Spilmenn Ríkínís

Spilmenn RíkíníFormed in 2006, Spilmenn Ríkínís, is a family band from Reykjavík, with a wide ranging repertoire. They are experts in the music that can be found in old Icelandic manuscripts and hymn books, as well as Icelandic folk songs. They play instruments that are believed to have been played in Iceland in the old days, and which were widespread in medieval Europe. As well as the traditional Icelandic langspil, they play harp, rebec, symphon and gemshorn (a sort of ocarina made from a goat or sheep's horn. They have constructed several of their instruments themselves. Their music takes us to a sound world of days gone by, that nevertheless still touches us deeply in the 21st century.

They say "It is impossible to tell whether the music sounds now as it did then, but singing that music and playing those traditional instruments, seems to awaken some long lost sound, as if we are rediscovering a reality that has been with us all along, without our knowledge."

Spilmenn Ríkínís take their name from Ríkíní a monk from somewhere in what is now the border area between France and Germany. He who travelled over to Iceland in the early 12th century, to teach singing in the cathedral at Hólar in northern Iceland.

The members of Spilmenn Ríkinís performing at Vaka this year will be:
Ásta Sigríður Arnardóttir -vocals, rebec, langspil and  symphon.
Marta Gudrún Halldórsdóttir - vocals, langspil, symphon and harp.
Örn Magnússon - vocals, symphon, langspil, and harp.

We are delighted that for the Vaka Festival in 2018,  Spilmenn Ríkínís will be joined by Norwegian musician and composer Birgit Djupedal, who plays the langeleik, the langspil's Norwegian cousin. Together, they will explore connections between the traditional music of their two countries.