We've just arrived at the EU Capital of Culture in Umeå, Northern Sweden and heard that our work has been featured on the cover of International Arts Manager magazine this month with the South Iceland Chamber Choir and Jack White's ongoing collaboration project. Perfect timing as we'll be introducing the choir to their next collaborator Emil Råberg who is the composer in residence for the International Choir Festival and is creating new work for the SICC as they return as a host ensemble for Collaborative Compositions 2014.
Last week we took Jack White to Iceland for the final time before the World Premiere of his work "Islands (Ynysoedd)" alongside the World Premiere of Sir John Tavener's "Three Shakespeare Sonnets" at Southwark Cathedral.
The choir were selected personally by Tavener to premiere his new work and have spent the whole summer working with Jack to make his vision a reality. As part of the concert they are also premiering a programme of new works from Icelandic composers including Smári Ólafsson, Bára Grímsdóttir, Örlygur Benediktsson, Snorri Hallgrímsson, Vala Gestsdóttir and Sigur Ros' own Kjartan Sveinsson.
The choir were kind enough to let us listen in on their rehearsal of one of his works - Heimaey - a blissful excerpt of which you can hear, up there...
Four days into his residency with the South Iceland Chamber Choir Jack White's been gathering inspiration from the landscape of the "Golden Circle". The tourist route through the national park takes in Gullfoss - one of Iceland's biggest waterfalls, Geysir - the first geyser ever mentioned in print, and Þingvellir - the home of the oldest parliamentary democracy in the world as well as the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
Yesterday he headed further inland to meet up with artist and musician Páll Guðmundsson in Húsafell - the artist behind the Tavener portrait he's kindly allowed us to use for the concert and the inventor of the Steinharpa (Stone Harp) which Páll has played for Sigur Ros and an instrument that may make an appearance in Jack's piece for the choir...we shall have to wait and see...
You can hear the Stone Harp in an earlier post to the blog.