Courtesy of Samantha West
Despite having few live shows or concerts available to him while growing up in Iceland, Valgeir SigurÃ°sson still found his career in music.
SigurÃ°sson is scheduled to play at the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Performance Space Sunday at 7 p.m. as part of the Next @ Wex series.
“I’m probably quite unusual in a way where growing up, I didn’t have a lot of access to live music,” SigurÃ°sson said. “It was a lot of discovering of my own.”
As part of the Next @ Wex series, the Wexner Center looks for artists who are up and coming in their industry.
Jennifer Wray, marketing and media assistant at the Wexner Center, said the goal of the series is to bring in young indie artists and break out bands. For the series, the Wexner Center also searches the world for the best in their respective fields.
“We are looking at the kind of bands that self-identify as artists,” said Charles Helm, director of performing arts at the Wexner Center.
Musicians, such as SigurÃ°sson, who see their music as an art style as well are specifically brought in for the series.
“In this case it’s someone from Iceland who is both critically acclaimed for his personal work and his collaborations with others,” Wray said.
SigurÃ°sson has worked with Icelandic singer BjÃ¶rk, whose full name is BjÃ¶rk GuÃ°mundsdÃ³ttir, and Feist, whose full name is Leslie Feist, as well as composing and engineering music and scores for TV and films and creating three solo albums.
“The opportunity to collaborate and work with different projects and different artists is fascinating,” SigurÃ°sson said.
It was through his work with other musicians that he began to see the need for his own label. He said after working on records with others who already had labels of their own, he realized the need for a new label.
Thus, Bedroom Community was born.
Bedroom Community is SigurÃ°sson’s personal label.
“I found myself sometimes coming across music that I wanted to be a part of, that I wanted to be involved in, wanted to put my time into that didn’t have any obvious way to be released,” he said.
Through the creation of his own label, he also began to create more serious music.
“At the same time I was also thinking I should get more serious with this music I’m writing and take my focus into that and release this music,” SigurÃ°sson said.
Since Bedroom Community’s beginning in 2006, it has taken on seven more artists in addition to SigurÃ°sson, and become a major name within the Icelandic music scene.
“I know of his reputation because he is really one of the driving forces of this (Bedroom Community) in Iceland,” Helm said. “It’s really a meeting place for artists and musicians in Iceland.”
Through his label, SigurÃ°sson created a forum for music that otherwise would be unfound.
“It started to make sense to me to maybe just create a label that could be an outlet for these collaborations and my own ideas,” SigurÃ°sson said. “I didn’t really know a label that would be a better fit.”
His usual style of music is simplistic, and for his performance at the Wexner Center, he will partner with viola player from New York, Nadia Sirota.
“It’s a fairly stripped down duet between the two of them,” Helm said. “It’s sort of between new, chamber music and the indie scene.”
Wray agreed that SigurÃ°sson’s music is intentionally not overdone.
“It’s deliberately stripped down,” Wray said.
The musician is known for his combination of electronic music and indie music.
“When I started writing my own music I used electronic equipment partly because I didn’t have people to play with and partly because those sounds interested me,” SigurÃ°sson said.
Because he began meshing the two genres together, he has been known to create music outside of genre limitations.
“I’ve never had to belong to or fit into anything, any particular scene or way of doing things,” SigurÃ°sson said. “I feel that’s just the way it’s natural to me.”
Tickets are available online through the Wexner Center for $15 and $13 for students.