Opening performance of RAF 2013

The opening act for The Reykjavík Art Festival 2013 was a performance piece called The Vessel Orchestra by artist Lilja Birgisdottir. She conducted an original live musical score that was composed for and played by all the various ship horns in the Reykjavik Harbor. Lilja transformed the everyday, in this case the sound of the boats in the harbor, into an elevated communal experience capturing the city’s water space as fundamental to its identity as place. Lilja performed on the Reykjavík harbor using a walkie talkie to comunicate with the 15 captains on the 15 ships that took part in the piece, some who sailed in the harbor especially for the event.

The artist research on Ship horns as insturments led her to the conclusion that every shiphorn had its each note. With that information Lilja recorded ship horns around the harbor and began working on an composition. To help her in the process artist Úlfur Hansson came into the plot and together they made the Vessel Orchestra.  The composition could be heard all around Reykjavík with the boats located in and around the harbor.