5 June 2018
while the concept of a concert film is simple, dating back to 1948’s concert magic featuring violinist yehudi menuhin, a great concert film requires inspiration from both director and performer, a collaboration that unifies the best qualities of filmmaking and music. like every cinematic genre, concert filmmaking has its greats: jonathan demme, d.a. pennebaker, martin scorsese—all of whom are represented in this list of the best concert films, alongside bands who kept control of the filmmaking process themselves.
live music is a give-and-take between musician and audience, and that can be a difficult thing to capture on film. the 20 films that follow manage to allow viewers feel like they’re part of the moment and communicate what we love about some of our favorite live performers, including several who are no longer with us. these films preserve their greatness for future generations.
22 May 2018
tomorrow, may 23rd, is the 6th anniversary of the release of “valtari“. to mark the occasion, we’ll be live streaming all 19 videos from the valtari film experiment via youtube and facebook live (details below). share your thoughts and memories of the videos with other fans
7 May 2018
(liminal artwork by adam katseff)
following ‘liminal’ soundbaths in los angeles and reykjavík – and with more live ambient music happenings coming right up – sigur rós frontman jónsi joins long-term musical collaborators, alex somers and paul corley, in releasing the first chapter of an ‘endless’ liminal mixtape on digital services today.
liminal is more than an ambient sigur rós mixtape curated by jónsi, alex somers & paul corley, however. it approaches sigur rós as a living, breathing eco-system, identifying the connections and blurring the boundaries between work done and work to come; between brand new music and ideas barely yet born; between songs written 20 years ago and collaborations to be made tomorrow.
in bringing together these collaborations and commissions with solo work and the work of close friends in the sigur rós ‘family’, liminal aims to take the listener to a hinterland, to the threshold of a place neither nor there; a “liminal” space.
“liminal is a musical thread that binds us together; the sounds that we all found inside of ourselves from a young age,” say alex somers. “it’s a music that is patient. sounds unfold in front of you and momentarily offer to show the world from a different angle.”
intended to be added to frequently and endlessly, the first liminal mixtape to go live lasts an hour and includes brand new music from jónsi in the form of ‘above, below (alex somers remix)’, a piece written for underwater speakers and designed to be heard while fully submerged in a swimming pool.
paul corley introduces the textural, asmr-esque beauty of ‘flux’ and elsewhere deconstructs sigur rós’s ‘untitled 6 (aka e-bow)’ from the ( ) album, to create a nebulous sonic leviathan.
“my e-bow remix is conceived to be sort of an underbelly, in-between or shadow version of the original,” says paul. “it’s not just a “here, have the stems” remix. there is a concept and ideology, and my future liminal remixes will follow the same path.”
alex somers contributes three new songs, hot on the heels of his fêted ‘hang the dj’ black mirror soundtrack. there’s also the uncanny sound of europe’s largest ice-cap, vatnajökull, creaking and cracking, as captured by nature recordist chris watson.
3 May 2018
updated may 11: the 12 hour takeover is now available to listen on demand via nts.live
jónsi joins frequent sigur rós collaborators/producers, alex somers and paul corley, in a 12-hour liminal playlist takeover of nts los angeles from noon to midnight (pst) on may 8th. timed to coincide with the latest in a series of live soundbaths under the banner ‘liminal’ at the marciano art foundation in la the next day (may 9), the marathon broadcasting stint is expected to focus on jónsi, alex and paul’s long and enduring interest in ambient music, although beats may occasionally break out too.
“sigur rós played live a lot during the last two years,” says frontman jónsi. “and inevitably you end up playing the rockier, more focussed songs, which means that loads of other stuff gets ignored. ‘liminal’ tries to do something different. it’s just me, paul and alex in a dark room manipulating and mucking around with recordings, fx and vocals. we play and sing sparsely and focus on the atmosphere coming together. there’s a sound-reactive light sculpture and everyone can sit or lie down. it’s all very cosy and people seem to like it.”
liminal sees sigur rós as an eco-system. it identifies the connections and blurs the boundaries between work done and work to come; between brand new music and ideas barely yet nascent; between songs written 20 years ago and collaborations to be made tomorrow. in bringing together these collaborations and commissions – for choreographers, bleeding-edge tech ventures and visual artists – with solo work and remixes, film score, ai and generative music, as well as the work of close friends and associates in the wider sigur rós ‘family’, liminal aims to take the listener to a hinterland, to the threshold of a place neither nor there; a “liminal” space.
this ethos will form the template for the extended nts broadcast, although listeners can also expect insights into jónsi & alex’s home listening – almost exclusively dead people – their mutual fascination with (inner and outer) space and distortion, paul corley’s ‘dream sequence collages’, field recordings and the occasional curveball.
sigur rós ‘liminal’ takeover with jónsi, alex somers & paul corley will be live on nts’s la button from 12 noon to 12 midnight on tuesday may 8, and available globally via www.nts.live. (see also: world times)
the entire 12 hours will be archived on the nts site thereafter.
