Birth of an island
Corinne works at the Digital Marketing department of a French telecommunication company. Her first contact with Iceland was back in 1989. She heard the song « Birthday » by the Sugarcubes while staying in the Big Apple. She bought the album « Life’s too good » in NYC. While reading through the credits, Corinne found out the band came from a small island in the North Atlantic. Back home she took an atlas from a shell to have a closer look.
Before putting a first step on volcanic ground, she could not predict that Iceland would grab her attention that much for so many years.
“Björk is by far the best ambassador for Iceland”, says Corinne:
Icelandic music 4ever
In 2005 she travelled for the first time to Iceland. It was a real cataclysm to experience all the landscapes of the Björk and Sigur Rós videos in 3D. It took her a while to recover, although the trip gave her a boost of energy. With more than 20 compact discs in her suitcase, which she bought at the 12Tónar record store, and a passion for Icelandic music ever since, she left Keflavík Airport.
Since 2009 she brings a yearly visit to attend the Iceland Airwaves festival. A good alibi !!! But now she’s even more often on a trip to Iceland ! This year she’s coming as well for the Sónar Reykjavík and Secret Solstice festivals.
Corinne wrote a review of the Airwaves ’13 festival for the Icelandic magazine for French speaking people “Le Pourquoi Pas”:
When I asked for her favorite musicians, she mentioned artists such as Retro Stefson, Mammút, Samaris, Biggi Hilmars, Berndsen and an artist who became a personal friend, namely Hermigervill, the mysterious one. She made a documentary about him during Airwaves ’14. “An incredible friendly, funny, intelligent artist with a musical passion.”
Watch the 2 documentaries by Corinne about Hermigervill here (with English subtitles)
I asked for her favourite song and album.
But Björk’s Jóga, with the music video made by Frenchman Michel Gondry, made her feel in love with the pure island full of surprises. She wanted to stand with her feet on the black beach. When she succeeded, she felt like realizing a dream and a strong attachment with Iceland. “I found a place where I could recharge my batteries.”
Concerts à gogo
“The best concert I ever witnessed was Björk’s « Biophilia » gig at Harpa in 2011. A full circle. A big gift for myself : to see Björk singing in her native country. To be in Reykjavik while Björk was performing in front of me… in a very small venue.”
“In France I’ve seen a lot of Icelandic bands and artists performing. But the best gig I’ve been to, was the concert by Retro Stefson in 2013 in L’Espace B venue in Paris. They succeeded in getting a French audience in Paris to move, dance and jump. At that gig I saw Hermigervill, in the audience with some other Icelanders. My attention grew, so I wanted to know more about le mystère Hermigervill”.
Hot in Iceland
“When in Iceland, I like to go to the hot pots or in the thermal swimming pools. Her most favorite spot are the natural spas at Jarðböðin close to Mývatn. When in the capital area, she prefers Árbæjarlaug swimming pool, with that fantastic panorama.”
“I like Skyr, during the 5th edition of the Air d’Islande Festival I organized the first ‘Skyr Party’ in France. It was an opportunity for the people to enjoy the Icelandic version of Proust’s ‘madeleine’ (famous pastry). I want to organize a second party in 2015.”
“There is one mountain that inspires me in Iceland. It’s not the most beautiful one, but it’s the one I love. It is ‘Esja, my love’ (Esja, mon Amour) It’s the code name for my exhibtion with sketches and paintings that I would like to have in a couple of years. One day!”
Corinne is the president of the Iceland Islande Collectif.
“It is a fanpage that exists since 2009. Born to spread my passion and to have a test laboratory for my job in Digital Marketing. During the time I had some connections with other people with the same passion for Iceland (and its music) and with French people living in Iceland. So I’m saying hello to these people during every stay. We are ageing as a group now.”
Corinne has a strong relationship with the founders of the magazine ‘Le Pourquoi Pa’ and the ‘Association France Islande’ and the festival ‘Air d’Islande’. There is some synergy are complementarity between all of them.
Get to Iceland
“In less than 3 hours you can fly with different companies to Iceland from Paris. The collectif helps people preparing their trip to Iceland.”
Get to France
“The most awesome event each year is the festival Air d’Islande, bringing Icelandic artists to France.”
An interview by Ari Allansson for the magazine “Le Pourquoi Pas” about the festival can be found here:
“I would like to realize a documentary about my favorite artist Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir. I had the chance to meet her in 101 in 2013. I want to spread my passion by introducing her to the French audience. It’s a pity that she never had an exhibition in France so far.”
More information about French-Icelandic stuff can be found here :
– Wim Van Hooste