1. MINNINGAR (2’54)
2. VORSTILLT VATN (2'57)
3. DIMMDI Á MIÐJUM DEGI (1'48)
4. LÓFAR MÍNIR LÝSTU (3'44)
5. SVERÐIÐ SÖNG YFIR HÖFÐI MÉR (3'49)
6. DROTTNINGIN ILLSKEYTT (3'21)
7. NÍU NÆÐTUR (8'46)
8. ÞAÐ DAGAÐI (4'10)
9. MAMMA BIRTIST Í DRAUMUM (2'25)
10.,,LÁN ÞITT ENGU LÍKT” (2'50)
11.DAGUR AÐ KVÖL KOMINN ( 2'27)
12.ÉG LÁ EIN (7'30)
13.BARN SEM FÆDDIST Í BLÍÐVIÐRI (1’50)
14.ÞAR ER LANDIÐ MITT (7’12)
Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir
Blóðhófnir, (Bloodhoof) is composed to the modern verse of the same name by Icelandic poet Gerður Kristný. The poetic cycle is a reevaluation of an Old Norse mythic poem from the Edda, in which the giantess, Gerður Gymisdóttir, is abducted from her homeland Jötunheimar, or the Land of Giants, to be forced to marry the god Freyr in the Land of Gods. The original poem, Skírnismál, has, since Viking times, been commonly understood as a love story, framed around the journey of the servant, who rides his horse, Bloodhoof, to the Land of Giants to seize Gerður for Freyr, using threats of violence to her family, eternal pain, and finally rune magic to succeed in his mission and abduct her. This contemporary retelling is told by the giantess herself. This shift to first-person narrative redefines what has been traditionally perceived as a love story into one of abduction and violence. In Gerður Kristný's own words, “Gerður Gymisdóttir's story is a clear case of human trafficking”.
Gerður Kristný's poetic cycle, Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir's composition and Tinna Kristjánsdóttir's visuals illuminate Gerður Gymisdóttir's love for her homeland, her natural habitat and family, and her tragic fate of abduction and abuse in the Land of Gods. The music was commissioned by Umbra and composed for an all-female cast who play period instruments and sing. The coalescence of folk and historic practice with modern elements and vocalizations of all performers is to reflect the universality of the poem and its continuing historical relevance. Blóðhófnir was premiered by Umbra ensemble in 2016, with Tinna's moving visuals projected on a large black velvet background. The visuals are an integral part of the piece and in Tinna's own words, "My visuals are immediate and intimate. They are meant to slightly illuminate Gerður Gymisdóttir's experience and be a supporting element."
UMBRA is an alternative music ensemble with eclectic tastes, exploring both ancient and contemporary music through improvisation and original arrangements. The artistic vision of the players is to blur the boundaries of tradition and to appeal to a wide audience by breathing new life into ancient music. The ensemble's repertoire features sacred and secular medieval tunes and traditional songs from Iceland and continental Europe, performed to the ensemble's original arrangements. Umbra has also commissioned and performed contemporary music by some of Iceland's most prominent composers. Their second album, “Solstitium” won Record of the Year at the 2018 Icelandic Music Awards. www.umbra-ensemble.com
Tinna Kristjánsdóttir is an actress, vocalist, interdisciplinary performer and artist. Her work includes Samuel Beckett’s Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby, performed at an abandoned fish factory in Reykjavik, fronting various bands, performing with musicians Óbó (Ólafur Björn Ólafsson), Lay Low, and Kristín Þóra, working with The Scandinavian American Theatre Company, acting in films, doing visuals and texts for performances and advertisements. Tinna studied acting with Terry Knickerbocker at the William Esper Studio in New York, and jazz/classical vocals at FÍH Music Academy in Iceland.
Gerður Kristný (b. 1970) is among the leading contemporary writers of Iceland. For the past two decades she has produced a vast oeuvre, ranging from journalistic works on various subjects to ten volumes of poetry, for which she is best known internationally. For her modern poetical rewriting of Norse myths, the poetic cycle Bloodhoof, she received the Icelandic Literature Awards and was nominated for the prestigious Nordic Council Awards. Bloodhoof has been translated into various languages, published in English by Arc Publications in 2013 in the translation of Rory McTurk.
Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir is a performer / composer, violist and interdisciplinary artist. Her compositions include solo instrumental, chamber- and orchestral work, baroque ballads, songs and soundscapes. She is an explorative improvisor of sound and movement, utilizing gesture and touch as means of sonic expression. She has premiered work by her contemporaries and lent her voice and viola to numerous records. Kristin has worked on the fringes of new, experimental and contemporary music, collaborated with songwriters, actors, dancers and filmmakers as a composer and a performer. She has been a member of bands such as Stórsveit Nix Noltes, The Hafdís Bjarnadóttir Band, Óbó, Marshweed and Umbra and played with several contemporary ensembles, while while developing her voice as a diverse solo artist as well. She is currently the violist of the Icelandic-Belgian band, Mógil. To date, Kristín has released one solo record with VDSQ Records. www.kristinthora.com
UMBRA Lilja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, lead vocal Alexandra Kjeld, double bass, vocals Arngerður María Árnadóttir, celtic harp, harmonium, vocals Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir, baroque violin, vocals featuring Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir, baroque viola, vocals Þórdís Gerður Jónsdóttir, baroque cello, vocals Conducted in part by Guðni Franzson
Produced by Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir and Sturla Mio Þórisson
Recorded, engineered and mixed by Sturla Mio Þórisson in 2018-'19 at Masterkey Studios, Seltjarnarnes, Iceland (www.masterkey.is)
All music by Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir, except violin solo on nr. 7 by Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir and cello solo on nr. 9 by Þórdís Gerður Jónsdóttir.
Mastered by Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir (www.rjonsdottir.com)
Tinna Kristjánsdóttir, Artwork & design
Jóhanna Svala Rafnsdóttir, Graphic design
Special thanks to: Gerður Kristný for your magnificent work of poetry and trust in me setting it to music, everyone involved with this work, for the love, commitment and artistry that you've all given to Blóðhófnir: Umbra: Lilja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, Alexandra Kjeld, Arngerður María Árnadóttir, Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir, Þórdís Gerður Jónsdóttir, Tinna Kristjánsdóttir, Sturla Mio Þórisson, Guðni Franzson, Sara Couden, Augusta Caso, Tynan Davis and the all the wonderful women of The Friends of Mata Ensemble, Todd Tarantino & MATA Festival for bringing Blóðhófnir to life in the US. Marketa Irglova, Sigurður Halldórsson, Eggert Pálsson, Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir, Jóhanna Svala Rafnsdóttir, Heather Lockie, Haraldur V. Sveinbjörnsson, Rory McTurk, friends & family, teachers and colleagues for your assistance and support in various ways and everyone who generously supported us through Karolina Fund.
To purchase the full poem, Blóðhófnir / Bloodhoof, visit: www.forlagid.is (Icelandic) www.arcpublications.co.uk (English and Icelandic)
Composition supported by grants from Musica Nova Fund, The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service's Composers' Fund and Icelandic Artist Salaries. Recording supported in part by Icelandic Recording Fund, FÍH Culture Fund, and supporters through Karolina Fund.
Innova Director: Philip Blackburn
Operations Director: Chris Campbell
Publicist: Tim Igel
Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.