Phonemes – Icelandic Music Awards 2020

Phonemes – Exhibiting Music, which took place at Hafnarborg from January 26th–March 3rd of last year, has been nominated as The Music Event of the Year (Single Event) in the field of classic and contemporary music at The Icelandic Music Awards 2020. The judges‘ statement about the nomination says the following: „An exiting and original exhibition with a captivating opening concert. Working with the interplay of music and space, Jennifer Torrence‘s performance of Nine Bells by Tom Johnson was particularly successful.“

The exhibition celebrated the fifth anniversary of the concert series of the same name, which is dedicated to contemporary music and has been a part of the Hafnarborg programme since 2013. At the opening of the exhibition, Jennifer Torrence performed Nine Bells, as mentioned in the judges‘ statement, but the performance of the same work at the concert series in autumn 2016 (then by Frank Aarnink) was the spark that would later lead to the exhibition, where music and visual arts encountered each other in the timeless space of the museum.

The artists participating in the exhibition were Ásta Ólafsdóttir, Steina, Steinunn Eldflaug Harðardóttir, Logi Leó Gunnarsson, Jón Gunnar Árnason, James Saunders, Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, Magnús Pálsson, Tom Johnson, Curver Thoroddsen and Einar Torfi Einarsson. The curator was Þráinn Hjálmarsson, composer and artistic director of the concert series.

In connection with the exhibition, there was also an extensive programme of concerts, musical events and performances, featuring local and foreign artists and musicians, such as Haraldur Jónsson, Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Marko Ciciliani, Barbara Lüneburg, Skerpla, Berglind M. Tómasdóttir and more. The events were also a part of the programme of Dark Music Days, receiving four nominations at this year‘s award ceremony.

Hafnarborg sends sincere thanks to the judges and affiliates of The Icelandic Music Awards for the honour shown to the institution, as well as the participants of the exhibition.