I went to Iceland in the beginning of June since my dad wanted to turn 50 somewhere amazing. It was 24 hour daylight and the people there are incredibly self-sustainable. I spent a lot of time with my friend Greta’s family – her mom knitted my mom and me sweaters out of Icelandic wool and many of the breads, jams and veggies they served had been home made and grown in their backyard. Their horses were free and wild.
Iceland only has 320,000 people on the whole island, and so there are only 7 people/sq. mile. This was the highlight – taking a huge powerful car out into the glaciers or the lava fields or the ash-covered volcanoes or the hot Blue Lagoon and just existed wild and free. No protection from the elements, no signs, no rules, no people.
I recorded many sounds when I was there – visible wind, waterfalls and friends singing hymns from their childhood. Iceland doesn’t have any national instruments so much of the music tends to be a capella songs in Icelandic telling the stories of the Viking Sagas.
In Iceland, I felt like time was irrelevant. 24-hour sunlight prevents the natural boundary that we so heavily rely on to separate our days and mark the end of the day. If the sun doesn’t go down, you want to just keep going, stay out, work, play, do whatever you are doing. You leave a bar that’s just closed and it’s still bright out. Living like this, even for a week, was life changing – was more suitable to the way I like to do things – it is still day time but no people out and about so you don’t feel tired and you have the mental and physical space to go about your life. Was so amazing.
I am working with The Village Archives soon to put out an Iceland soundscape.