Frontline World

ICELAND - The Future of Sound, January 2003


THE STORY
Synopsis of "The Future of Sound"

REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK
World Music's Global Reach

VIRTUAL MUSIC TOUR
Sample Sounds From the Edge of the World

FACTS & STATS
Learn More about Iceland

LINKS & RESOURCES
History, Culture and Unique Approach to Energy

MAP

REACT TO THIS STORY

   

Kitchen Motors Apparat Trabant Mum GusGus Sigur Ros
Kitchen Motors Kitchen Motors Kitchen Motors
Kitchen Motors [KI-Chen MO-turs]

"Sören Kirkegaard dropateljari," off the album, Nart Nibbles
(Kitchen Motors/Edda Media, 2001) performed by: P╚tur Hallgr╠msson and Hilmar Jensson

Origin
Kitchen, being where experimentation takes place, and motors, referring to engines of activity.

In an effort to stir up the creative environment, a group of artists came together in 1999 to instigate collaborations between musicians from various genres of music -- especially those who otherwise might not consider working together. Their goal was to cross lines in the way music was composed in Iceland. Kitchen Motors was launched in a series of four concerts in the first year. Now it's a record label, an art organization and a creative think tank for experimental musicians.

Founding Members
Jóhann Jóhannson is one of Iceland's most sought-after musicians. He's a founding member of Apparat Organ Quartet, and he's a composer for stage and screen -- he has completed the soundtrack for three feature films.

Hilmar Jensson is a guitarist who has performed internationally. He focuses on electronic improvisational compositions.

Kristin Bjork Kristjansdottir, aka Kira Kira, is a member of the band Spunk.

Fun Facts
While many of the early Kitchen Motors projects were intended as "one-offs," some initial pairings survived, assuming a life of their own. Apparat Organ Quartet, for example, sprang from a Kitchen Motors collaboration.
In 2001, Kitchen Motors pursued its collaborative style in Russia, Finland, France and Holland.


Projects
Motorlab. In 2000, the city of Reykjavik commissioned Kitchen Motors to curate a series of monthly events showcasing collaborations between musicians and other artists. Two CDs emerged from this experiment, both of them released on the Kitchen Motors label -- Motorlab #1 and Motorlab #2.
Telefonia. This is a piece utilizing cell phones, laptops and telephone messages that were played at the openings of Motorlab events. Audience members were given a voicemail number displayed on a screen and instructed to leave messages using their cell phones. A feedback loop was then generated by feeding those voicemail recordings into a computer and playing them back on speakers with ambient noise blended in. Telefonia was "performed" by the band Curver, utilizing software made by Jóhann Jóhannson and Andrew MacKenzie of the Hafler Trio.
A symphony for 20 electric basses.
Motorlab 3. This project resulted in a CD that blended choir music and electronica, released in October 2001.
Motorlab 4. This project includes new music for silent films composed by Hilmar Jensson, Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson and Jóhann Jóhannson.
In July 2002, Kitchen Motors members performed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The performance consisted of a theater piece involving "violent puppetry" accompanied by electronica; a short film; guitar and bass compositions intended to acoustically evoke the landscape of Iceland; and a piece by a Kitchen Motors staple, the Helvitis Organ Symphony. Apparat Organ Quartet and members of Múm also played.

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