Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

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Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

 •  16.07.16

Eistnaflug 2016 Review, Pt. I

A personal review of Eistnaflug 2016. Photo by Eríkur Simonsen.

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Flying Testicles Festival - Eistnaflug 2016 Review, Pt. I

A personal review of Eistnaflug 2016   Photo courtesy of Eistnaflug Neskaupstaður is a usually a fairly quiet little fishing town. It has a population of roughly 1500 people and is located by the beautiful fjord Norðfjörður, with impressive mountains looming above and stretching towards the sea.

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RIFF - Reykjavík International Film Festival 2014

Its poster has a giant Godzilla-esque puffin wrecking havoc in Reykjavík. If this hasn't already dragged you in, consider the fact that RIFF is one of Iceland's greatest and most diverse cultural events.

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Einar Went to the Movies II: Málmhaus

Last year I had the privilege of going to a pre-screening of the film Málmhaus (‘Metalhead’) by Icelandic director Ragnar Bragason. I was already a fan of his previous movies and the Nightwatch/Daywatch/Prisonwatch TV-series, as well as being a fan of heavy metal, so I was excited to see his latest release.

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To the New World - Concerts in Reykholt and Reykjavík

  Today, Friday, at 20:00, the Icelandic Youth Orchestra and The University Choir, where I sing 1st bass, will have a joint concert in Reykholt in Borgarfjordur. The Youth Orchestra will perform two pieces separately, Violin Concerto in  E Minor by Felix Mendehlson and Symphony No.

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Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

 •  6.01.14

Happy 13th of Christmas!

Þrettándinn, January 6th, is the last day of Christmas, as it is celebrated in Iceland. I wrote a bit about it exactly a year ago. As with New Year‘s Eve, this is a time when Icelanders gather with their family and/or party, bonfires are lit and fireworks are, well, fired.

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Reykjavík Culture Night 2013

  Tomorrow, August, 24th, the people of Reykjavík will celebrate their 18th Culture Night, with all kinds of cultural events taking place throughout the city in streets, squares, alleys, parks, galleries, culture houses and even in some people’s own homes. The locals of Reykjavík join in creating and enjoying this festival, and it has become one of the largest and most popular event in the country.

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Last chance to catch the Reykjavik Shorts & Docs Festival 2013

  The annual  Reykjavik Shorts & Docs film festival ends tomorrow, May 16th. The festival features both short films, animations and documentary films from around the world.

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Buns & Bakeries, Tea & ale: Four Weird Icelandic Sayings

Gotta love language. I especially love sayings in different languages.

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Intercultural Day in Reykjavik

  Tomorrow, May 11th, Reykjavik will celebrate multiculturalism and diversity, showcasing the different cultures in the capital on its fifth annual Intercultural Day. The fun starts at 13:00 with a parade from Hallgrímskirkja church, marching down to the city hall.

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Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

 •  28.04.13

Election results... *le sigh*

I have not much to add about the results of the parliamentary elections that you won't be able to read in the international media anyway. So instead of elaborating on the sad fact that the two parties that were crucial in instigating the financial crash got the majority of votes, in order to get my feelings off my chest I will simply share this video, that pretty much sums up my view on that:  I still urge everyone to visit Iceland.

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Happy Summer!

Anyone visiting Iceland at this time of year might be surprised to hear about festivities in town, celebrating the first day of summer , April 25th.   Wait, what.

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Hekla: Old & new pictures, music & tours

I am an avid reader of the Icelandic website Lemúrinn, which can be described as a website about pretty much everything. Today I stumbled upon a great article featuring old pictures from Hekla volcano, taken by English photographer Frederic W.W.

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University Choir Concert on April 11th

  The University Choir ('Háskólakórinn' in Icelandic), where I sing 1st bass, will have it's spring concert in Neskirkja in Reykjavík on Thursday, April 11th at 20:00. We'll be performing Icelandic choir works, among them works by our conductor, Gunnsteinn Ólafsson, Jón Leifs, and Jón Ásgeirsson along with works by Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn.

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Seven of My Favorite Songs About Reykjavík

I was born and raised in Reykjavík and still live here. As with probably every place where you grow up, it has its share of the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

 •  5.04.13

Great Icelandic Songs That Aren't Icelandic

While Iceland certainly has an abundance of great original music,  (see the section Music of Iceland for example), many songs have been borrowed through the years, as things go, adapted and arranged. Similarly, lyrics have either been translated, adapted or the songs have gotten entirely new lyrics, and may not even have anything to do with the original.  It might be argued that in order for a cover to be successful, the artist has to put his/her mark on it, ‘make it theirs’ so to speak.

