September 14 @ 8:00 PM| $15 Get Tickets
SHENANDOAH NEW MUSIC
Icelandic ensemble Nordic Affect believes that music knows no boundaries, and as a quintet of period instrument musicians, theirs is a highly unique voice. United in their passion for viewing familiar musical forms from a different perspective, Nordic Affect’s work spans newly-discovered early music to new music written for the ensemble.
Mirjam Tally: Warm life at the foot of the iceberg (2014)
María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir: Loom (2017)
Anna Þorvaldsdóttir: Reflections (2016)
Hildur Guðnadóttir: Point of Departure (2016)
Anna Thorvaldsdóttir: Impressions (2015)
María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir: Spirals (2016)
MEET THE ARTISTS
Icelandic ensemble Nordic Affect has been hailed for its “affectionate explorations” (BBC Music Magazine) and “commitment to their repertoire” (Classical Music). Founded in 2005, Nordic Affect has created a highly unique voice, which has earned the group international recognition. In 2013 the ensemble was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize and was named Performer of the Year at the Iceland Music Awards in 2014.
Nordic Affect (Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violin; Georgia Browne, traverso; Gudrún Hrund Hardardóttir, viola; Hanna Loftsdóttir, cello; Gudrún Óskarsdóttir, harpsichord) was formed by a group of period instrument musicians who were united in their passion for viewing familiar musical forms from a different perspective and for daring to venture into new musical terrain. Its members have individually performed and recorded with artists and groups such as The English Concert, Concerto Copenhagen, Anima Eterna Brugge, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, and Björk.
Believing that music knows no boundaries, Nordic Affect has brought its music-making to contemporary and rock audiences alike and performed to critical acclaim at festivals such as TRANSIT festival (BE), Dark Music Days (IS), November Music (NL), BRQ Vantaa Festival (FI), Skálholt Summer Concerts (IS), Copenhagen Renaissance Festival (DK), and Iceland Airwaves (IS).
Currently in residence at Skálholt Summer Concerts and Mengi, Reykjavík, Nordic Affect has also been chosen to perform at the 2016 edition of Nordic Music Days. Among upcoming projects is a premiere of a new work by Helena Tulve at Estonian Music Days, where Nordic Affect is the only visiting ensemble.
The commissioning and performance of new works is integral to Nordic Affect’s mission as it has, from the group’s inception, combined new compositions with the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Believing that the exciting things happen “in the connection,” Nordic Affect has through the years established exciting collaborative relationships with composers, visual artists, and producers.
In addition, the group’s concert series in Reykjavík has been a platform for educational programming and presented many first performances in the country, be it of music by Telemann or twenty-first century composers. Another mission has been to bring the spotlight to women’s role in music history, leading to projects such as HÚN/SHE which was broadcast by the European Broadcasting Service in 2015. Another recent project saw Nordic Affect team up with Högni Egilsson, of the electronic band GusGus, in a program based around melancholy and the intimate. Nordic Affect is also a participant in the Iceland Music Information Centre’s professional development program for young composers.
Starting with its debut album in 2007, Nordic Affect’s recording projects have spanned newly discovered early music to first releases of music written for the ensemble. Nordic Affect’s performances can be found on the Deutsche Grammophon, Bad Taste Records, Musmap, and Brilliant Classics labels. In 2015, Nordic Affect’s album Clockworking, with works by Icelandic composers, was released by Sono Luminus. Clockworking has received various accolades and was featured as Album of the Week on Q2 Music and Second Inversion. Furthermore the title track was chosen for NPR’s Songs We Love series and featured in various best-of-the-year lists, including Steve Smith’s for Night After Night, Peter Margasak’s for the Chicago Reader, and Alex Ross’ article on Notable Performances and Recordings of 2015 in The New Yorker. In 2017 the album Raindamage was released. The album results from an exciting collaboration between the group and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson.
The artistic director of Nordic Affect since its foundation has been Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir.
Learn more at www.nordicaffect.com.
Photos by David Oldfield