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‘Níu nætur’ by Emil Rådberg

Residency: Reykjavik, Iceland
Premiered: February, 1 2015 by South Iceland Chamber Choir
Location: Dark Music Days, Reykjavik, Iceland

‘Níu nætur’ is written for chamber choir, the lyrics for the piece is an excerpt from Gerður Kristný’s Blóðhófnir, a paraphrase of ‘Skírnirsmál’ from the ‘Poetic Edda’. Emil explained: “What first struck me when arriving to Iceland in September 2014 was the landscape and nature. Very beautiful but still very harsh in a way. These contrasts fascinated me and I found it somewhat the same in the old Icelandic literature (the Sagas and Edda) where simple few words make up beautiful verses, but also quite harsh and full of blood and death. Fascinating! I got contact with the writer Gerdur Kristny and she showed me her book “Bloodhoof”, with strong connections to the poetic Edda and the song of Skírnir which I found really interesting to put music to. So, I selected a portion of it, specifically the part where the woman Gerdur has to wait nine nights before meeting with Freyr. In the Edda version Freyr is longing to meet with Gerdur but in Kristny’s version the reader instead sees it from Gerdur’s perspective, who´s nine nights are filled with fear.”

Video by: Brian FitzGibbon / Audio by: Árni Möller
Supported by: Nordic Culture Point

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