live listening events.
Saxophonist Jóel Palsson invites guitarists Guðmundur Pétursson and Hilmar Jensson to take part in a musical threesome. The program will be a random mix of free improvisation and written music which might include some scratching, stroking, screaming and moaning, as you would expect from a successful threesome.
Jóel Pálsson studied clarinet from age 8, but turned to the tenor saxophone and jazz studies at 15. After finishing music school in Iceland he enrolled Berklee College of Music in Boston from which he graduated 1994. He has performed in various concerts and festivals in Europe, USA, Canada and China and appeared on over 100 albums.
Jóel has recorded five CD’s with his own compositions. His music often mirrors his diversity as a performer, combining improvisation and written parts influenced by different musical styles such as church music, rock, free improvisation, funk and folk music. Jóel has been awarded five times at the Icelandic music awards for his albums, thereof four awards for Jazz album of the year. Jóel was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2011.
Guðmundur Pétursson has since his teens played on a couple of hundred records, worked as a producer, writer and arranger, as well as writing for theater and films. Among those he has recorded or shared a stage with are Megas og Senuþjófarnir, Pinetop Perkins, Bily Boy Arnold, Donal Lunny, Bubbi Morthens, Ragga Gröndal, John Grant, Patty Smith, Donlal Lunny, Emiliana Torrini, Wilie Big Eyes Smith, Damon Albarn, Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra, Icelandic Symphony and many more. Guðmundur has made the solo records Ologies (2008) and Elabórat (2011). He works with his own group, but is also a member of jazz group Annes and tours the world with Erlend Oye and the Rainbows.
Hilmar Jensson first picked up the guitar at the age of six but started studying formally at age eleven. Graduated from FIH School of Music in 1987. He graduated with a BM degree from Berklee College of Music in 1991 and had private lessons with Mick Goodrick, Jerry Bergonzi, Hal Crook and Joe Lovano.
Hilmar has performed in 35 countries with his trio “TYFT”, Jim Black’s AlasNoAxis, Trevor Dunn’s MadLove, Mogil Outhouse BMX and others.
He has also recorded and/or performed with Tim Berne, Andrew D’Angelo, Jim Black, Chris Speed, Skuli Sverrisson, Trevor Dunn, Herb Robertson, Eyvind Kang, Marc Ducret, Nate Wooley, 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.
The chamber group Náttey will be performing six pieces by Bára Gísladóttir, three of which are debut performances. Náttey consists of Bára Gísladóttir on double bass, Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason on piano, and Björg Brjánsdóttir and Steinunn Vala Pálsdóttir on flutes.
I nostri dei sono morti for two voices, two flutes, piano, double bass and electronics (premiere)
Dauði flugunnar (E. Fly’s Death) for solo flute
Skökk stjarna (E. Awry Star) for flute and piano
Café Kafka for solo double bass
Beðið (E. Bed/Wait/Prayer) for piano, e-bow and a red ribbon (premiere)
MiMaMü for two flutes and a double bass (premiere)
Bára Gísladóttir graduated við a BA in composition from The Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2013 under the guidance of Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson and is now doing further composition studies at The Milan Conservatory under the guidance of Gabriele Manca.
Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason graduated on viola from The Iceland Academy of the Arts oin 2009. Since 2011 he has been studying conducting at Hanns Eisler School og Music in Berlin under the guidance of Fred Buttkewitz.
Björg Bránsdóttir started her Bachelor-studies on flute at The Norwegian Academy of Music in the autumn of 2013. Since the autumn of 2014 she has been a student at The University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.
Steinunn Vala Pálsdóttir graduated with a Bachelor Degree in flute studies from The Iceland Academy of the Arts in spring 2014 and is currently studying at Malmö Academy of Music.
In Speaking Solos, Reykjavík Dance Festival creates an event where choreographers will undertake the task of performing solos – with text as their only medium.
Participating choreographers are:
Snædís Lilja Ingadóttir
Elísabet Birta Sveinsdottir
Mirte Bogaert Oupa Sibeko