Hafdís Bjarnadóttir – Sounds Of Iceland


CD – Gruen

Hafdis Bjarnadóttir is a field recordist with a purist approach: all sound sources are untreated and none of the captures included man-made noises. The artist is intent on bringing out the magic of the landscapes, favouring an emotional geography that is both intimate and participatory. It is not the first time, of course, that this subject matter has been explored. Experimental scenes have witnessed a whole sub-genre of “glacial ambient” works flourish over the last decade, with a focus on extreme environments – glaciers, volcanoes, water and fire – inspiring oblique sonic manipulations or more simple audio documentaries. Hafdis can boast of an eclectic musical background that includes a number of conceptually complex projects – an orchestra piece made with knitting instructions; another composed out of graphs and charts from Icelandic banks during the financial crises of 2008. This time he seems to be fascinated with the specificity of the sounds, which are kept immaculate, “truthful” and respectful of the sites captured. The sounds have only been manipulated in terms of volumes – a relatively “pure” form of intervention, with the captures organised according to geographical location. Attention is paid to the chirping of birds, the crashing of waves, the crackle of ice, showcasing subtle variations in intensity. It is a journey that begins in the cold southwest and moves north as spring comes and goes, ending with a passionate sequence in autumn.


Sounds Of Iceland – field recordings by Hafdís Bjarnadóttir