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Friday, October 29

Night Walks




This night I took a walk. A long walk...



It's so chilly. I wrapped myself up just like you do when you are 6 yrs old and ready to embark on a snowy backyard adventure. I feel free enough here to explore without looking like a weirdo. Another thing that feels really good is no one has "cat called" at me. You know when you are 
walking down the street happy in your own thoughts and then someone yells out "yeahhhhh baby" ?
It seems funny to repeat but each time I feel it chips away at you. 
I have grown so fond of not tensing up as I pass a group of people outside a bar here in Iceland. I know when I get back to Canada things will return to the same way they were. For now, I greatly appreciate the distance and respect. 

       

I climbed high over piles of half built structures and stony sea sides all night.
I am thinking about how much I miss my family and friends. Maybe I should be spending more time with them


During an interview tonight the very interesting musician I was speaking to said that there is a school of thought that suggests that there is never a totally original idea. That all ideas are just things in the air that visit some people and not others. This explains why someone from one end of the earth could come up with a eerily similar melody as someone from a totally different region. 
        The same thing goes for paintings, poems, choreography, and anything you could create. 
This frees us to not clench our ideas with an iron fist. Because it was never ours to own.
What do you think?

       

                     I can tell you that there are cats all over the streets here. Not the sad farrow cats that need you to scoop them up and just give them some sardines and a warm window cil to sit in. NO!
These cats seem like the guardians of the streets, predatorally following me through the alley ways, ducking behind statues and stair cases once spotted. They are well fed, fluffy, sprightly and want absolutely nothing to do with me petting them. I even tried the "kiss kiss" sound, averting from my old bird like sound. This hasn't helped lately. These furry balls of avoidance are breaking my heart daily. Thanks for nothing cats of Iceland.

Thursday, October 28

Oh the Lights

Word on the street; there is a crazy light show in the sky but it can end at any moment.           
                                              Quickly, move!

1) Boots: on 
2) Camera: charged 
3) Wicked excited face: ready




.                     Click Me For Video



I sat on a rock on the edge of the sea and saw all of this over me. 
I heard myself yelling things like "WOW!!" and "No Way!!!
I would like to tell you that I thought and said something more profound but to be honest it was just beyond summations. I made this video to share a bit of the Wow's. 
Goodnight. 

Wednesday, October 20

Airwaves on the Quietest of Days



On the quietest of days I am curled up in a warm cafe, picture windows make the whole rainy city a dry lovely moving picture. People walk in, they don't know me, I don't know them, it's sad and nice married. I start to reflect and try to channel a hemmingway frame of mind. And as I put the pen (<<<< Amiina)to paper to write my first analogy, I dip my entire necklace in my Americano- tipping it over and soiling my rainy day in a cafe dress. Grace has left me today. And I shut my journal.



There are two kinds of events going on at the Airwaves Festival (music).
1) Large bands from all over the globe (many Icelandic) at a variety of venues. The festival is sold-out so it's a crowded pushing fiesta (normal show).
2) Off-venue shows: which are fantastic! Many of the bands from the main line-up played free acoustic shows sprawling from a small cafe to a youth hostel. This gave me the chance to see these artists I have loved for years, close + personal, just the way I wish all shows could be.

Imagine having your dream playlist. These are the songs make you sing along the hardest, the muse to your strongest ideas, and your escape when you're about to burst from the "real world. Now imagine two of those songs are sung inches from you in person. This is what happened to me this week:
These are the original versions that I used to play over-and-over:
1) Lay Low- By and By
2) Svavar Knutur- Emotional Anorexic

And here is the video that I was able to take of those same songs just this last week!!

Below I am going to take you through what I saw and felt during this high impact few days. Grab any of these band names and look them up, you may have a new favorite (I would be willing to bet on it)




(Hjaltalin)


(Hjaltalin)

(Hjaltalin)


(Olafur Arnalds)


(Seabear)
     
  (Lay Low)                                                                                          





                                                                      (Lockerbie)



(Hafdis Huld)

(Ljosvaki)



(Blood group)


Thursday, October 14

Music in Iceland Day One


If you are part of the school of thought that all Icelandic music sounds like Bjork and Sigur Ros *
you would be an upset panda to know, they are a rarity... even in Iceland. I guess this stereotype is also a sore spot for some Icelanders. Tourists often come and seem disappointed by the lack of bjorkyness in the air. But please don't let that ruin it for you because there are actually many bands in Iceland that will make you laugh, boogie, sway, and tear up. This band for example (shot today at one of the concerts)

 This week I am lucky enough to be around for the Iceland Airwaves and with a media pass.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
What does this mean? It means that I will be able to report directly from dozens of shows featuring Icelandic musicians. These are happy times for me because this lass has spent many hours in Toronto watching Icelandic musicians playing on podcasts and thought "one day my eyes will really see this and my ears will really hear this"

I will have much more to report in the next couple days and you can delight with me in Icelandic tunes. 


