Jónas Ásgeir // The Icelandic Love Corporation

Dark Music Days

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Date Location Price
25 Jan 2024 » 19:30 » Thursday Eldborg | Harpa 3.000 - 5.200 kr.
  • Program

    Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir Striations
    Þuríður Jónsdóttir Installation Around a Heart
    Finnur Karlsson Accordion Concerto
    The Icelandic Love Corporation: Eirún Sigurðardóttir og Jóní Jónsdóttir with Ólafur Björn Ólafsson and Una Sveinbjarnardóttir Vagus Symphony

  • Conductor

    Ross Jamie Collins

  • Soloist

    Jónas Ásgeir Ásgeirsson

  • The Icelandic Love Corporation

The ISO's performance for Dark Music Days 2024 brings audiences an avant-garde new work by The Icelandic Love Corporation entitled Vagus Symphony, which blends together the media of music, film, and visual art. "The piece offers an abstract multi-disciplinary journey that tugs at our wandering gene, the body's centre of empathy," say the artists. The symphony is based on a psychic's experience of the history of the oldest instruments in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. "The piece activates all the senses in the body in its travels around mysterious worlds on the borders of dreams and reality." The Icelandic Love Corporation comprises visual artists Eirún Sigurðardóttir and Jóní Jónsdóttir, who have worked together since 1996. In creating this piece, they teamed up with composers Una Sveinbjarnardóttir and Ólafur Björn Ólafsson, as well as an A-list group of filmmakers, dancers, actors, and gymnasts.

Contemporary Icelandic music takes centre stage in the first half of this concert. Accordionist Jónas Ásgeir Ásgeirsson won 'Performer of the Year' at the Icelandic Music Awards last spring, having garnered praise both at home and abroad for his virtuosic mastery of the instrument and his brilliant interpretations of new music. Here he performs two bewitching concertos with the orchestra: Installation Around a Heart, written by Þuríður Jónsdóttir in 2005, and Finnur Karlsson's Accordion Concerto from 2020. Jónas's recording of the latter with the Elja Ensemble forms a part of his album Fikta. The album was named the 2022 Icelandic Music Award's 'Album of the Year' in the category of classical and contemporary music. 

The concert opens with a new piece by Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir called Striations, which was commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and premiered by its youth orchestra under the baton of Ilan Volkov early in 2023. Bergrún's compositions are rapidly gaining recognition, the Oslo Philharmonic has performed her work and she has been commissioned by ensembles such as the International Contemporary Ensemble in New York. The ISO performed Bergrún's work at the Tectonics festivals in 2014 and 2015. The orchestra also joined with Anna Þorvaldsdóttir to commission her piece Skin in and proceeded to premiere it in 2019.

Dark Music Days is one of the oldest music festivals in the country and a celebration of Icelandic contemporary music. The festival had its inaugural performance in 1980, and the Iceland Symphony has collaborated with it since its inception.