During the dark Icelandic winter, it’s essential to keep yourself busy, preferably with cultural happenings, to fend off the winter gloom. Myrkir Músíkdagar or Dark Music Days is a music festival held yearly in the end of January, a very dark time of the year. It’s one of the oldest Icelandic music festivals, first held in 1980 and although the name might indicate dark and perhaps heavy music that is not the case. Rather, the festival focuses on new and contemporary music, both Icelandic and international, and was created to brighten up the dark Icelandic winter.
Most of the music played at the Dark Music Days is being premiered, since originally, the Society of Icelandic Composers founded the festival as a platform for new musicians to introduce their music to the public. Today it has broadened its spectrum and consists of new contemporary Icelandic music as well as music by international artists.
The schedule of this year’s Dark Music Days is vast, with various talented artists doing solo concerts, chamber concerts, as well as percussion concerts. Festival goers will have a chance to witness Edda Erlendsdóttir’s solo piano concert, Guðný Einarsdóttir’s organ tribute to Icelandic composer, Jón Nordal and the Norwegian/French quartet Dans Les Arbres’s improvisation along with other events. The yearly concerts by Caput, The Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra, Nordic Affect and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra are also eagerly awaited by many music fans. The venues this year are Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and the Reykjavík Cathedral.
If you’ll be in Iceland when the Dark Music Days are on, why not drop by and listen to some beautiful music to brighten up the mood in the winter darkness? Tickets to single shows are available along with passes for the whole festival. You can buy tickets here and see the programme here.