Sunday, 3 March 2013


Many have heard of Sigur Ros, yet it is less commonly known that the lead singer Jonsi also worked on a side project entitled Riceboy Sleeps, stripping Sigur Ros's music of its more popular rhythms and instead presenting us with an album which consists purely of instrumental ambient music. Recorded on acoustic instruments in Iceland, we can hear echoes of waves and the surrounding natural landscape amongst the album's sparse orchestration. What I find particularly striking however are the accompanying visuals, which at once mirror and also enhance the experience of listening to Jonsi's music. The album was released alongside displays of the singer's accompanying artwork, where the CD is presented in a box carved out of an old, dusty book.

As part of the collection Jonsi did a series of paintings on windows, drawing our attention to the actual medium from which the work is created. A window provides us with an invisible barrier between the space we are in and the interior or exterior realm seen through it, allowing us a brief insight into a place different to the one we inhabit. When looking at these paintings, we get the impression that for a brief moment, we are looking through the window into a past world. The images appear decayed, suggesting that they are all that remain of a distant time, perhaps reflecting a fleeting memory, or a photograph which has remained deeply buried in a box and is rarely looked upon. There is a somewhat naive quality to them, where images of children playing in the sea or looking at birds evoke a nostalgic vision of lost childhood and youthful innocence. Like Jonsi's music, the windows leave us with the haunting impression of somewhere distant, giving us a fleeting glimpse of what cannot be recaptured...

~ MD

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