In the world’s youngest – geologically speaking – country, such dramatic-sounding news is not that unusual. Geysers, magma, glaciers and the flooding, often catastrophic, that occurs when so much ice and fire combine, are at the heart of Icelandic culture.
So it has been timely that our airwaves experienced a minor eruption of Icelandic music last week. There is still time to catch Donald Macleod’s four-part series on Icelandic composers on iPlayer (though last Monday’s programme expires this Monday), while the Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s Proms performance is available for another four weeks. As part of the Proms Plus literature festival, expert in Nordic sagas Eleanor Rosamond Barraclough joined novelist Joanna Kavenna to discuss Icelandic culture in a conversation that ranged from trolls and the myth of Thule to Nordic Noir, from the 19th century British visitors who included William Morris and Anthony Trollope to modern poets Glyn Maxwell and Simon Armitage.
NATURAL LIGHT reviews the whole package in our Reviews section, which contains links to additional material exploring the inextricable link between Iceland’s dramatic natural environment and its music.