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Wacken Metal Battle at Harpa. Special Guests: Skálmöld

Wacken Metal Battle, the live band competition that sends the winning band to Wacken Open Air, will be held at Harpa, the new Reykjavik Conference and Concert Hall on Saturday 6. April. The hall in question: Eldborg (meaning "Fiery City" or "Fiery Fortress") is the grandest of 4 halls in the complex and home of the Icelandic Symphonic Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera.  The evening will be headlined by Iceland's biggest metal band at the moment: SKÁLMÖLD.

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The Easter Platypus

I‘ve never really understood what rabbits or hares have to do with Easter eggs. It‘s not as if they hatch eggs or anything.

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Free Icelandic Film Weekend

  Those in Iceland this weekend might want to check out Icelandic films for free, as there will be free film screenings of Icelandic films from today, March 22. and throughout Sunday, March 24th.

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A Concert for the Rebuilding of the Kulusuk Music School

          Recently, the Kulusuk music school in Greenland burned down. As a part of the fundraising for its restoration, there will be a concert at Iceland's largest concert hall -Eldborg in Harpa -  on Saturday, March 23d.

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Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

 •  15.03.13

Coming Up: The Reykjavik Blues Festival 2013

  In his book A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut quotes his friend, the writer Albert Murray, as claiming that the blues may not be able to drive depression clear out of a house, but can drive it into the corners of any room where it’s being played.  The Reykjavik Blues Festival will be celebrated from March 23. to March 28, sure to drive any depression to the furthest corner.  Eh.

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Design March in Iceland

  I‘d just like to remind everone interested in design and architecture that starting today, March 14th and lasting until March 17th, the Design March will be celebrated in Reykjavik. The works of Icelandic designers and architects are the main focus of the festival, which consists of various events, displays and exhibitions.

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Kjötborg: The Little Shop on the Corner

  In the far eastern part of the west part of Reykjavík, the 'Vesturbær', on the corner of Ásvallagata and Blómvallagata, stands a little grocery store called Kjötborg. I myself grew up in the neighbourhood and have for a long time been a regular customer.

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Coming up: The Reykjavik Folk Festival

  Winter and snow may be upon us, and then some, but one can still have a cozy time for all that. One way is to cuddle under a warm rug and raise the heat to a considerable degree or you might choose to attend some of the events happening this month.

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Food & Fun

  I'd just like to remind everybody about the Food & Fun festival, starting today and lasting until March third, where the world´s most acclaimed chefs collaborate with Reykjavik's finest restaurants.  Each chef is assigned to one of the participating restaurants, where they prepare a special menu  from natural Icelandic ingredients and products. The restaurants will all be presented with the menus for a whole week.

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Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

 •  20.02.13

Sonar Reykjavik Review: Saturday

    A personal review of Sonar Reykjavik 2013. Photo courtesy of Katrín Sif.

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Sonar Reykjavik Review: Friday

A personal review of Sonar Reykjavik 2013. Photo courtesy of Katrín Sif.

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A few thoughts on Icesave, or: Well, There It is

  The other day, Iceland won the EFTA-courtcase as regards Icesave. As I know that this is a heated issue for many, and also that people may be wondering about the case, I feel I should sum up the result of the case, as far as I've been able to tell, and some of my own thoughts on the matter.

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Music, Art & Party: Some cool stuff in February

  The following message has been approved of by the Fonz. One does not simply question the Fonz.* 1) The international Sonar festival, dedicated to advanced music and new media art, travels to Reykjavik this coming month and will be celebrated on the 15th and 16th of February.

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Cool music, books and films in January – Things to check out.

    Perhaps not as cool as this guy, but then again, what is.   1) The French Film Festival, with nine films from January 11 to January 24, hosted by Græna ljósið (The Green Light) and shown in Háskólabíó cinema.

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Einar Steinn Valgarðsson

 •  9.01.13

Of Þorrablót, troll friendship and a starry night with Northern Lights

One thing to look forward to in January is the Þorrablót. This is a mid winter festival (traditionally the month of Thorri is the fourth winter month, from mid-January to mid-February) when many Icelanders get together to eat traditional food, what many other people consider simply disgusting food.

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We'll take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne

  Picture by Iurie Belegurchi. For more of his awesome pictures, visit his page.

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Einar went to the movies: Djúpið

    Finally got around to see Baltasar Kormákur’s film Djúpið (‘The Deep’) the other day. This film is mainly inspired by events by the Westman Islands in 1984, when fisherman Guðlaugur Friðþórsson managed to safe his life as his boat Hellisey went down, by swimming a distance of about six kilometers to Heimaey island, with the sea temperature about 6 degrees Celsius.

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A writer for this site, integral in its shaping, as well as an avid traveler and a Reykjavik local, I have a fair knowledge of the country and traveling. Good in languages, have a BA in English. Other interests: Music, films, coffee houses, swimming, politics, health and humanitarian issues, folklore, anthropology, arts, poetry, culture, nature, hiking, history etc. I would be happy to direct you to good tours and recommend cool stuff. The opinions that I express on my blog are solely my own.

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