Keren Ann knows Iceland well: an island she discovered in 2001 with the musician Bardi Johannsson when she imagined the album signed Lady & Bird, a lunar pop object in which the two artists were hiding behind chimerical characters. She then returns there regularly to work with a choir of young girls, for whom she composes, and who sometimes do choirs on her arrangements: some have participated in her opera. Red Waters, co-written with Bardi Johannsson and presented in 2010 in Orléans. But it was in August 2016, during a road trip with her 4-year-old daughter, that she looked at Iceland differently.
After landing in Reykjavik, Keren Ann hires a car and heads west. The endless days of summer illuminate the country with a special light. “There, everything is different: the texture of the sand, the materials and the stones. “ She takes the road first “Almost meditative” which leads to Hellnar, a small fishing village. “The light is incredible: it changes throughout the day and can turn pink or peach. ”
The negative of an exotic photo
Then head for the Snæfellsnes peninsula, which Keren Ann discovered a few years earlier, because the grandparents of her accomplice Bardi Johannsson own a cabin there: “Going there has always been magical. It was even more so with my daughter: we walked for hours in nature and the rocks. ”
Then comes a place that the musician loves, “Maybe his favorite on Earth”, the lake of Stykkisholmur. A place where all the senses are jostled, confused: a beach of white stones placed on black sand looks like the negative of an exotic photo.
“When there is a little wind, you can hear this song of the crazy grass which whistles almost tenderly. »Keren Ann
The silence is dizzying: “In a city, we seek calm, because there is constantly background noise. Now, in a place like that, you can hear any sound. Me, it’s the silence that interests me: I like sighs in music, the interval between two harmonic progressions, the one that defines what we will feel before the next note arrives. Standing in places where silence is so abundant is rare. And very inspiring, because it’s when there is silence that everything can begin. “
Further on, another lake, that of Gerduberg, offers a different voice: “It is huge and bordered by very soft vegetation. When there is a little wind, we hear this song of the crazy grass which whistles almost tenderly. ”
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