While walking to the beach, Solveig points out that it is a strange human urge to go swimming in February! We are wearing big, warm, white onsies. Lasse and Jonatan had to wash them several times before they stopped smelling like fish; they were a gift from the fish factory. The white suits are just a shade darker than the snow. It is getting darker. I know that the ocean is somewhere beyond the bend, and I know that the road to Egilsstadir runs somewhere back that way, but from where I stand, I can’t see a single spot without mountains. The beach is black against the snow. Behind us is the junkyard with its little hills of snow-covered garbage. We have been cold all day. The snow is knee high. I absolutely never thought I would find this addictive! I am the last person to run into the water and I scream – like the others – when a wave hits my belly.
The road over the mountain is closed for the second time this week. Simon is actually cheering for the snow to continue so his flight to Denmark will be cancelled. This is what Seydisfjordur does to most people. It makes you want to stay longer – or to simply not leave.
Fridays seem to come around a bit faster here. And I find myself dancing to one of the best DJ sets I have heard for a long time. In somebody’s home. In a village of less than 700 citizens in the very east of Iceland. I don’t really want to stop, but I am really tired. So I engage in a conversation about the Light Festival, which will take place when the sun finally hits the town again in the end of February. The students pulled off a really good exhibition today!
This may sound really corny, but it seems as if the snowstorm outside has been reflected inside the studio. Suddenly the place is flowing with graffiti, drawing, painting, sculptures, photography… This week the students were told that they are artists. They don’t believe it yet. Probably some don’t quite dare to yet. All this art both gives and drains. I find myself thinking that any good piece of art contains a little piece of the artist’s soul.
This week’s first morning inspiration was an amazing drum piece by Midori Takada. ”To kick off a week with drumming as a theme”, says Jonatan. I think of that as Thorir runs around the kitchen yelling into a pipe; he sounds like a suffering elephant. Or, at the best, like a kid that just learned how to play the trumpet. We are writing an opera. I had never imagined that it would be composed in a kitchen. I play the chickpeas in a jar and sporadically echo the elephant. Siri plays a pot, Emilie drums on a cutting board, Fjola, Heidi, Maria and all the others set the beat. Travis directs it all – looking everyone intensely in the eye, signalling who should continue and running two fingers across his throat when we are to stop.
The intensity is just as high when the next day I hear us singing out our souls. I did not expect to become nervous at all. But now I find myself staring intensely at the lyrics. I’m not sure whether I would laugh, be embarrassed or feel proud if I met someone’s eyes? The piece is supposed to be as dissonant as possible, so I detune my note slightly from Hong Tai’s. Right behind me, Joss’ deep humming provides a safe base. The dissonance is more beautiful and comforting than I had expected! Everyone is exalted after the performance!
I’m so sad that I will miss the next exhibition. Tuesday’s visualizing sounds performance already looked promising. And the creative writing group seems to be touching on a lot of important stuff this week. I feel like we are about to finish a fast and long run-up, and I’m sure that the jump will be high, long and impressive!
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