Sigur Rós – Odin’s Raven Magic (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Hilmarsson) (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:05:27 minutes | 719 MB | Genre: Alternative, Indie
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © KRUNK
Composed in the 14th or 15th century Odin’s Raven Magic is an Icelandic poem in the ancient Edda tradition (Edda – a term that describes two Icelandic manuscripts of which together are the main sources of Norse mythology and Skáldic poetry) its anonymous author clearly had an intimate knowledge of the Edda literature and mythology which alludes to a number of pagan motifs which are now lost. The poem recounts a great banquet held by the gods in Valhalla while they were absorbed in their feasting, ominous signs appeared that could foretell the end of the worlds of the gods and men. The album ‘Odin’s Raven Magic’ is an orchestral collaboration between Sigur Rós, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Steindór Andersen and Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir which premiered 18 years ago at the Barbican Centre in London and is now finally almost two decades later being released. The performance honours the poem, dramatic and beautiful, classical with a modern strike. A stone marimba was built especially for the performance by Páll Guðmundsson. Odin’s Raven Magic – the poem – had been relegated from mainstream ancient literature ever since 1867, when Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge claimed it was a 17th century fabrication. This theory has since been toppled with literary and linguistic arguments and new research has concluded that Odin’s Raven Magic was indeed authentic and has finally being reintroduced to the Edda.
Christmas came early for Sigur Rós fans. After the second solo album by singer/guitarist Jónsi, Shiver, released in October 2020, the Icelanders now deliver a piece that has been almost twenty years in the making, a live performance of Odin’s Raven Magic, an oratorio that has attained cult status, first performed in 2002 at London’s Barbican Centre by Sigur Rós, MAO pioneer Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson aka HÖH, the singer of rimur (traditional Icelandic poems) Steindór Andersen, accompanied by the Schola Cantorum in Reykjavik and the London Sinfonietta.
Almost two decades later, Sigur Ros offers a veritable all-star game of Icelandic music, with the version recorded on 28 and 29 September 2004 in Paris at La Grande Halle de la Villette in the company of the Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire national de Paris and the Schola Cantorum in Reykjavik, with arrangements by Kjartan Sveinsson (Sigur Rós’s pianist from 1998 to 2013) and Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, from the Reykjavik indie pop group Amiina, as well as the stone marimba built specially for the occasion by Páll Guðmundsson. All this help was certainly needed for this audiovisual show based on a 500-year-old Icelandic poem that tells of the banquet of the gods in Valhalla, held as signs appear announcing the end of the world. An hour of grandiose music on a legendary theme with a new object of worship for Sigur Rós followers. © Smaël Bouaici
1. Sigur Rós – Prologus (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)
2. Sigur Rós – Alföður orkar (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)
3. Sigur Rós – Dvergmál (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)
4. Sigur Rós – Stendur æva (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)
5. Sigur Rós – Áss hinn hvíti (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)
6. Sigur Rós – Hvert stefnir (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)
7. Sigur Rós – Spár eða spakmál (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)
8. Sigur Rós – Dagrenning (with Steindór Andersen, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir)