sigur rós: heima
Director: Dean de Blois
(Iceland, 2007, 97 minutes)
Wednesday 24 October at Cecil Sharp House
BBC Electric Proms were proud to host the UK premiere of Sigur Rós' Heima and welcomed the band for a unique acoustic performance.
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Sorry we were only able to keep performance videos online for a week after the festival but you can still watch this special clip from the film:
on the bbc
- Agaetis Byrjun
Minute by minute report, via text message, by the BBC's Lucy Davies
- 19.34 - The Cecil Sharp house is packed to the gills in anticipation of an evening of Sigur Rós saturation ...
- 19.51 - The first of tonight's triptych is a live set. The Culture Show's Verity Sharp is introducing them.
- 19.54 - Goggi, Jonsi, Kjarri and Orri take the stage. Jonsi says they're just gonna play a few songs, and then it's straight in.
- 19.56 - A baby grand, dry ice and beautiful scenery visuals for first song, 'Vaka'.
- 19.58 - Some tired helium balloons stuck against the ceiling seem strangely fitting.
- 20.01 - 'Samskeyti Ageatis' follows. The acoustic setting with drums played with brushes translates, nicely laid back. Orri's drumming in thick socks ...
- 20.05 - Ooh, it's the one everyone loves! 'Byrjun'. You sigh on, as we sing along in English.
- 20.12 - Now everyone's swapping instruments. Jonsi's on harmonium, goggi's on marimba. They play staralfur. They are true masters of the pregnant pause!
- 20.19 - Aminna, string quartet join for 'Heima'. This drawn out tune is the signature of the night. It's a little bit Philip Glass, a little bit Michael Nyman. Lovely.
- 20.23 - Now the saddest song 'Njosnavellin'. So much longing is captured in some made up words.
- 20.31 - The lighting and strings are all much warmer now. Drums played with Beaters and a picture behind of a house with white picket fence.
- 20.35 - Finally, the double bass gets a play!
- 20.38 - Jonsi has a quiet moment with his acoustic guitar. Pins drop.
- 20.41 - A sudden end, Goggi puts his shoes back on and they have a stage bow to all the whistling and wooping. Fantastic gig.
- 21.06 - Time for the film screening. Heima was filmed on Sigur Rós' tour around their homeland, Iceland. They report that their people are judgemental critics!
- 21.12 - Pictures of Iceland, the waterfalls go upwards and the music crashes around your ears.
- 21.23 - The band talk about the scariness of their big break, with their music used in the movie 'Vanilla Sky'. You get the feeling they'd rather play banjo and drink slammers at home than deal with lawyers.
- 21.33 - The band play outdoors next to some wrecked buildings and abandoned models of seals, lions and people.
- 21.38 - The film is full of quirky scenes, like flamenco dolls rotating on an turntable.
- 21.41 - The concert tour was free. String quartet Aminna express surprise that people came!
- 21.49 - 'Sigur Rós are very good at not planning, not speaking, just doing.' Nice.
- 21.51 - They even make their own xylophones from rocks.
- 22.02 - The band play a protest against a huge dam being built to generate electricity. A dog visits.
- 22.08 - They decided to work with a traditional choir.
- 22.12 - Curlews sing through the mist. Jonsi says of all the places in the whole world, he loves Iceland most.
- 22.20 - The Aminna girls talk about their final gig in Iceland, on a public holiday, brass band, Horny Brasstards are there too. It's packed.
- 22.37 - Jonsi talks about how his gran found the gig too loud so went home to watch it on the tv. She then thought it had broken with all the feedback at the end.
- 22.38 - The films ends with a performance of 'Heima'.
Last summer, at the end of an extensive world tour, Sigur Rós returned to Iceland and played a series of free, unannounced concerts around their homeland.
These concerts took place in unexpected venues - from an abandoned fish factory, to a protest camp at the edge of a controversial dam, to a far-flung community hall, with tea and cakes for refreshment.
The entire tour was filmed and the result is Heima, a cinematic and musical feast. Sigur Rós' big, beautiful sound resonates against Iceland's majestic landscapes. This, along with intimate interviews with the band, offers a captivating insight into their music, their inspirations and their sense of home.
story behind the film
John Best, producer of Heima and Sigur Rós' manager:
"I have this idea that because when you go and see Sigur Rós, you kind of watch from Row H Seat 19 (or wherever) and only ever really look at the rectangle of the backdrop and the smattering of players arranged variously across the stage. That is, you see it as a - hopefully impressive - whole rather than the constituent parts that make it up.
"Without wanting to demystify the experience we wanted to reveal a little more of who was actually doing what on stage, be it Georg hammering a drumstick against his bass in 'hafsol', the caul of sweat cloaking Orri at the close of 'poppsong', Jonsi sitting on the floor with an e-bow in 'samskeyti', or Kjartan deep in concentration in his "office", as his huge keyboard riser and bank of analogue gear is known..."
websites and links
- Mark Ronson with special guests and the BBC Concert Orchestra
- Paul McCartney
- Kaiser Chiefs via David Arnold
- Bloc Party
- Ray Davies and friends
- Agaskodo Teliverek
- Ben Westbeech
- Basquiat Strings
- The Beatles: Help!
- Bob Dylan: The Other Side of the Mirror
- Breed 77
- Charlie Louvin
- The Chemical Brothers
- Cold War Kids
- The Coral
- Daft Punk: Electroma
- Duke Special
- Durrty Goodz
- Edwyn Collins
- The Enemy
- The Flaming Lips:
UFOs at the Zoo
- Kano presents London Town
- Kid Harpoon
- Noah and the Whale
- Once in a Blue Moon:
A tribute to Lal Waterson
- The Metros
- New Cassettes
- Radio Luxembourg
- Reverend and the Makers
- The Riff Raff and Riz MC
- Sam Isaac
- Sigur Rós: Heima
- SOIL & "PIMP" SESSIONS with Jamie Cullum
- Taio Cruz