I'm in Reykjavik this week. I've just been to a local record store - 12 Tonar, which is no ordinary record store. It is also a music label for upcoming Icelandic musicians and bands.
I've just had the most inspiring afternoon in there. Firstly, the guy who runs the store has little CD players all over the place, and you're encouraged to just pick up an album and put it on and listen. Needless to say, I've just left the store with around six CD's of music that sounded really wonderful to me.
What I would like to know is, why has such a small country - with a population of around 330,000 people, have such an amazing array of musicians and bands? It seems I am hearing about new music from there almost every week.
What is it about Iceland that the country is producing such an array of music?
I would love to think it's due to the landscape.
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I feel though, that it has more to do with the remoteness and identity of icelandic people. There is something very unique about Reykjavik. The downtown section of the 'city' (more like a rustic little town), has a vibe about it - it's very bohemian. It's like a place designed by artists, for artists to live in. Perhaps Iceland is a place for artists?
I wondered today, if I could live here. Being from Scotland, I find our winters pretty long..... and Iceland is one further step on from that. So I'm not so sure if I could do it. And this led me on to think about how where we are from, and what we experience in terms of climate, can shape and mould us.
I know for sure, that Scotland has moulded who I am. So I know that growing up and living in Iceland would have certainly moulded the musicians here, and their music.
As a creative person, I'm aways wondering how much my photography would have differed, if I'd grown up somewhere else. Surely I wouldn't be the same person I am now? We are definitely a product of our environment.