It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that venal politicians and assorted C-suite types manipulated the COVID-19 crisis for their own benefit and gain. But if there is anyone who can save us now, it’s one Björk Guðmundsdóttir, the Icelandic angel who always manages to operate far above the quotidian pettiness of our tiresome humanity.
And so it is that she has joined forces with Iceland Airwaves to present what is sure to be a magical, nay ethereal series of performances at Harpa Hall in Reykjavik, this August 9, 15 and 23. Notably, all will be in front of a live audience, as Iceland, like most of Europe, has decisively beat back the virus. Proceeds from the shows will benefit Kvennaathvarfid, a organization dedicated to providing shelter and improving the lives of abused women and children in Iceland.
The performances will all be matinees, and will be livestreamed to the rest of the planet. It’s worth considering a ticket for all three, as each will be utterly unique, promising to perhaps invent the genre of acoustic-orchestral, with specific lineups as follows:
Sunday August 9 – 17:00 GMT
conductor Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir,
Bergur Þórisson, organ
Saturday August 15 – 17:00 GMT
strings from Icelandic Symphony Orchestra,
conductor Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason
Sunday August 23 – 17:00 GMT
brass from the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra,
flute septet Viibra,
harpist Katie Buckley,
pianist Jónas Sen
“dear friends, i would like to invite you to some concerts,” Björk says in a charmingly stylized but earnest statement, “to honour folks who got hit hardest in the coronavirus and the black lives matter movement…and to honour how many icelandic musicians i have worked with through the years. and we are going to celebrate that we are all healthily exiting quarantine.”
Then she takes it a little further ideologically—as if we would have expected anything less of her.
“i feel we are going through extraordinary times. horrifying but also an opportunity to truly change. it is demanded of us that we finally confront all racism, that we learn that lives are more important that profit, and look inside us and finecomb out all our hidden prejudices and privileges. let’s all humbly learn together.”
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a better plan for moving forward.