Our dreams are coming true! Sigur Rós, the cult Icelandic band that plays dreamy atmosphere music, will play at the 20th edition of Pohoda.
Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson (vocals and guitar), Georg Hólm (bass guitar), and Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson (drums) formed the band Sigur Rós (named after Jónsi’s sister) in 1994. Three years later, they published their debut album “Von” (Hope). Before the second album came out, Kjartan Sveinsson, keyboard player and the first musician with standard musical education, joined the band. The result of their work was the album “Ágætis byrjun” (Good beginning). Well, with the international success that the band had with the album, it indeed was a good beginning.
Sigur Rós gradually became headliners of festivals such as Latitude, Bestival, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Iceland Airwaves. The magical atmosphere of their songs has conquered listeners and many film-makers as well. This is just a short overview: Hoppípolla appeared in films: Slumdog Millionaire, Planet Earth (BBC), Earth (Disney); Cameron Crowe used the song Untitled 4 (or Njósnavélin – Nothing Song) in the final scene of the film Vanilla Sky; you could hear the song Andvari in the film Remember Me, and the song Festival in the film 127 hours. The music documentary named Heima was, on contrary, the image for the music performed live in non-traditional locations in Iceland. Some songs by Sigur Rós have also appeared in the world-famous series, such as The Simpsons, Game of Thrones, and CSI: Miami.
In 2001, the group changed its drummer and the rhythm of metronomically precise cardiac arrhythmia became more pronounced with Orri Páll Dýrason. In the same year, they released the album () and its booklet was an empty white piece of paper. In this album, they sung for the first time in the Vonlenska language (or Hopelandic), which, in fact, is not any language, but the sound imitation of the Icelandic language. It is said that the intention was to allow listeners to complete the music with their own personal meanings. This also explains the blank booklet.
After a longer break, Sigur Rós are getting ready for a festival tour. The members of the band say that when playing live on a stage, they try to find a way how not to lose the huge amount of music captured and linked together in a studio. Interestingly, they proceeded in the opposite way with the material that led to the current tour. They tried to keep the magical moments and thoughts, which they captured on the road, as the “lightning in a bottle” for later work in the studio. Their creation goes back to the intuitive creation that is so characteristic for the albums Ágætis Byrjun and ().
“It is symbolic that the first confirmed and announced name is this one, Sigur Rós. We have been trying to bring them here for several years, and every year, we discussed this with Ďuro Kušnierik. I asked him to put a word for us, to explain to Jonsi and guys why it is good to choose us, Pohoda, over other huge number of offers. I know Ďuro would do it every year together with his Icelandic friends. We received the confirmation just one day before Juraj died. I understand it as his gift for our 20th birthday for all of us. Our dear Jürgen, thank you, we will celebrate together with you…” said Michal Kaščák, the CEO of the festival, after the festival received the confirmation from Sigur Rós.
Press and photo: Anton Repka