Icelandic musicians Sóley Stefánsdóttir (above) and Bára Gísladóttir (below) have been nominated for the 2022 Nordic Council Music Prize. This year’s nominees represent a wide range of genres from world music and opera to electronic music.
Sóley has been nominated for her 2021 album Mother Melancholia. In their rationale, the jury describes the album as “a work of the utmost originality, in reality one long meditation on the state of the world, gravitating between pretty and horrific.”
In an interview with Iceland Review Sóley described Mother Melancholia as being about apocalypse. “We can’t really imagine what happens at the end of the world. It’s an abstract idea. Especially when you live here in Iceland and have your house and your computer and your day-to-day life. I’ve been reading some dystopian Margret Atwood novels and thinking ‘wow, maybe it’ll be like this.’ Maybe that’s the role of artists: to create, draw, paint, try to imagine it.”
Bára Gísladóttir is a double bassist and composer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was nominated for her piece VÍDDIR, written for nine flutes, percussion, double bass, and electric bass. The Nordic Council Music Prize jury called her compositions “highly creative and uncompromising,” calling VÍDDIR an “enthralling” work where Bára “shapes the sounds and structure of the music in an organic way with focus on textural and timbral progressions through various portals of possibilities of the instruments.”
The winner of the Nordic Council Music Prize will be announced on November 1 in Helsinki, Finland.