Iceland: Sigur Rós Nature Awareness Concert

Sigur Rós is coming to Japan later this month, and his concerts are already sold out. Here in Tokyo, they will play one extra gig, that's how popular this band has become all over the world. Yet, as we all know, Iceland is a small country in big economic trouble. Sigur Rós and Björk tried to raise awareness earlier this summer, preparing for the crisis. Below the fold is a Youtube clip from their Náttúra Concert on June 28, 2008 in Reykjavik.

The Náttúra Concert was intended to raise awareness of the destruction of Iceland's cherished natural landscape:

Náttúra is being organized as a response to the ongoing environmental degradation caused by Iceland's increasingly invasive aluminium smelting activity. Sigur Rós, who released its fifth album, "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust," this week, believes the issue of aluminum smelting in Iceland is one that can no longer be ignored. "We are not a political band and don't think musicians should set themselves as spokespeople on anything at all, but sometimes you see things going on in your own back yard and find that just as a human being you cannot stand by and do nothing. The changes that are going on in Iceland need to be the subject of debate and not snuck through the back door because no one lives in the wilderness and there is urban apathy or a general lack of awareness," said Sigur Rós vocalist Jón Thor Birgisson.

Learn more at the fantastic National Geographics World Music website. The Náttúra concert also spotlighted the book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual to a Frightened Nation by Andri Snær Magnason. The book, a best-seller in Iceland, is published in English by Citizen Press and has already won the Icelandic Literary Award and the Icelandic Bookseller Prize:

Dreamland is Andri Snaer Magnason's critique against the current decision taken by the Icelandic government to build out Iceland's rivers in order to produce energy that can be delivered to aluminium factories.

Written by Martin Frid at

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