Gefjun & Ríma (IS)

Kristín, Rósa María and AnnaWhen: Friday at 21:00
Where: Græni hatturinn 

Gefjun and Ríma are societies for kvæðamenn which are the performers of kvæðalög, the tunes accompanying the traditional narrative epic poetry (rímur) as well as shorter poems composed in one of the 450 rímur-meters. Kvæðalög are traditionally performed by a single kvæðamaður which makes possible the characteristic irregular rhythm and personally applied melisma. Although kvæðalög are the main focus of the societies they also sing other kinds of traditional Icelandic vocal music. Typically kvæðamenn are not professional musicians but amateurs motivated by the passion for their tradition. The mission of the societies is to maintain the performance of kvæðalög as a living tradition by learning, teaching and performing.

Örlygur (Ríma)Gefjun is a kvæðamanna-society in Akureyri established in 2005. Gefjun focuses mainly on learning, teaching and performing traditional kvæðalög, with personal and often theatrical interpretation by individual kvæðamaður, as well as group performance. It is a close nit group of 33 kvæðamenn some of which learned the traditional kvæðalög from their parents or grandparents. They meet once a month from September through June but more frequently when rehearsing for particular performing events.


The kvæðamanna-society of
Ríma is based in Fjallabyggð. It was formally established in 2011, but is based on much older societies of kvæðamenn in the area. Ríma's main focus is not only on kvæðalög, but also on Tvísöngur (quint-songs) which is a most remarkable Iceland's musical traditions. Tvísöngur has two voices moving for the most part in parallel fifths, utillizing voice-crossings at irregular intervals and is typically in the Lydian mode. Ríma also enjoys harmonizing Icelandic folk songs as well as personal interpretations of kvæðalög by individual kvæðamaður. The kvæðamenn of Ríma meet on average once a week during the winter months and perform for tourists and on special occasions in the summer time.

Gefjun Ríma