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/ Ornament of Sail

Seglskraut is a poetry collection by Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir. Created 2018, the project continues to grow to present day.

This project is a part of my research on how to deconstruct the Icelandic language, and reconstruct it with contemporary compositional techniques to question the social systematic injustice found in the usage of language in Iceland. The artistic outcome of the research was a music composition presented in book form (one of my research questions were: How can I create a concert within a book?). Its aim was to confuse the audience’s (reader/listener) logical sense of language and therefore, the artistic material, with words and sentences that did not formally exist in dictionaries while following a musical structure rather than grammatical rules. This method held space for the audience to seek beyond their former linguistic training and encouraged them to view language as a tool open to the imagination — to welcome uncertainty and complexity in thought — by seeing unexpected images deriving from the deconstructed material provided to them. Furthermore, it explored alternative ways to practice, present and think about music within the realms of Western music culture. Not meant to exclude other approaches to music, it can easily be merged with other techniques and music styles, and be implemented to any existing, or non-existing, languages. The artistic content explores an oceanic world from a phonetic perspective and aims to create a sensory experience.

Book cover

Examples of pages (whole piece consists of 86 pages)

Reading and vocal improvisation of Seglskraut

In 2019, Seglskraut was adapted to a 30' piece for 13 vocalists and audiovisuals. It premiered at Young Nordic Music Festival in Sweden under the name Currents in Ocean Circulation. Visuals were created by Ásdís Birna Gylfadóttir.

Example of visuals

Example of audio

The adaptation was called Currents in Ocean Circulation

Example of score

Vocal improvisation with elements from Seglskraut

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