While the United States is reopening but still very much in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland has pretty much recovered. Public pools, restaurants, and gyms are all open again. And soon, Björk will be playing actual concerts in front of actual human beings.
That’s right: Björk has announced three special matinee performances in association with Iceland Airwaves to raise money for an Icelandic women’s shelter. And although the shows are being livestreamed, they will also have real live audiences at Reykjavík’s Harpa Hall on 8/9, 8/15, and 8/23.
The shows, billed as Björk Orkestral, will feature Björk collaborating with members of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, flute septet Viibra, Hamrahlíð Choir, and special guests to play her arrangements without electronics or beats. Each concert will have a different setlist.
Read a note from Björk about the concert series below:
i would like to invite you to some concerts
folks who got hit hardest in the coronavirus
and the black lives matter movement
and to honour how many icelandic musicians i have worked with through the years
i recorded almost all of my albums with local musicians :
homogenic with an icelandic string octet
medulla with schola cantorum ( an icelandic mixed choir )
volta with 10 brass girls i found all over the island and then later they formed wonderbrass
biophilia with langholt´s church girl choir graduale nobili
vulnicura with a 15 piece string ensemble
utopia with 12 female fluteplayers who later formed the flute septet viibra
cornucopia with hamrahlíð´s choir conducted by þorgerður ingólfsdóttir
all these albums where then performed all around the planet with these musicians
together they are over hundred people !!
and we are going to celebrate that we are all healthily exiting quarantine together by playing concerts in harpa music hall for 3 weekends of august
my input into the feminist fight is to brag about that almost all of those arrangements are by me
unfortunately this is something that is almost always ignored when women are arrangers
the concerts will be in the afternoons and will also be streamed live online, where there will be an option to donate to the icelandic women’s shelter – which supports women of all origin in iceland
for those attending in person, after the concert we will be offering food to raise money in support of this charity
the concerts will be “unplugged” or acoustic and performed without beats and electronics
the concerts will be performed with the icelandic symphony orchestra and guests
i feel we are going through extraordinary times
horrifying but also an opportunity to truly change
it is demanded of us that we finally confront all racism
that we learn that lives are more important that profit
and look inside us and finecomb out all our hidden prejudices and privileges
let´s all humbly learn together
Tickets will be available for pre-order here starting 7/2, with the general sale beginning a day later.