the paradís sessions:
2019 is upon is. here in reykjavík that means the return of the light. the days grow longer, the mornings gain speed, the mood brightens.
there's usually some strong weather fronts, too - think strong winds, ice cold and a significant serving of snow. which conveniently makes for some incredible film-like landscapes to look out onto, enjoy in the moment, and film sessions upon.
our first live session of the year reunites us with airwaves showcase artist, jelena ćirić. a unique, powerful performer, capable of holding a room with her voice and piano.
to say jelena is a singer-songwriter is to do her music an injustice. her lyrics are more like poems, and her vocal; deft, elegant. a story-telling element reminiscent to regina spektor - everything is on the table here, no hiding place, you can really connect to jelena and her music.
we picked up jelena in the car, with photographer patrik in tow, and headed out of reykjavík on an incredibly 'cold snap' february morning. seltjarnarnes was the destination, a small town linked to reykjavík to the north-west. sort of an extension.
as we drove by the sea, the landscape blew us away - all the colours in the sky. Our destination? Grótta lighthouse. Since 1947 a lighthouse or another has stood warning ships, on the tiny island that, depending on the tide, cuts off from the rest of Iceland.
and it's the perfect session location, to do something fantastic. thankfully we had the keys, so on arrival - and a slightly treacherous walk over the snow and beach, we let ourselves in....
the condititions (and incoming tide) meant we had the whole island to ourselves, let a lone the lighthouse. and wandering up the stairs, the noise echoing - that isolation was really apparent.
at the top (not quite the top, top, no entry to the light bit) we set up stand and framed our artist. jelena had crafted an entirely new, original song to perform - fig tree - and whats more, she would do it totally a cappella.
having an artist perform in this way, totally unplugged, always feels special. something for the senses - added to the reverb of the place. the enormous echo chamber of the lighthouse. what a morning.
"is being without needing. though a place or a person or music can help you get there, ultimately it's a state of mind."