Glosoli: The Icelandic Experience of Beauty

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What images come to mind when you hear the name… “Iceland”? I am guessing the folks that make up the Icelandic Department of Tourism” (IDT) have not only asked a similar question, but have speculated the response you just formed.

[Enter Sigur Rós.]

If this Icelandic band has yet to mesmerize American culture via their ambient sound, they certainly have the opportunity to do so through their poetic imagery. Sigur Rós, named after lead singer, Jónsi Birgisson’s, younger sister Sigurrós, is the compilation of a rare breed of musicians who are experimenting with both a pure and somewhat “wholistic” approach to music production. “Pure” in the sense that their creative process is stripped from agenda (or any talking for that matter). It’s organic. Show up. Play. See what happens. “Wholistic” in the sense that the group lends themselves to”experience” over product.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that Sigur Rós takes any visual accompaniment just as serious as their music – anything from album art to music videos.

[Enter Arni and Kinski.]

The IDT can rest assured that Sigur Rós is not alone in the Icelandic rebranding effort. Almost every video released from the band is directed/produced by fellow Icelanders Stefan Arni and Siggi Kinski (Arni and Kinski), who are themselves an intriguing story. Arni and Kinski (the production entity) came out Stefan and Siggi’s involvement in a unique music/film collaborative group known as GusGus in the mid-1990s, who also possesed a strong committment to the “experience” – exuding soulful music accompanied by intense visuals that often stemmed from their native backdrop – Reykjavik, Iceland. (Sigur Rós’ pronounced ‘home’) Combine this duo’s talent and background with Sigur Rós’ commitment to expansive – yet innocent art – and you are left wondering about what you have just encountered.

[Cue Glosoli]

Though each Sigur Rós (and Arni and Kinski) video possesses its own unique intensity, Glosoli certainly distinguishes itself from the rest. Free of shameless promotion, this musical short exudes commitment, freedom, and beauty. In the end, through a creative fusion of both music and film, “something” happens.

“Transcendent” comes to mind.


For the curious… this video was the first visual inspiration for this site and the overall rednow experiment.

For the HD version of the video, go here.