Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sound Passing Understanding



Whenever I go to the nearby coastal town of Stonehaven I feel like I've stepped into Sigur Ros's Hvarf Heim video tour of Iceland---which is an awesome feeling.

Slow down sometime and watch this. Or watch this sometime and slow down. I can't believe I've never posted it before. Often when I need to relax and regain perspective I'll google it and watch it. My brother showed this to me once and in a small but significant way I've never been the same.

I don't know the full translation of the icelandic and I think the music actually speaks to me more clearly without knowing what it means. But apparently the last word of the song is "content". That's perfect. To me it fills in what definitions of peace can point to but not explain. I'd love to see a nativity play that used this as the angels' song to the shepherds of Bethlehem.

7 comments:

Jon Coutts said...

no it doesn't mean Hey Satan. :)

Tony Tanti said...

Love it, that was a great way to start my day.

Adam Nigh said...

I don't think they sing in Icelandic; they basically sing in tongues. I'm serious.

Tony Tanti said...

My understanding is that some is in Icelandic and some lyrics are just sounds and a use of the voice as an instrument.

Saying they sing in tongues is putting a spin on it that isn't there.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

I once heard a radio documentary about events where people would lay down in a room and listen to Beethoven symphonies slowed down to last for, I dunno, 8 hours or something. Every chord change became a big event. I like that idea.

Strange how landscape and music seem made for each other!

Jon Coutts said...

Where'd you hear that, Adam? Is it meant to be pejorative or a compliment? If the former, I'm sorry, but it sounds like something from a sad youth group video about the evils of rock and roll or a Focus on the Family magazine for paranoid parents of teens.

I've seen translations of the icelandic of this song, and they've got other translations on their website. There is even a pretty good English cover of it on youtube. Pretty sure the rest is just them making up words, like Tanti said.

Matthew: Those Beethoven things sound, um, a little much, but I get how that would be quite the experience.

Yeah, the music and the land. You'd almost want to ask which came first.

Adam Nigh said...

http://thepriesthood.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/peter-rollins-on-sigur-ros-vonlenska/

I didn't mean to imply any religious connotations, just that their songs (I thought all of them, but maybe not) are sung in Vonlenska, a kind of 'gibberish'. That's not at all meant to be pejorative. Its quite beautiful.