Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sigur Rós: The Valtari Experience

Zac Bentz at the Valtari Experience.
There are certain experiences in life for which you have great anticipation but because it is so foreign you simply do not know what exactly to expect. I had that kind of experience the first time I jumped out of an airplane. The initial leap, release, vista, and emotional rush left me momentarily speechless.

In a certain sense this was the feeling I was left with after last night’s screening of Sigur Rós: The Valtari Experience at the Zinema 2 here in Duluth, an experience that will be shared by viewer participants in more than 100 cities on seven continents this weekend.

Sigur Rós is an Icelandic music group from Revkjavik with an other-wordly ethereal resonance. Fairly unknown in the pop scene, they have a cultlike following for their distinctive, exquisitely layered sound. I'd been introduced to their music by means of an eclectic mix CD titled The Best Music for the Best Dad that my daughter compiled for me two or three years ago. But what happened last night, and is happening this weekend is more than the music. The group chose to introduce their new album, Valtari, by having a film competition. Film makers were invited to create a visual experience for each of the tracks on this album. It was a feast of remarkable creative expression. It was incredible.

The films were re-shown at Ochre Ghost Gallery afterwards.
I was left simultaneously inspired and devastated… inspired by all the creative interpretations I'd witnessed and devastated by an inward sense that the art I’ve been making has been meaningless dabbling aspiring to nothing. This film experience was from another dimension, perhaps even historic.

Themes explored all dimensions of human experience: naturalism, surrealism, city and rural, athleticism, sensuality, beauty, fear, love and even humor. And the stories were told in an equally diverse range of styles, from black and white to vivid color, from animation to special effects.

Walt Dizzo, current director of the Homegrown Music Festival, introduced the films. Zac Bentz (The Dirty Knobs) played intro music beforehand and will be in Minneapolis for tomorrow's unveiling at The Ritz. Special thanks to everyone involved in bringing this film experience to the Twin Ports.

The films from this program are accessible to everyone with an internet connection at the valtari mystery film experiment. Take your breath away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well described & written Ed. It truly was an amazing experience.