Oct 1, 2009


Amiina are a Icelandic musical quartet. The four main members are Hildur Ársælsdóttir, Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir, Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, and Sólrún Sumarliðadóttir. They have been playing together since the late 90s.

If I could describe their music with a scene in a movie it would be of a lonely wolf walking around the snow trying to find it's lost family. It's strange that I can compare the bands music to that of a lost wolf but at the same time I can compare it to strong feelings of optimism. It depends what state of mind you are in when you first start to listen to Amiina. The emotion can go either way.

I had a chat to Sólrún Sumarliðadóttir of Amiina about their work:

Firstly, where are you all from?
We're all from Reykjavík, Iceland

Amiina is an interesting word. Does it mean anything in particular?

Well, it sort of gradually evolved from the word "anima" which was the name we used back when we were a string quartet studying in the Reykjavík College of Music

How long has everyone been playing together for?
We've worked together since the late 1990s...

I have read you all like to use a variety of different and unusual instruments. Is there any instrument that any of you would love to use in future projects? If so, why would you like to use them?
A full range glass-harmonica is something we'd love to try. We have a simple "glassophone" a good friend of ours made for us, but a big glass-harmonica would be really exciting to play.

Where do you find influences to create music. Could it be memories, nature, movies etc?
We pick up influences everywhere. It definitely doesn't have to be music related.

When creating music do you usually follow a step plan or do you all just let it come naturally?
When creating a new piece of music it's all in the flow. Later on when we're in the recording studio it's more likely that we follow some sort of plan.

You have recorded work with other icelandic band Sigur Rós, how was this experience for you? Do you all enjoy working with other artsits that share similair interests?
Our work with Sigur Rós the past 10 years has meant a lot to us, musically and otherwise. We always have fun working with the guys.
Collaboration in general is important to us. It's so rewarding to team up with other artists, getting to know different ways of working and sharing ideas

What has been your favourite live show as Amiina?
It's hard to pick one... We had a great time this summer playing in palazzos in Italy, lighthouses in Iceland and a beautiful cathedral in Ireland. Generally we enjoy playing in interesting and beautiful locations.

Are there any new musicians or bands you have been enjoying recently?

Check out our fellow Icelandic bands Sin Fang Bous and a jazz trio called K-Tríó! They're excellent.

Besides Amiina, what do you all enjoy doing?
Lots of things... Picking blueberries and porcini mushrooms have been a favorite lately, comes with the season!


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