There is a backstory to everything at Airwaves. Every musician brings their story, every listener has theirs, and this affects how they play and perceive music.
Who knows why everyone was at Fríkirkjan on Thursday. Undoubtedly, some were just listening to the pure tones of live music in a symbolic place. Others perhaps ended up there by fluke. Those people could either could leave or stay and experience music that they are perhaps not generally familiar with.
Though probably not everybody would say the same, Jóhann Jóhannson and Dustin o’ Halloran’s performances there struck a chord with me and got me thinking about issues in my own life. I felt the melodic rhythms in my body and soul. It probably helped that the music was being played in a church, which is considered a place of hope.
It’s because everyone carries with them their own experiences that they can connect to music in this way. Not everybody had this feeling; some people just closed their eyes to concentrate and not to be disturbed while maybe some people concentrated too much…and fell asleep?
Though everyone takes what they want from music, the artist is also trying to convey a message. And one can’t help thinking about what that is as well. They have a reason for composing the song that we are listening to, and this was especially evident during Jóhann Jóhannsson performance. It wasn’t just about listening to the music, but there was also a black and white animated film on screen behind the musicians helping to carry the song’s intended meaning.
It was not as sonically dynamic as an orchestra performance; but it was by no means monotonous either. It was relaxing and lent well to losing oneself in the music and reflecting on life.
During the break, I ran out to get a drink, but due to the unpredictable Icelandic weather, I returned wet as a mouse (this what we say in Slovakian to describe being soaked) on my return to Fríkirkjan. Although I felt cold in the end, the music made up for it in its beauty.
By Monika Domeniková