We've been out-and-about over the summer, recording a host of new live sessions with local artists and bands here in Iceland/Ísland. Albeit the weather hasn't been so "summery." Luckily, we've been gifted with the 'þetta reddast' approach common here, in that 'everything will work out.' And so it has, with most of the sun coinciding with our session filming.
We've captured some wonderful, insightful and unique moments, both locally in Reykjavik - inside and out - and a little outside the city boundaries, including the capital area. Whereabouts, you ask? well, a main road underpass in Hafnafjörður, a fruit and veg shop in mathöll, and an old apartment stairwell in downtown Reykjavík.
(Elín Elísabet performing live and unplugged for us)
Following from last summer - where the sessions were fixed to one location - we've embarked on a roaming brief. Taking the camera, and the music to the streets and the city.
Our aim remains the same - to capture the honest, the raw intent, and the genuine performance. When everything but the performance is stripped back - no electricity, no amplification, not even a stage. Pure unplugged sessions.
(Bagdad Brothers in the moment along lindargata, 101 rvk)
Let's talk a little more about those stages. The first of the pictures above is Elín Elísabet, artist and illustrator, performing in the downtown stairwell of a friend's apartment. We actually took a little drive out to the sea to pick Elín up, then headed back downtown.
The walk from the car took us along a backgarden path, as you'll see in the video, to the main street and then up the apartment stairs to the top floor. The wallpaper and lighting throughout the stairwell is something else. Even the curtains, as you can see. Such a great vibe that day filming.
Then we have Bagdad Brothers, very much the best of new Icelandic music, with their recent new ep 'jæja' out now. We've seen them play several times around town, all with a full band, and it's quite the live performance. With our unplugged session we took them out for a stroll with acoustic guitars, and that same energy was apparent. Almost as if the sun that day was a source of power, charging up Sigurpáll and Bjarni... "hi, we're the bagdad brothers"
(MSEA & Sunna Friðjóns finding sound in a suburban underpass tunnel)
The last of our picture insights into our new live sessions, is that of MSEA and the supporting Sunna, coming together in the capital region. An underpass in Hafnafjörður, to be specific. Just outside reykjavik.
On this particular day we decided to drive. Seeking out an underpass with worthy acoustics to naturally amplify the two, amazing singers, a collection of kitchen tins and the all magical singing bowl ("all hail the singing bowl.") A very special session arose from this.
That's all for now, a little insight to our process, our vision and the Paradís 'unplugged' live sessions in general. By doing this, we've found a new connection to Reykjavík, and Iceland more generally.
A new way in which the unplugged performance meets the surroundings, evokes passersby, and feels at one with the nature.
look out for these all coming out in August, stay tuned.