How do you say “Brilliant” in Icelandic?
Nick introduced me to Sigur Ros when we were just getting to know each other. Moments of the first few months we spent together, are punctuated by their music and so I think I’m particularly partial to them. During those days, as we sat at Heddon watching the sky reflected in the placid water of the lake, Sigur Ros would play in our heads and I desperately hoped that time would stand still forever. Having introduced others to their music, I have known no one to have an insignificant reaction to Sigur Ros. And you will never forget that moment when the first strains of their music float into your consciousness.
An Icelandic band, Sigur Ros is comprised of jón þor (jónsi) birgisson (vocals, guitars), kjartan (kjarri) sveinsson (keyboards), orri páll dýrason (drums) and georg (goggi) holm (bass) and were formed in 1994. At best their music defies description (and therefore I will attempt the next two paragraphs!). Sweeping, ephemeral, ethereal, unworldly and untouched much like the landscapes of their homeland, their music has progressed from ambient and conceptual to raw, dark and powerful all the while never losing the feeling of utter bliss that fans have so come to expect from their music over the course of their four albums.
I personally think that Sigur Ros’s music evokes some fantastic imagery and dreamscapes, a marriage of sound and sight and story that’s only been achieved effectively by a few others such as Japan based Mono and the US based Explosions in the Sky. The music grabs your hand, breaks out into an even smooth run and try as you might to keep up with your feet, you feel them lift off the ground and you have no choice but to give in to the soft, firm grip, flowing with it.
I’m not one of those people who seems to have head phones growing out of her ears. Even while running, the sound of the treadmills groaning and screeching seems to me more rhythmic and comforting than actual music. So, to me, the impact of Sigur Ros is over whelming, emotional, visceral and inspiring.
And as if it’s not enough that their music is mind bending, they go and make this video for “Svefn-g-englar” from their second album “Agætis byrjun.” (The people in the video are all members of Perlan theatre group, an Icelandic group of downs syndrome actors)