Today, instead of telling you about a single song by a single band or artist, I’d like to tell you about an Icelandic TV show called Hljómskálinn – which in my opinion is the best things to come out of Icelandic TV in a long time. It’s hosted by Sigtryggur Baldursson (of Sykurmolarnir among others) and it’s shown on the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RUV. There have been two series so far and I’ll be damned if they are not already working on the third. Hljómskálinn was also apart of Reykjavík Art Festival this year with a live show in Harpa which was recorded and is available, at least for a few more days, at RUV.is
Hljómskálinn, as you might have guessed by now, features Icelandic music and each show has a different theme. The host talks to current artists and finds out what they are working on and tells us a little bit about the history of Icelandic music. The most exciting thing about the show though is the fact that in each episode, two bands or artists come together and write a new song and perform it on the show. They also cover old songs or perform songs that have been specially written for the show by others. Some really fantastic music has come out of these collaborations and below you’ll find a few examples.
I really hope RUV decides to make these shows available with English subtitles on DVD so more people can enjoy them because where else will you see Megas, Prins Polo, Unnsteinn Manuel from Retro Stefson, Valdimar of Valdimar, Sigríður Thorlacius of Hjaltalín and Sigrtyggur Baldursson himself get together and perform genius stuff like the song below?