All Hail Sigur Ros!

posted in: Eban's Blog | 0

Want to know something funny? I am not the biggest Sigur Ros fan. As a matter of fact, the only time I hear Sigur Ros is when their music comes on my Brian Eno Pandora channel. Even then, every once in a while I skip the song.

So, you may be asking why the hell I would use a title like, “All Hail Sigur Ros!”

It really is simple. Even though they are not among my favorites, I do consider them talented, and I do let their songs play from time to time on Pandora. Still, the reason I wrote that title is the concept of Sigur Ros. I am in love with the concept.

Maybe it is because I play guitar. Maybe it is because I like classical music so much. Maybe it is a lot of things. But when I listen to music, the lyrics just do not mean a whole lot to me. I seldom pay attention. I just like the flow. Sigur Ros manages to turn the voice into another instrument. It adds to the overall feel and spirit of the tune. They came up with their own language called Vonlenska, translated as Hopelandic. This is a bit from Wikipedia.

Vonlenska is a term used to describe the unintelligible lyrics sung by the band, in particular by Jón Þór Birgisson. It is also commonly known by the English translation of its name, Hopelandic. It takes its name from “Von”, a song on Sigur Rós’s debut album Von where it was first used.

Vonlenska is a non-literal language, without fixed syntax, and differs from constructed languages that can be used for communication; it lacks grammar, word meaning, and even distinct words. Instead, it consists of emotive syllables and phonemes; in effect, Vonlenska uses the melodic and rhythmic elements of singing without the conceptual content of language. In this way, it is similar to the use of scat singing in vocal jazz. The band’s website describes it as “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music”.[21] Most of the syllable strings sung by Jón Þór Birgisson are repeated many times throughout each song, and in the case of ( ), throughout the whole album.

I love that!

All too often songs are from up and coming stars that have not lived a lot. I am not interested in their take on the world. Often artists have an agenda, I have no interest in that. Love songs? Give me a break.

Yes, some songs do have great lyrics, but even then I can take them are leave them. Songs for stage and musicals are the exception.

Making the voice another part of a song without me having to think about anything is just a grand idea. I don’t want to know what upsets Chester Bennington–which is obviously a lot, anymore than I care what is bothering Eddie Vedder. Britney, my head hurts just anticipating what may come out of her mouth.

Even when I catch myself thinking of songs, songs that I actually know the lyrics, I still come up with my own internal elevator music version in my head. (my in-head EM is kickass, seriously)

I do wish I liked Sigur Ros more. What I am really wishing is that more bands would follow their lead and produce some “voice as instruments” songs.

The music is where all the emotion is for me.

 Still, I will always listen to Bowie, or Reznor, or Pink Floyd, and many others, lyrics and all. Old school punk is also great. Lots of raw anger. Raw I can take. Most others, meh.

Give me gibberish any day. Seriously.

(And yeah, I understand this is a weird stance from someone who loves music so much, but life is sometimes strange)

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