About

In 1929 the society Iðunn was formed in Reykjavík. The aim of the society was to preserve the tradition of Rímur-chanting and the majority of its members were people who had moved to the city from the countryside and missed the old times when the evenings at the farms were passed by listening to the old epic songs. The memory of the communal sleeping loft, or baðstofa, where the traditional chores of weaving, spinning and knitting were enlivened by the chanter or kvæðamaður, was lovingly recreated and people gathered together to chant the old rímur and started to think of ways of preserving the heritage. The society became a sort of living museum in itself, people from different parts of the country came forward with different strands of the tradition and finally in the years 1935 – 1936 a new technology arrived that would be instrumental in recording this heritage for posterity. The silver-disk recordings from that period are still a vital part of the workings of the society: since then young people have listened to the recordings as they try to master the art of “kvæðaskapur”. Up to the present day the members of the Iðunn society meet once or twice a month and chant for each other and they have resolutely ignored passing fads or periods where their endeavours were at best labelled quaint and old-fashioned. This quiet activity went unnoticed for a number of years but of late more and more young peopleer have started looking for the origins of Icelandic music and in consequence have discovered the treasures so well preserved by the society. With this revived interest Iðunn has for the second time embraced an emerging technology and now has a presence on the internet, through the website www.rimur.is, where intested parties can access all sorts of information relating to the societies’ activities, the different metric structures of the rímur poetry, listen to old recordings and much more.

idunn[att]rimur.is

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