EPI and I are getting all cultural today and heading out to a concert at Hallgrímskirkja church. On the programme, two requiems: Mozart’s and Faurés. I love the former and am not familiar with the latter; however, EPI informs me that it is ‘lighter’ than Mozart’s because Fauré was more resigned to dying than the young Mozart was. Mokay.
I’m not normally much of a concert-goer. It’s rather a fault of mine; I wish I could say I enjoy going to classical concerts and entering a meditative state whilst letting the sounds cascade over my general person, but the truth of the matter is that I’m normally bored silly within about 10 minutes. I’m a text person – I need text. Spoken or written. Hence I normally give concerts a pass, unless there are words being sung. I don’t have patience for just instruments. By extension, I’m the sort of person who always focuses primarily on text in a song. Not the bass line, nor the percussion, nor guitar-picking… like, say, EPI. Nope – more than anything I like a good songwriter with a strong message.
AND SPEAKING OF CONCERTS
This is the prime concert season here in Niceland and between now and Christmas there will be such a selection of concerts that the general concert enthusiast will probably be suffering from overkill by the time December rolls around. These will range from rock ‘n roll [e.g. The White Stripes later this month] to choral music in just about every church in the country, and anything in between.
Seeing as how concerts feature so prominently on the cultural calendar, you would think Iceland had a decent concert hall, but it does not. Apart from the Salurinn venue in Kópavogur [which doesn’t seat very many] there is not a single hall that is acoustically suited to hosting good concerts. In fact, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, which attracts rave reviews internationally, still rehearses and plays in Háskólabíó – the University Cinema.
All that is about to change, though, because plans have finally been approved for a major concert hall and conference centre, due to rise on the Reykjavík Harbour premises. It’s set to be modelled on the Sydney Opera House in that it will be a significant landmark for the city. It will be outrageously expensive, ISK 3 billion, which if I’m not mistaken is somewhere around USD 200 million. Three questions spring to mind: 1) how will a nation of 300,000 people manage to cover this, 2) why has no-one said boo about this rather hefty price tag, 3) why are our senior citizens still sleeping two-or-three to a room in old age homes and using communal toilets and generally being treated like discarded members of society, at the same time as we can afford to raise a building for that amount of dosh?
I’m just saying.
AND OUR RAMBLING WEATHER IS…
Chequered. But fairly mild. Sunny spells, interspersed with showers, interspersed with cloudy spells, interspersed with gusts of wind. Temps currently 3°C and sunrise was at 09.24, sunset due for 16.58.