New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
to The County, with music by Valgeir Sigurðsson, has been released today exclusively from Bedroom Community. The 15-track album features eerily beautiful and scene-setting melodies created by the Icelandic musician.
The drama had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September
and was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section. The County is the follow-up to Grímur Hákonarson's Festival de Cannes Award-winning debut Rams and stars actors Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir, Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson, as well as Þorsteinn Bachmann.
"Director Grímur Hákonarson and I have worked together a few times in the past, so it helped that we already had a dialog and a fluidity in the way we work together. First I watched the film a few times, and then I turned off the screen and just wrote music in response to what I had seen. I often do this because I want to make a score that flows with its own narrative. On Grímur's suggestion, we used a lot of synths and electronic textures, and also used some of the real sounds from the film for the score. There is an obnoxious milking-robot that features quite heavily, as well as other sounds from around the farm and the environments that I also managed to incorporate into the score. Then, I also recorded a lot of solo strings that I was really excited about, but mostly didn't need to be in the film once the images were turned back on. In the final mix I think we cut about 50% of the score that I had completed, or more even, we agreed fully on all the cuts. But, on the soundtrack release I keep many of these elements because they informed my process and I feel that they are integral to the music and necessary when it is stripped of the images it was created for." - Valgeir Sigurðsson, composer.
Coming up in 2020, Valgeir will perform his captivating music at the famous Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN featuring acts like Patti Smith, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Kronos Quartet, amongst others. The singular festival experience explores connections between musicians and artists, effortlessly crossing the boundaries of musical genres as well as artistic disciplines.
In addition to The County, Sigurðsson's Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
to An Acceptable Loss has been released last month.
The co-op system in Iceland arose in the early 20th century as a response to Denmark's centuries-old monopoly on trade; however, in many instances, these supposed mutual-aid societies grew to be as exploitative as the system that preceded them. In The County, Grímur Hákonarson tells a powerful David-and-Goliath tale about an independent farmer whose defiance of her local co-op brings her face to face with its sinister underside.
Inga (Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir) has always questioned the slavish devotion of her husband, Reynir (Hinrik Ólafsson), to the co-op, even as the co-op's debt has spiralled out of control and their prices remain much higher than those of their competition. When disaster strikes, Inga decides to openly take action against the co-op via social media. As her campaign progresses, she soon finds out just how low her adversary is willing to go.
As in Rams, Hákonarson illustrates how the harsh conditions that rural Icelanders face have bred an innate conservatism and a fealty to the status quo, which some hold true to even as it threatens their own well-being. Driven by Egilsdóttir's gritty and moving performance (and featuring a fine turn from Rams star Sigurður Sigurjónsson as the co-op's sleazy, self-assured director), and subtly directed by Hákonarson — one of the region's finest filmmakers — The County brilliantly explores how Iceland's cherished myth that all its citizens are equal can blind some of its hardiest and most independent people to their own exploitation.
Reykjavík-based composer and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson is known for his immersive sound-world, often blurring the lines between contemporary classical writing and electronic production. Recent film projects include Valgeir's first U.S. feature An Acceptable Loss, a political thriller by Joe Chappell, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as Grímur Hákonarson's Little
Moscow and The County.
Valgeir's 4th LP DISSONANCE won 'Album of The Year' at the 2018 Iceland Music
Awards. He has performed his work internationally at festivals, concert halls and clubs, and The New York Times named Dissonance Live among the top shows of the 2017 Sónar Barcelona Festival.
His scores for the environmental documentary Dreamland and Reykjavík City Theatre's production of MEDEA were nominated for best score at the Edda Awards (also known as the "Icelandic Oscars"), and the Iceland Theatre Awards, respectively. Dust received a special jury mention at the International Rostrum of Composers in 2019.
ABOUT BEDROOM COMMUNITY
Bedroom Community is an Icelandic record label/collective formed in 2006 by Valgeir Sigurðsson, with Nico Muhly and Ben Frost. The collective's roster is made up of creatively diverse artists across fields ranging from art house cinema, to opera, theatre, fine art, Hollywood and beyond. Founded by Valgeir in 1997, Greenhouse Studios functions as the creative home of the Bedroom Community label, and it has independently built a diverse and exceptional list of clients from all corners of the globe. The studio is a hub of activity and a facility that has the infrastructure of a world-class residential recording studio in a scaled down, intimate package.
1. The County
2. The Dairy Farm
3. Not An Accident
4. The Mountain Road
5. Damned Cooperative
8. We Need To Talk About Fences
9. Tremble To Think
10. End Of The Tether
11. Burial Ground
13. A Strong Grasp
14. Signature Walk
15. The County End Credits