JUNE 23, 2008
Björk and Sigur Rós Team Up For Náttúra Concert
Icelandic Show To Be Webcast Live On Nat Geo Musicby Tom Pryor
On June 28th, 2008 Icelandic superstars Björk and Sigur Rós (pictured) will team up to perform a free concert in their hometown of Reykjavik. The Náttúra concert is a bid to raise awareness of the destruction of Iceland's natural landscape, and will be webcast live from from 7pm to 12pm GMT (3pm8pm EST) on Nat Geo Music.
The Náttúra concert will be an open-air event, held at the Botanical Garden on Laugavegur, near the center of Reykjavik, Iceland. The country boasts the largest unspoilt wilderness left in Europe, and 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.
"Too often battles being fought for nature turn into something negative and into mudslinging," Björk added in a recent press statement. "We will not go that way, we are not saying that this and that is forbidden, we are rather asking 'what about all these other possibilities?' The 21st century is not going to be another oil century but rather a century where we need to recycle, think green and design both power plants and our surroundings in harmony with nature."
The Náttúra concert will also spotlight 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 next month by Citizen Press and has already won the Icelandic Literary Award and the Icelandic Bookseller Prize.
Both headlining artists have recently finished a series of touring commitments, with Sigur Rós releasing their brand album on June 23 and Björk following 2007's Grammy-nominated Volta with a worldwide tour.