I have selected and now present, with fresh eyes, a selection of works from the song collection written by my grandfather, Steingrímur M. Sigfússon. In the summer of 2020, there was an opportunity between the waves of Covid, for me and my band to hold concerts in Reykjavík and in Patreksfjörður.
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Nóttin og þú

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Further Information

Nóttin og þú / The Night and you

My grandfather passed away in 1976 and the music collection was in the care of his brother, Haraldur G. Sigfússon. After the death of my great-uncle in 2018, I was then entrusted with the music collection.

Steingrímur wrote in the region of 200 songs and I started putting them into order to ensure their preservation. In the process, I came upon the idea of working on my own arrangements of a selection of the songs for live performance, recording and publication.

Grandpa's songs continue to be well-known to the older generation in Iceland, particularly in the Westfjords, as he worked for many years as an organist in Patreksfjörður. The song with which Icelanders will be most familiar, to this day, is Síldarvalsinn.

https://open.spotify.com/track/3A2vRwBbIM8L9sCRIxPOYk?si=QLhAQfC6QUWysPInzz2eow

The 15 songs in this collection were mostly composed between 1950 and 1960 and, in new arrangements, I have tried to bring them to fresh life without losing a sense of their origins. The interplay of instruments and dense vocals makes the songs very easy to listen to, as each instrument and vocal line combine to create a beautiful melody.

Among them you will find ballads, lullabies and up-beat hits that will fill you with energy and make you smile. All the songs are full of rich, beautiful, witty and often amusing lyrics.

The poems are romantic, and deal with village life in the countryside, sea-faring as well as the universal themes of joy, love and nature; together, they tell a story about the past with which we, in the present, can easily connect.

The aim of this publication is not only to revive my grandfather's songs and introduce them to contemporary listeners, but also to make them available once again to older generations, who formed fond memories of them long ago, when they were the part of the entertainment of their childhoods.

Last summer I performed the songs at concerts in Háteigskirkja and Patreksfjörður, and it was a privilege to speak with the audience and listen to their accounts of their childhood memories connected to the songs.

The fantastic team with whom I performed live in concert also play on the album:

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Piano

Gunnar Hrafnsson: Double bass

Pétur Valgarð Pétursson: Guitars and Ukuleles

Scott McLemore: Drums and Percussion

Hafsteinn Þórólfsson: Vocals

Gísli Gunnar Didriksen: Vocals

Recording, sound processing and mastering: Hafþór "Tempó" Karlsson, Studio Dallas.

About Gísli Magna

I have been a professional musician for nearly three decades and have had the honour to sing with many excellent and award-winning choirs in Iceland. I have also performed with choirs and been involved with projects in Denmark and the Netherlands. In addition to classical singing, I have extensive experience in pop as backing vocalist. That work has led me to sing at many of Iceland's biggest music events and to have been a backing vocalist with the Icelandic entry at the Eurovision Song Contest on three separate occasions. I have also performed on stage with many of Iceland's best-known artists.

In addition to my singing career, for many years I have been a choral conductor in Iceland, the UK and Denmark. I currently lead the 120 member Léttsveit Reykjavíkur Women's Choir.

My arrangements and compositions have been performed in Scandinavia, Western Europe, Canada and Nigeria. I was music arranger for the pop choir competition TV2 AllStars in Denmark, was on the production team for Kórar Íslands on Stöð 2 choir singing competition, wrote arrangements for Frostrósir Klassík Christmas Concerts and have worked as a producer on recordings for choirs and where vocal music has been in the foreground.

That rich and varied history brings me to this, an album of the music of my grandfather, Steingrímur Matthías Sigfússon. On it I sing both lead and backing vocals, accompanied by a wonderful band. All of the music you will hear on the album has been arranged by me, and I plan to publish it as sheet music so that other musicians, both professional and amateur, can bring the beautiful songs to life themselves.

Let's make this happen

Helping to make this a reality.

By supporting my project, you put your weight on the scales in preserving the legacy of my grandfather Steingrímur M. Sigfússon.

I extend my enormous thanks to you and hope you enjoy this music.

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