Harmljóð Snæfellsjökuls / Glacier's Elegy at Reykjavik Opera Days

31st October me and flautist Helen Whitaker will premiere my operatic monodrama Harmljóð Snæfellsjökuls / Glacier’s Elegy at the Reykjavik Opera Days. I am particularly invested in this premiere, as the piece is very personal for me. It addresses, in a poetic and somewhat abstract way, some of the sorrow and powerlessness I have felt over the past few years watching the beautiful glaciers of Iceland receding, diminishing and disappearing due to the environmental crisis.

Glacier's Elegy is an unstaged operatic monodrama for voice, laptop and flute. Glacier's Elegy is a farewell, the final farewell. The Glacier steps forward and addresses humankind for the last time and uses references from several works of Icelandic literature to communicate. The references are from works by romantic poet Steingrímur Thorsteinsson, novelist Halldór Kiljan Laxness, modernist poet Steinn Steinarr, and from Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss.

More here: https://operudagar.is/en/ljodadagar-2019/vidburdir/harmlj%C3%B3%C3%B0-sn%C3%A6fellsj%C3%B6kuls/

Harmljóð Snæfellsjökuls er ósviðsettur óperískur einleikur fyrir rödd, tölvu og flautu. Harmljóð Snæfellsjökuls er kveðja, hin hinsta kveðja. Jökullinn stígur fram og ávarpar mannkynið í síðasta sinn og notar tilvitnanir í hin ýmsu ritverk sér til stuðnings. Ritverkin eru Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss, Snæfellsjökull eftir Steingrím Thorsteinsson, Tíminn og Vatnið eftir Stein Steinarr og Vefarinn mikli frá Kasmír eftir Halldór Kiljan Laxness.

Meira hér: https://operudagar.is/is/ljodadagar-2019/vidburdir/harmlj%C3%B3%C3%B0-sn%C3%A6fellsj%C3%B6kuls/

Harmljóð Snæfellsjökuls Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson print jpg.jpg

Vefur/Loom review from 5against4.com

I was lucky enough to be contacted by the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra (Kammersveit Reykjavíkur) last spring for a work to go with their programme at the Grand Final concert of the 2019 Dark Music Days in Reykjavík, held at the beautiful Kaldalón Hall in Harpa. Composers Anna Thorvaldsdóttir and Hugi Guðmundsson were also featured, so I was in very good company indeed. I was happy to rearrange my 2012 work “Penelopeia” for RCO. They premiered it under the new titled “Vefur/Loom”, for flute, Bb clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion, electric guitar, violin and cello. Conductor was the very talented Bjarni Frímann, assistant conductor to the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. The concert went very well and I was happy with the outcome.

Recently I found this review by 5against4.com:

“The final day of Iceland’s 2019 Dark Music Days festival was characterised by a back-and-forth between prosaic and profound. […] Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson’s new work Loom (Vefur) [...] made a striking impression [...] The orchestra [...] struck an interesting balance between sounding individual and acting as a group.”

Full article: 5against4.com

darkmusicdays2019_reykjavikchamberorchestra Vefur Loom.jpg

Drápa at Wilton’s Music Hall London

I was very happy to get a chance to work with renowned poet, journalist and writer Gerður Kristný on setting her epic poem Drápa to music. It was the London based Poet in the City that got us together in the first place last spring, and working with Gerður has been a lot of fun. Outcome is a ~30 minute long work for reciter, flute, laptop, marimba and cello, mostly based around speech melodies created from Gerður’s own original reciting of her poem.

The premiere took place 9 September 2019 at the very beautiful and historic venue Wilton’s Music Hall in London, curated by Poet in the City. Here is the event description, and at the bottom of this page are photos and recording excerpt from the premiere.

A tribute to all women murdered by violent men, Icelandic poet Gerður Kristný presents Drápa, a story of modern-day Nordic crime reimagined through Old Viking Skaldic verse, musically accompanied by members of ALDAorchestra .

In this rare event, Gerður’s book is brought to life through chilling live readings and an accompanying new musical work written specially for this occasion by Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson and performed by members of the British-Icelandic group ALDAorchestra. Inspired by the horrific and traumatic stories of victims and their violent perpetrators, the evening will seek to commemorate all women who have suffered abuse at the hands of those closest to them.

Drápa in Møn, Denmark

In october, we - ALDAorchestra and Gerður- will travel to Møn island in Denmark for the annual World literature festival there. We have been invited to perform Drápa twice during the weekend long festival. More here: http://www.verdenslitteratur.dk

Marimba: Adam Bushell, flute: Helen Whitaker, cello: Sarah Davison, electronics: Helgi R Ingvarsson.

Marimba: Adam Bushell, flute: Helen Whitaker, cello: Sarah Davison, electronics: Helgi R Ingvarsson.

Cellist Sarah Davison and composer conductor Helgi R Ingvarsson.

Cellist Sarah Davison and composer conductor Helgi R Ingvarsson.

Cellist Sarah Davison and poet Gerður Kristný.

Cellist Sarah Davison and poet Gerður Kristný.