In February 2015, five Alberta musicians and Edmonton's Poet Laureate collaborated with Icelandic artists for the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival. Iceland Calling is the video documentary of their journey.
The entire documentary will be released October 8, 2015, when the Icelandic artists return for another collaboration with two shows in Calgary (oct.8) & Edmonton (oct.10), as part of the UP+DT Festival (tickets).
Each year in Reykjavik, art and culture is celebrated with city-wide activities, concerts and public art installations. Artists from an international city are invited to come and collaborate with local Reykjavik artists. In 2015, Edmonton was the guest city for the Winter Lights Festival.
With the support of the Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Music organized the collaboration with Visit Reykjavik, and brought the team of Heavy Grain to document the story. Heavy Grain filmed the entire trip, the rehearsals, the performances, as well as following the Alberta artists around the city as they experienced Icelandic culture and shared their music over seven days.
A series of interviews with Icelandic artists, as well as with key figures in the Reykjavik music and tourism industries, have produced a few outtakes, focussing on discussions around the struggles and triumphs, differences and similarities, of the music industry in both cultures. We share those videos along with our insights in The Story. Finally, we are pleased to debut and feature a series of Iceland Calling Location Videos - acoustic, live performances by the Alberta artists captured in unique Reykjavik settings. All videos can be found in the Media page.
The Icelandic music community is focussed in Rekjavik, a city region of about 200,000. The music of Iceland continutes to thrive and remain one of its biggest cultural exports. Tourism has become the primary industry in Iceland, and they have a finger on the pulse of what makes them such an attractive land and people to experience. We learned that the arts was at the heartbeat of the people. The poets held the places of honor, the artists were the ambassadors of culture. There is clearly so much to learn from our Icelandic friends. We hope these videos communicate in part the beauty of all we learned and experienced.