I’m Faye and I’m a Producer for Festival of Voice and live music at Wales Millennium Centre. My job can be anything from programming and producing shows for Festival of Voice and contemporary music events at the Centre, to coordinating logistics and working with freelancers and the Centre team to make things happen!
Iceland is a pretty special place.
I first visited in 2005, and very quickly got the impression that music and creativity are at the very core of this sparsely populated country. I met lots of young musicians, making music and playing everything from hardcore to contemporary classical in small venues across Reykjavik. There was a strong music community, and a real energy for music that both took inspiration from the imposing landscape, or purposefully fought against it.
Fast forward to 2016, and I was lucky enough to attend Iceland Airwaves festival to look for potential artists for the next Festival of Voice in 2018. Airwaves is a city festival based in the capital Reykjavik, over 5 days, with many venues – and to add to the already colossal amount of music, there’s a daily ‘off venue’ programme, where most of the artists play free shows in shops, cafés and bars across the city. If you really wanted to, you could watch music from 12 noon to 3am, every day, for 5 days. Full on.
There were so many highlights from the festival, and the Icelandic artists stole the show. Here are a few of my personal best gigs: VÖk are 4 piece electronic pop outfit from Iceland and their flawless set left me speechless. I caught Efterklang’s offshoot project, Liima, in an intimate show where around 30 people crammed into Kaffibarinn – an off venue with a brilliant programme curated by Bedroom Community. I discovered Polish duo Coals at Airwaves and their set, sitting somewhere between ethereal folk and electronica, was completely mesmerising. I’ve been wanting to see Kiasmos live for some time, and their set at Harpa blew the roof off! On my final day at Airwaves I sat in awe watching Bjork perform with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in one of the most emotional live experiences I’ve had in a long time. I felt very privileged to see her perform in her home city, and there couldn’t have been a more fitting way to end my first Iceland Airwaves experience.
Bring on 2017!
JFDR at Reykjavik art museum – another festival highlight.