Krot is a collection of Icelandic art songs spanning over a century of music inspired by our raw and powerful nature. Helgi R. Ingvarsson composer and Árni Kristjánson writer/director have made a brand new song especially for this album and Edda Heiðrún Backman has painted the artwork for the cover.
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Krot

62%
  • 10 tónleikar um Ísland 2011/10 concerts around Iceland 2011.
  • Nýtt lag, Vetrarþoka var samið/New song, Winter Fog was made.
  • Berg í Hljómahöllinni bókað fyrir upptökur/ Berg booked for recordings.
  • Edda Heiðrún gerir mynd fyrir forsíðu/Edda Heiðrún makes a painting for cover.
  • Ljóðin þýdd yfir á ensku/Poems translated into english.
  • Upptökur í maí 2016/Recordings in May 2016.
  • Útgáfutónleikar í Salnum í Kópavogi 4. september 2016 kl 17:00/Release concert in Iceland.
  • Tónleikar í London í September/Concert in London in September 2016

Further Information

Growing up in Iceland, I was surrounded every day by its wild and rugged landscapes, but it wasn't until I left to live and study abroad that it dawned on me just how special and unique these surroundings are. Suddenly my eyes were opened to the perpetually shifting beauty of the mountains around Reykjavík, one day in snow, another in cloud, or painted in all the colours of the slowly setting sun. On my trips home, I became a tourist in my own town, and every visit I made, I felt I had to drink my fill of the midnight sun, the peaceful stillness of the hours before the world wakes up, and see as much of this beautiful country as I possibly could.

In 2009 I took a break from singing, but by the end of 2010 I came to realise that it was the only thing I had ever really wanted to do. Aware that opportunities weren't going to be delivered to my doorstep, I started to plan a concert. In the aftermath of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, during which I had witnessed first hand the disruption wrought on the world by a single volcano, the theme of Icelandic nature seemed an obvious choice around which to base a program. I was keen to explore the ways in which the power and beauty of Icelandic nature had influenced and inspired the nation's poets and composers.

Over a period of several weeks, I made numerous research trips to the newly opened Library of the Reykjavík College of Music, where I had previously studied, in search of Icelandic pieces. The most popular works were already grouped together in folders for the use of the music college students, as had been the case in my time, but I was interested to see if there were any hidden treasures in the archive. I read through the texts of hundreds of songs, making piles of scores with songs about nature which I then took to the piano to play through and choose my favourites. I was delighted to find many uncatalogued works, some of which had rarely seen the light of day.

Rannveig and Birna after the first concert in Seltjarnarneskirkja on the 30th of April 2011.

In February 2011, I started rehearsals with the fantastic pianist Birna Hallgrimsdóttir, whom I had approached after hearing her perform a solo concert a week earlier. She was just as excited as I had been to discover such beautiful songs about Icelandic nature, and together we played and sang through the pieces I had found in the library and made the final selection of repertoire for our recital. After almost three months' work, we gave our first concert together on 30th April 2011 in Seltjarnarneskirkja. In May, we applied for, and successfully received, a grant from the Icelandic Music Fund (Tónlistarsjóður) to enable us to take the concert on tour, performing in ten venues across Iceland during July. But the influence of Icelandic nature on our concert did not stop with the program: after the first three concerts, glacial flooding destroyed a bridge on the only road around the edge of Iceland, and floods made the route impassable. As a result, we had to cancel two performances, and drive the long way round the whole island to rejoin our planned itinerary.

Ever since this eventful tour, we have dreamt of making a recording of these songs so that they can be enjoyed the world over, just as Icelandic nature itself is finding an ever-growing audience of travellers and pilgrims. In the time since that first concert, we have evolved the program slightly, to include three pieces which are more well known, but so very close to our hearts that we couldn't leave them out. We also commissioned a new work especially for the recording of this album. I asked two good friends, poet Árni Kristjánsson and composer Helgi Ingvarsson, if they could write a new piece for us. They obliged, and Árni wrote a beautiful poem entitled Vetrarþoka (Winter Fog) which Helgi has set to music. It is very special to have friends able and willing to create a beautiful new song for us, but even more of a privilege that Edda Heiðrún Backman, my father's cousin, has mouth-painted an enchanting artwork for the cover of our album. She has been an endless source of inspiration by the example of her unstoppable creative drive.

Edda Heiðrún Backman (artist), Alexandra Baldursdóttir (designer) and Rannveig Káradóttir (singer)

We have booked a concert hall called Berg in Keflavik on the 17th, 19th and 24th of May for recording. It has a beautiful Steinway with a magical clear sound that will be perfect for the atmosphere we want to create. We have an excellent team: Sveinn Kjartansson our brilliant sound engineer, who will be in charge of recording and editing the album; Alexandra Baldursdóttir, who will design our album artwork and other marketing material; and Peter Aisher, tenor and language enthusiast (and also my boyfriend), who has helped me translate all the poems into beautiful English.

Birna testing the beautiful Steinway in Berg, Keflavik.

To make it possible for us to touch the lives of as many people as possible with this unique music, we need your help and support to cover the cost of recording and manufacturing the CDs. By pledging, you become part of the journey of this magical music, and will be able to enjoy listening to it, while knowing that you have helped it to reach others who will love it too.

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