is a series of Icelandic / Canadian music, film, dance, visual art, book and theatre events curated and produced by a group of local artists with ties to Iceland.
LAYLOW / LEIF VOLLEBEKK / CHRISTINE FELLOWS
First Lutheran Church
núna (now) is thrilled to present the sublime Icelandic alt-country songstress Lay Low with Montreal’s multi-instrumentalist balladeer Leif Vollebekk and very special guest Christine Fellows of Winnipeg. The concert will be presented in the First Lutheran Church, a beautiful venue with deep roots in the Winnipeg Icelandic community.
Born in London to a Sri Lankan father and Icelandic mother, Lay Low’s musical abilities stretch as far as her geographical heritage. Melding blues folk and a little honky tonk bop with a trip hop twist, Lay Low is musically playful and lyrically delightful. In performance, she exudes warmth and radiates sincerity that creates a profoundly personal experience. Lay Low’s debut Please Don’t Hate Me became the bestselling original album in Iceland, winning 3 Icelandic Music Awards. After her second album, Farewell Good Night’s Sleep, Lay Low was named one of the best discoveries of 2008 by iTunes.
Leif Vollebekk is a Montreal-based singer-songwriter with an enchanting voice. He sings gently plucked, sparsely arranged ballads in both French and English. Vollebekk has a great sense for melody and arranging and he’s a gifted multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar and piano, harmonica and violin.
Winnipeg singer/songwriter Christine Fellows has released five critically acclaimed solo albums to date, most recently Femmes de chez nous (cd) and Reliquary/Reliquaire (dvd), a bilingual studio album and award-winning performance film (Six Shooter Records, 2011). An avid interdisciplinary collaborator, Fellows often works with visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and musicians from all disciplines to create performance works, scores and spectacles.
From the Gimli Lutheran Church website;
“The first Gimli Lutheran Church (left) was constructed in 1877 while the current facility was built in 1952, more than 75 years after the construction of the first Lutheran Church in the community .
After the arrival of the first settlers in 1875, the question of opening the community to non-Icelandic settlers, and religion were issues hotly debated in the community. Many of the colonists desired the leadership of the Reverend Pall Thorlaksson, conservative leader of the Icelanders in the United States. A member of the Norwegian Missouri Lutheran Synod, which discouraged either pastor or congregation from doctrinal re-interpretations. Thorlaksson arrived in New Iceland in 1877.
The Reverend John Bjarnason of Minneapolis also accepted a call to organize congregations in New Iceland from colonists who wished to secure the services of an Icelandic Pastor not bound to any synod. Bjarnson was an advocate of opening the colony to non-Icelandic settlement, holding the view that the New Iceland site, with its abundant natural resources could thrive. Reverend Pall Thorlaksson, however, was convinced the colony would inevitably fail, and therefore stood for the preservation of links with the Norwegian Lutheran Synod and the traditional Icelandic Lutheran ways.
Differences of opinion between the two finally subsided when Pall Thorlaksson led a mass exodus of the colonists to newly opened land in North Dakota in 1879. At the height of this movement, many farmers, frustrated by the rocky, unproductive land in New Iceland, left, and only 50 of the original 200 families remained in the entire settlement.”