Ólafur Arnalds – Island Songs – ii. 1995 (ft. Dagný Arnalds)

December 1, 2016

The shores of Önundarfjörður are surrounded by picturesque valleys and mountains. In winter this can be a harsh and treacherous landscape. In October 1995 a devastating avalanche struck Flateyri, a small village in the area and now, next to the church, Flateyrarkirkja sits a memorial stone bearing the names of the people whose lives were lost. Dagný is a music teacher who lives in this remote area and plays the organ and harmonium in the local churches of Flateyri and Holt.

This was a particularly fun one to shoot. Besides how gorgeous the area is, we had a lot of help from the local community: Dagný and her family provided us with food and shelter when a sudden storm delayed our return to Reykjavík. The Japanese-splatter-film-loving Priest made pizzas for the whole crew. And Dagný’s children even “played in their uncle’s film”!

Baldvin Z and his team did an amazing job with this one. The girls look like angels in a renaissance painting behind us and my nephew and niece frame the film perfectly. This might be the darkest song of the series, but watching it makes me smile.


Collaborator / Dagný Arnalds
Music teacher and organist

When I moved to Flateyri I was asked to work with the church choir and play the Harmonium in Holt. I’m glad I accepted the offer as it has brought me the opportunity to know the place where I chose to live and the people of Önundarfjörður in a way that is only possible through coming together, singing, sharing stories and having a cup of coffee.

Synths: Ólafur Arnalds, Organ: Dagný Arnalds, Violin: Sólveig Vaka Eyþórsdóttir, Violin: Ása Guðjónsdóttir, Viola: Ásta Kristín Pjetursdóttir

Director: Baldvin Z, Director of photography: Jóhann Máni Jóhannsson, AC Focuspuller: Snorri Fairweather, Sound recorder: Benedikt Árnason, Sound engeineer: Arnþór Örlygsson, Recording Assistant: Þórarinn Guðnason, Production Coordinator: Sólveig Ásta Sigurðardóttir, Clapper: Einar Arnalds, Transcriber: Snorri Hallgrímsson


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