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Anna Maria

Anna María Björnsdóttir is an Icelandic vocalist based in Copenhagen/Iceland. She studied at FÍH school of Music in Reykjavík and in Rythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. She released her debut album Saknað fornaldar in 2012. She wrote the music on the album to old Icelandic poems. Anna María will release her second soloalbum in fall 2014, where she wrote music to love poems that her grandfather wrote to her grandmother over the period of 60 years. Anna María sings also in the Nordic vocal improvisation band, IKI. With IKI she won a Danish Music Award in 2011 for their first album.

Saknað fornaldar

Music to old Icelandic poems

Saknað fornaldar is Anna María’s first solo album, which will be released late 2012. The album is named after one of the poems and is Icelandic for “Longing for the ancient times”. She started working on the music in 2009 while she was studying at the Rythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. Being away from Iceland got her interested in her roots there, and she started reading through old poetry books she inherited from her grandparents. She composed all the music on the album to old Icelandic poems she found in these books, except two of them which she wrote to poems by a young Icelandic poet, Sölvi Björn Sigurðsson. In Copenhagen she discovered that almost all of the poets had lived in Copenhagen at some point, 100-300 years earlier. The poetry books had also been printed by young students in Copenhagen around 1940, when Anna María’s grandparents lived in Copenhagen. Iceland and Denmark work mysteriously together on the album and bind together emotions and thoughts of the Icelandic people over hundreds of years. Anna María got guidance from Hilmar Jensson, guitarist and improviser, throughout the project.

The poets:
Matthías Jochumsson (1835-1920)
Sigurjón Friðjónsson (1867-1950)
Eggert Ólafsson (1726-1768)
Tómas Guðmundsson (1901-1983)
Jón Thoroddsen (1818-1868)
Sölvi Björn Sigurðsson (f. 1978)

Instrumentalists:
Hilmar Jensson guitar
Matthias Hemstock drums and percussion
Tómas Jónsson hammond, wurlitzer and synthesizer
Valdimar Olgeirsson electric bass
Þórdís Gerður Jónsdóttir cello
Þórir Jóhannsson double bass
Anna María voice, piano and harmonica

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