Sunday, January 04, 2009

Gargandi Snilld or, Screaming Masterpiece

Madam Mayo's Icelandic film festival continues. The latest: Screaming Masterpiece, the 2005 documentary about Icelandic music, which features the eerily energetic band Sigur Ros, composer and Head Pagan (yes, as in Odin, elves, and etc.) Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson, and Bjork, Bjork and wow, even more (but certainly not enough) Bjork. (Check out her YouTube page.) One of the best pieces in this film is Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson's "Odin's Raven Magic," a recitation of an ancient Viking poem with a full choir, orchestra, and a stone harp. What is a stone harp? This one is, apparently, unique. It looks like a giant xylophone but made of rough-hewn stone shingles. More anon.