19 April 2018
liminal soundbath returns to los angeles on the 9th of may, to co-incide with the visual element of reality projector – an art instillation by olafur eliasson.
the marciano art foundation presents a live sound bath with jónsi, alex somers and paul corley. this meditative experience will take place in maf’s unique theater gallery, an expansive 13,000-square-foot space currently housing studio olafur eliasson: reality projector, an immersive light and sound installation.
for this event, the visual element of reality projector will continue to play, while jónsi – who had collaborated with eliasson on the audio component of the exhibition – will join alex and paul in weaving a mesmeric spell, re-purposing sigur rós, jónsi & alex and other music to hypnotic effect.
to heighten the experience, prior to the live sound bath lord jones pain & wellness formula cbd tinctures will be available to help attendees achieve a deeper state of transformation.
photo: mike kelley
10 April 2018
for the first time in the uk, jónsi, alex somers & paul corley present a live sound installation performance. diving deep into the sigur rós catalogue and a whole world of other related sources, the trio weave a mesmeric spell, re-purposing music both familar and obscure to hypnotic effect. feat. live vocals, instrumentation, fx and manipulation of mastertapes
on-sale to southbank centre members: 13th of april – 10 am
on-sale to the general public: 16th of april – 10 am
9 April 2018
after a fruitful and inspiring collaboration with sigur rós in the dance piece “at dusk we embrace” at sigur rós’s festival norður og niður, we got an offer to do an outside video installation on two big oil tanks for the reykjavik winter nights festival and it seemed appropriate to continue with with this idea. örævi is a peek into the undergrowth of the body, parts of the body we see everyday but when we go up-close foreign landscapes start to form, hands as sand dunes, elbows as withered hilltops and veins in the eyes as red rivers flowing. we decided to make a choreography for a microscope where the performance area is around 2mm². movements of the skin become waves, ears/noses become caverns and wrinkles turn to canyons. the music of sigur rós has many small sounds that are subtle and buried within the tracks but are an integral part of the music and once you disassemble them and look closer the magic reveals itself. so we built on the subtle sounds and images trying to show what is hidden right in front of our eyes and ears. in the video we worked with 3 amazing dancers of iceland dance company, erna’s mother and their 6 year old son.
performers erna ómarsdóttir, valdimar jóhannsson, pierre alain giraud, aðalheiður halldórsdóttir, þyrí huldárnadóttir, hannes þór egilsson, úlfur óðinn valdimarsson, kristín geirsdóttir
music bysigur rós
25 March 2018
with very mixed feelings we draw your attention towards the posthumous release of jóhann jóhannsson’s expanded edition of his debut album, englabörn. this was the record he was scheduled to play for us as part of our norður og niður festival at christmas. unfortunately jóhann was, in the end, unable to be part of the festival, but our disappointment at not being able to hear this peerless work in the flesh, was as nothing to the news that would soon follow: that, at a mere 48, he was no longer of this earth. ‘englabörn & variations’ comes complete with appreciations and reworkings from some of jóhann’s biggest admirers, including our friends and colleagues alex somers and paul corleyapple music: https://sgr.is/2DRVRGt
6 March 2018
sigur rós are releasing a series of four limited-edition vinyl albums for record store day u.k. (april 21). originally released with handmade sleeves by icelandic artist sigga bjorg as part of the band’s norður og niður festival in iceland, the rare recordings can now be bought in a second limited edition run.
for the record store day u.k. release, each contributing artist chose his favourite sleeve from sigga’s 100 hand-mades to become the official sleeve for this record store day u.k. release.
the vinyl will also be available in select record stores throughout the united kingdom
the vinyl will also be available in select record stores in germany, spain, poland, italy, australia, new zealand, benelux, france and beyond. availability will vary.
for people in the united states and canada, a limited quantity will be available via the xl recordings webstore on monday, april 23 at 10am eastern.
for people outside the countries listed above – we’d recommend reaching out to friends in one of those countries – hopefully they can help.
on the longest day of summer 2016 sigur rós drove the whole way round iceland’s ring road, broadcasting the entire 1332km journey live on youtube. the soundtrack to this “slow tv” adventure was created using generative music software taking the multi-track stems of the sigur rós song ‘ovedur’ and endlessly reinventing them to create new and unpredictable musical directions in real time. the very best moments from the 24 hour journey have now been pared down to a single album of great and reflective beauty. 8 tracks. previously unreleased.
long-time sigur rós collaborators alex somers and paul corley dive deep into the band’s catalogue to mine nuggets of pure ambient pleasure. drawing from the ( ), valtari and kveikur albums, the pair take both familiar and obscure moments and massage them into brand new blissed out states. ‘liminal’ is the identity used by alex and paul, plus jónsi, for live soundbaths, as well as a plan for an endless streaming playlist. featured tracks: untitled #6, untitled #7. previously unreleased.
brand new album from artist and composer alex somers. the songs herein draw upon alex’s recent experience scoring both film (captain fantastic, dawson city: frozen time) and television (black mirror, manhattan), as well as the atmospheres created in his role as half of the jónsi & alex project with their acclaimed 2009 album ‘riceboy sleeps’. somers co-produced sigur rós’s 2012 album valtari and mixed 2013’s kveikur. previously unreleased.
long-deleted 33-minute ep from alex & jónsi, ‘all animals’ was released as a limited edition bonus cd within the initial pressing of 2009’s ‘riceboy sleeps’ album. never before been made available on vinyl.
26 February 2018
olafur eliasson, from studio olafur eliasson, recorded the sounds of a piano as it arrived and was set up at the studio and as he experimented on it with found objects. this audio library was sent to jónsi, who selected, mixed, and arranged the material in dialogue with olafur into an ambient soundscape to accompany the artwork “reality projector”.