Frontline World

ICELAND - The Future of Sound, January 2003

Synopsis of "The Future of Sound"

World Music's Global Reach

Sample Sounds From the Edge of the World

Learn More about Iceland

History, Culture and Unique Approach to Energy




Kitchen Motors Apparat Trabant Mum GusGus Sigur Ros
Múm Múm Múm
Múm [Moom]

"We Have a Map of the Piano," off the album, Finally We Are No One

A sound, more than a word.

Múm couldn't have chosen a more appropriate name. Merely a sound and lacking clear definition, the "word" múm personifies the music the band creates -- music based on the construction and reticulation of sounds.

The four young Icelanders, who met while working on a children's play, have put a new twist on electronic music. Two members of Múm are classically trained musicians, while the other two are skilled with laptops. Mixing the chilly style of Aphex Twin with warmer acoustic instruments, the quartet has set a new standard in electronic music. They won the Best Newcomer award at the Icelandic Music Awards in 1999 along with praise from music critics in Europe and the United States.

With titles that sound like rough English translations, Múm's music is characterized by computerized crackles, playful blips and bleeps with the running theme of water. The combination of melodicas, glockenspiels, accordions, synthesizers and various toy instruments, paired with the childlike voices of twin sisters KristĚn and Gyda, gives the music a feeling of innocence.

Though two of Múm's members now live in Germany, the band has stayed true to its Icelandic roots. Múm's latest album, Finally We Are No One, was recorded in both English and Icelandic.

Band Members
Örvar Smárason
Gunnar Örn Tynes
Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir
Gyða Valtýsdóttir

Fun Facts
The Gyða and Kristín, who are twins appeared on the Belle & Sebastian album cover Fold Your Hands Child You Walk Like a Peasant.
The band convinced the city of Reykjavik to purchase underwater speakers from the U.S. military so they could perform a concert in a public pool. The audience had to submerge their ears in order to hear the music.
Finally We Are No One was recorded in a lighthouse that the band had to paddle out to in a tugboat.

Yesterday Was Dramatic—Today Is OK. 1999 (TMT/Thule)
Please Smile My Nose Bleed 2001 (Morr Music)
Finally We Are No One 2002 (Fat Cat)

Mum photos courtesy Aerin Wilson

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