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Raddir / Voices

Arni Magnusson Institute / Badtaste records 1998.
Editors: Andri Snær Magnason and Rosa Thorsteinsdottir.
Voices is a CD with original recordings of Icelandic folk music. The recordings were collected around Iceland in the homes of farmers, grandmothers and fishermen that still lived in the old tradition or could remember some of the old songs that had been sung in Iceland for generations. The CD contains chanting of rimur, hymns, ballads and nursery rhymes.

Iceland has a very special folkmusic tradition that changed dramatically in the 20th century when Iceland’s contact to the world became closer. Icelanders wanted to be regarded as a high cultural european country but in comparison to Mozart our folk music heritage of chanting rimur made us look quite primitive. People turned against it and the tradition was almost lost and erased and turned into a symbol of our years of depression and hunger.

The folk music that was for sale in the stores had all been “fixed” or purified to the modern sence of “beauty“ or “correct“ singing. The songs were very few but in the archives of the Arni Magnusson Institute in Reykjavik were hundreds of hours of very strange and beautiful music, unknown to the modern day Icelander.

Andri Snær Magnason and Rosa Thorsteinsdottir decided to publish the CD, found a good selection and had it published with a large booklet in english and Icelandic. The music was not fixed, the recordings are original and the idea was that in that way it could be a great inspiration for modern day composers and musicians.

Buy on-line at www.badtaste.net.