Speaking of pretty things to the ears. There is this sound that I have heard a lot since I have arrived. The sound is something Icelandic women often do when talking, they breath in and speak as well as breath out and speak. It's really gentle and quiet and I have most commonly heard the word já (which sounds like "yow"). A friend told me today that it is a bit of a faux pas to do but I find it very beautiful. 
(Disclaimer: It is all up to taste, there are some bands I do not stand behind- if you find a bad Icelandic band do not come to me with angry pointing fingers). 


And lastly, this morning I woke up to this at the kitchen window. It looks like a dragon. 




*(if you don't know who they are click BJORK and/or SIGUR ROS)

Sunday, October 10

Yoko's Imagine Peace Tower

On John Lennon's 70th Birthday (October 9th, 2010) Yoko Ono turned on the lights to her memorial to Lennon called the "Imagine Peace Tower".

I didn't bring a camera for the lighting ... I know that may sound weird being a documentarian but I thought it was more respectful to just tell you what happened and not add light (flash) that would distract from the focal light (the memorial). The images on this post are borrowed for reference purposes. We will however be filming there in one week, so do not fret.

I however wanted to bring you with me on the experience so I kept notes on the back of a receipt as not to forget the many feelings/thoughts.

I preface this with: I am not a hard-hitting Lennon, Yoko, nor Beatles fan...sorry
                      BUT
It felt really amazing to be there.
The light installation is located on a tiny island off of the coast of Reykjavik called Viðey 
Yoko paid for free ferry rides for everyone and the big ol tug boat started puttering us towards the rolling hills of Videy. As we are approaching I am trying to think of why Yoko chose here? In an interview she said "Thank you, Iceland and Icelanders for being what you are – a family of wisdom, showing the world how we can protect our Earth and its spirits." 
        I like this story too- Yoko told an audience once that Lennon used to smoke and she said to him "why would you put that ugly black smoke up into that beautiful blue sky" and then ...he quit smoking.

  Can you imagine living your life for a partnership without your partner? This is what hit me tonight. Yoko is still doing the work that they both set out to do and it sank my heart. Maybe because I couldn't fathom the weight of such a loss or that I felt such admiration for her unbridled dedication. And to have this huge (car show times 20) light beam straight into the sky, seems to be the most symbolic way to speak to the heavens (with out trying to denote any religion) and say "I am doing our work".

I went alone. I thought maybe I could hear her message clearer if I wasn't filling the air with mindless chatter. You know all those times we think of questions to ask just to say "something"?
I kept thinking of a quote I read of hers while I was sitting quietly in the tall grass:
"May all of us heal ourselves and learn to love each other in peace."


All sorts of people came. I could hear at least five different languages. Munchkins ran around and fearlessly threw themselves at the ground falling flawlessly into somersaults. There was no pushing or crowding. Some brought sandwiches and some just laid flat back and stared at the sky.
The island was exactly how you would want it to feel to sit with nature. Each footstep sounded like you were walking on a wooden box and the long grass bowed in a wave every time the sea shifted. I loved it so much. I haven't been this quiet with my mind... maybe ever.

The first beam of light shot up in the air with no warning and it was awesome. It was a soft light so you didn't have to squint. The second, then the third, fourth, each one was followed by "ohhhs" and "ahhs". All of the light beams together formed one unified beam at the top that pierced through any possible cloud. 
When we were standing in line for the ferry to leave I wondered if people would push and bully their way to the front, totally ignoring the premise of "peace". And to my delight, no one did. Then from the back I can feel someone forcing through and low and behold it's a camera man

... shame on you media man. 



I wanted to have a better understanding of their relationship and Lennon's life after this and so I found this short documentary on the life of Lennon. (link)
 Goodnight lovely eyes. 

Friday, October 8

A day off from Words

Today is a day with out words. We don't need them... not today. 








Tuesday, October 5

Iceland on top of a Mountain

       
                          I have had the most vivid dreams since I landed here... 
Walking around the city and sitting in conference rooms hasn't helped me connect why. 
This day did though:

One car-Pancake snacks (literally folded up pancakes)- and non-stop jaw dropping scenery. 
Please let me preface this section with this: I do not like hype or talking about what's just popular. Now we all know that Iceland is beautiful and have heard of it's unique landscapes. Maybe I am becoming a bit jaded from hanging out with people that are used to these views. But this was more... this was more than postcards, this was more than advertisments, and this was more than I could've expected. So get a cup of coffee and put on some pretty music. May I suggest this SONG (one of the musicians from the conference)


The horses were still like statues. 

This has not been toyed with, these are the actual colors made my nature. 


I only took this because I feel it makes a funny statement. If each family member is represented by a wooden figure, I see the dad as being a bit lower on the totem pole. 

These crazy critters are everywhere and even though you want to run up and hug them, keep in mind that when I opened the car door to do so they started running at me. I don't think it was because they wanted to be embraced. 

This is a story about a poet who made a deal with the devil that he could win in a poetical dual. The devil lost and therefore had to leap off the cliff. This is the cliff. 





The white center on this map is said to be a hub for aliens to meet up. Right in front of that is the place where the devil jumped off the cliff. I think this is a bad place to build a house. 



      You are a part of this now too... just by reading. I hope you continue to join me in this journey.


More to come...