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Be Like Björk: Iceland Unveils New 'Record In Iceland' Initiative
With the avant-garde future-pop of Björk, the dreamy post-rock of Sigur Rós, the moody piano loops of Ólafur Arnalds and the emotive indie rock of Of Monsters And Men, Iceland is birthplace of and home to small-yet-vibrant community of eclectic and experimental musicians.
Now, thanks to a new government-funded program called Record in Iceland, you too could find musical inspiration in the Northern Lights or expansive open spaces, to the tune of a 25 percent rebate towards recording costs, including travel and accommodations.
"[Iceland is] a very small place with a huge pool of ridiculously talented people," Australian-born, Reykjavík-based trippy soundscape composer/producer Ben Frost aptly said in the program's promotional video.
Notable Iceland music studios that could be your future creative home include Greenhouse Studios, where Frost works and Kanye West booked time in 2016 and Sundlaugin, where Sigur Rós recorded for years before they opened the space to other artists, which have included Irish crooner Damien Rice and Of Monsters And Men.
The application must be submitted by the producer of the project, which must be primarily recorded (at least 80 percent) in Iceland and released within 18 months. The majority of expenses, including studio costs, travel and accommodation for the primary performers and instruments, and the wages of additional performers, engineers, mixers and, of course, the producer.
More info can be found in the Q&A doc here and on their website (linked above). The document also notes that music made for film and TV can also be submitted for the refund.
Billboard notes the new program will be officially unveiled at Iceland Airwaves next month, the annual music showcase/industry fest in Reykjavík. They also point out the Nordic country has recently seen success with similar programs that have attracted filmmakers and TV producers, including from "Game of Thrones" and recent iterations of the Star Wars and Thor franchises.
"Because of our glorious isolation, Iceland has nurtured quite a unique music culture," Sigtryggur Baldursson, Managing Director of Iceland Music (Iceland's music export office) said in a statement. "Until now, these studios have been something of a hidden secret, but our aim with Record in Iceland is to open these facilities to a far wider range of international artists and businesses, and to make them a compelling commercial proposition."