Sigur Rós have announced their next album Odin’s Raven Magic which features orchestral work from Schola Cantorum of Reykjavik and L’Orchestre des Laureats du Conservatoire national de Paris. To give fans a sense of what the album is about, they have released the first single today “Dvergmál.”
Odin’s Raven Magic is a collaboration between the band and Icelandic musician Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, as well as Steindór Andersen, a fisherman and an Icelandic chanter of the traditional epic narrative. Former member Kjartan Sveinsson, and Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir from the band amiina handled much of the orchestral and choral arrangement.
The album was born out of Hilmarsson’s fascination with the Icelandic tale entitled Hrafnagaldur Óðins, or Odin’s Raven Magic, named after the Norse god’s two ravens. It tells of the end of world of both gods and men.
“Hrafnagaldur Óðins has lots of interpretation and implications that fire up the imagination,” says Hilmarsson. “It’s a very visual poem, with images all about falling down, and a world freezing from north to south. It was an apocalyptic warning. Perhaps the people of the time felt it in their skins. Today, of course, Iceland is involved in environmental issues surrounding hydro-electric power and the destruction of the highlands. We are being warned again.”
Odin’s Raven Magic was first commissioned for the Reykjavik Arts Festival in 2002 and performed only a handful of times that year before being largely stowed away. Now it is getting a proper release, though it will be a live recording from Paris’ La Grande Halle de la Villette. The year when it was recorded has not been disclosed.
Pre-order the album here which will be released on Krunk, via Warner Classics, on December 4, 2020. See the tracklist below.
2. Alföður orkar
4. Stendur æva
5. Áss hinn hvíti
6. Hvert stefnir
7. Spár eða spakmál