Cycle festival in Iceland is a new platform for art and music that is pushing the boundaries of content and context.
The Cycle Music & Art Festival
taking place in Iceland next month is a new platform of creative worlds, producing and presenting works in the fields of performance art, new music, visual arts and sound architecture. Bringing together well-known international artists such as Olafur Eliasson and Simon Steen-Andersen (the current holder of the Nordic Music Prize for composition) and rising stars such as Eyvind Gulbrandsen and Skark Ensemble, the inaugural festival takes place 13–16 August near Reykjavík, in Kópavogur.
Pushing the boundaries of content and context, audiences can engage with the works in public places, found locations and forgotten spaces. From the multilayered installation of sounds and visuals in an abandoned asylum ('Grisaille' by visual artist Sigurdur Gudjónsson and composer Thráinn Hjalmarsson collaborating with The Icelandic Flute Ensemble) to the creation of music and art from microscopic life in the art museum ('Multitudes' by artist Andreas Greiner with composer Tyler Friedman), the participating artists have been encouraged to explore outside the boundaries imposed by their individual disciplines.
Comments the festival director Fjóla Sverrisdóttir, 'Artists are leaving the traditional and classical methods behind and exploring new paths, new collaboration and new experiences in their creations. The artistic directors Tinna Thorsteinsdottir and Gudny Gudmundsdottir not only bring together artists and facilitate the collaboration between them, but also give artists that already have an ongoing partnership a platform to create and exhibit their work.' She continues, 'This platform is intended to bring artists across disciplines closer to each other and closer to the audience. We seek to take the concert off the stage and out of the formal concert hall, experiment with different spaces, push boundaries and alter the perception of the artists as well as of the audience.'
The interdisciplinary collaboration of artist Olafur Eliasson, composer Páll Ragnar Pálsson and Skark Ensemble that builds on a mirror sculpture which forms a tunnel and depending on the audience's viewing point, the perception of themselves and their surroundings changes. During the performance, the musicians spread around the space inviting the audience to move around and explore how their visual and auditory perception changes as they move among the instrumentalists in and around the mirror tunnel.
For the piece by Andreas Greiner, the instruments serve as a trigger for a bioluminescent response from multitudes of microscopic organisms, allowing the music to trigger the algae to glow. the growing pattern of the algae is stimulated by the compositions making the creative and biological cycle of the piece identical.
Cycle Music & Art Festival (13–16 August 2015) is organised in collaboration with Curated Place and is a partner of the Moving Classics – European Network for New Music co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The festival is also funded by Kópavogur and the Ernst von Siemens Foundation. The event builds on the foundations laid by The Icelandic Chamber Music Festival. The festivals run in parallel, encouraging young, classically-trained musicians to engage with contemporary art and new music in an interdisciplinary process. More information and tickets are available via the event website
Images courtesy of the festival.