Courtesy to A Closer Listen for this review
“These recordings do not contain human-derived sounds,” writes Hafdís Bjarnadóttir in her introduction to the evocative Sounds of Iceland. This is a difficult achievement in field recording, although with 90% of Iceland residents living in or near Reykjavik, it likely grew easier as the artist left the capital. A few birds are present, although no Icelandic horses; the focus is on water in all of its guises, save for rain.
The set travels the country clockwise and seasonally, proceeding from spring to winter, when Ring Road can be impossible to traverse. The format is enticing, in that it invites others to trace its path. As those who live in Iceland or have visited the nation know, one can’t simply drive in a circle around the country; one must make detours, especially if one wishes to experience the Western Fjords; Bjarnadóttir takes this detour, and I have as well. In fact…
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