As New York bakes under an ominous-sounding heat dome, thoughts turn to cooler spots on the globe, such as Iceland. Enter Ólafur Arnalds, an Icelandic composer who is in the midst of an intriguing new project called Island Songs.
Over seven weeks this summer, Arnalds is traveling to seven different locations in his native Iceland to record a new song with the help of local artists. Each Monday brings a new audio track and video performance, shot by the director Baldvin Z, and disseminated via social media. “Each artist has their own unique story to tell and way of contributing, making this a diverse and evolving project,” Arnalds writes of the project.
A dedicated website contains an interactive map with a bit of information on each recording location, along with biographical portraits of the musicians. Here’s the video for “1995,” a low-key, evocative song shot in Önundarfjörður, a village in the Westfjords.