With Glasgow Film Festival‘s Country of Focus this year being Iceland, it would be blasphemous not to have work that concerns the music that is embedded in the land. Albeit released in 2005, Screaming Masterpiece was incorporated into 2020’s Film Festival programme, and focuses on the strength and diversity of Iceland’s music, as well as the culture that determines the style and output. This documentary covers some of Iceland’s most talented and well-known musicians and was followed by a live performance from the Glasgow Percussion Collective, covering the music of their most celebrated, Bjork.
With a dated style to the footage, the documentary amalgamated music video, interview talking head footage, archival performances and present performances from anyone such as Mugison to Minus, via Sigur Ros and Mum. Obviously it would be easy for them to focus entirely on one of these artists, but it gives a wide spanned overview of the country’s musical output in general from the influences of the British punk scene on bands like the Sugarcubes to how the agricultural lie of the land affects the music of Mugison. Less elves and trolls, more fishing and farming. Incorporating NYC performances of the celebrated Bjork and Sigur Ros the documentary captured the moments that Icelandic music travels, as well as remaining dear and valued in the country. It was a feat for the eyes and the ears to watch this dedicated film to the distinguished music of Iceland.
Following this with a performance from the Glasgow Percussion Collective, which includes Admiral Fallow’s Phil Hauge, of Bjork’s music the evening felt like a rich cultural exchange. The Glasgow Percussion Collective comprised of prolific musicians Steve Forman (who performed on the soundtracks for Saturday Night Fever), Emma Smith (performed alongside Gorillaz, Hot Chip & Jon Hopkins) & Rachel Lightbody (Siobhan Miller, Alyn Cosker), who showcased the unique compositions of Bjork, as well as encapsulating her spirit to a crowd of fans in Glasgow’s CCA. With impressive vocals and a colourful array of percussion this ambitious task was successfully deployed, a stunning finish to this focus on Iceland’s music.