Mid September saw the release of the magical, atmospherically charged, electro-classical album, ‘Eitt’ by Icelandic maestros, Futuregrapher (Arni Gretar) and Jón Ólafsson, which of course, was featured on this site.
Since then, the pair have held an enraptured audience in their thrall at the Iceland Airwaves festival, with a live performance of their amazing collaborative works, and, most recently, played to a captive audience in an Icelandic church. How’s that for a dramatic setting?
Speaking of amazing, #Ólagrapher, has just unveiled a mesmerising monochrome visual for ‘Hringur’, one of the eight tracks featured on ‘Eitt’.
Filmed and directed by renowned Icelandic photographer and film maker, Ómar Sverrisson, the video is a timeless, minimalist evocation of the concept of inter-connectivity behind the song. I spoke with Ómar about how the project came about, and how he set about filming the images.
I started by asking him about if he had come up with the concept for the film…
“Yes, I came up with the concept one evening as I was walking home while listening to the track! I had the camera with me and it just came to me. I just shot it mostly by feeling. How I felt at that moment was a little bit sad and tired, as most of us are at this time of year.”
I agree, it’s like a little part of us dies in the winter.
‘Hringur’ is Icelandic for ring, or circle. My take on the visual is that it is about a series of interconnections – life with nature, the moon with the tides, man with man and so on? Was that your intention??
“Yes, you are spot on with your words about it.”
Where was the film shot?
“It was shot in Reykjavik by the downtown harbour, and in Elilðárdalur” (doesn’t that just sound like a place you’d expect to read about in ‘The Lord of the Rings’!)
What type of video equipment did you use?
“I mainly use my old trusty Canon mark2 and sometimes Blackmagic pocket camera with lots of vintage lenses, but this video was shot with my Canon mark and a basic 50mm lens.”
Towards the end of the film, during the river scenes, did you slow down some of the images. Also, in those frames around 5.10+, where the images go very psychedelic and the water looks as if it’s flowing into the earth as two rivulets (images) merging with each other, did you film that in one shot and split it?
“Yes, I slowed the film down to 60% and for the “psychedelic” images, yes, I mirrored them.”
So did you work the whole project from end to end yourself- direction, film, photography, editing etc?”
“Yes, I did everything.”
Do you work in film making full time?
“No I am a full time photographer/artist, but also shoot videos and work as a graphic designer.”
Is this the first time you’ve shot a video for Arni Gretar//Futuregrapher?
“Yes, this is my first video for him, but not the first time I’ve worked with Arni. I shot his Futurgrapher, ‘Skynvera‘ album cover released in 2014, as well as the cover from his single Elisa released 2013.”
How do you know Arni/Futuregrapher? How did you guys comes to work together back in 2013 (or is the Icelandic community so small (like Norway) that everyone knows everyone in the business?
“I know him for years now. I got know him through some common friends! Futuregrapher contacted me after he had seen a portrait I did of him in 2012 and he ended up using it on the ‘Elsa’ single sleeve.
Yes, Iceland is super small when it come to the creative field and almost all of us know each other.”
So this is your first video for Arni, but is it the first actual video you’ve shot?
“No, my first video was for the Reykjarvíkurdætur ft.Tanya Pollock track, ‘Hlustum á hjartað slá’. I did the cinema-photography and edited it- you can watch it here.”
You said you’re a full time photographer, where can we see some of your photos and portraits?
“Yes, you can check them out here, on my Tumblr account.”
Will you work with Futuregrapher again do you think?
“Yes, we are good friends and I hope to work on many projects again with him in the future!”
I hope so too – the stars aligned when these three guys came together – you can check out Ómar’s beautifully understated video for the exquisite ‘Hringur’ here.
‘Eitt’ is available to buy via Moller Records.