Ragnar Kjartansson is on the hunt for organists with singing chops—and a lot of endurance.
The Icelandic artist is developing an epic, five-week musical performance for the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. He conceived the piece—his first commission for a public collection in the UK—especially for a historic organ housed at the museum. The Sky in a Room is due to kick off in February. But first, the Icelandic artist must find a cast of 10 organists who can sing—in Italian.
Italian is required because the organists will be performing Il Cielo in una Stanza (The Sky in the Room), an Italian pop song the artist describes as “almost the Italian national anthem of love.” Martin Scorsese featured the romantic hit from the 1960s in the film Goodfellas and France’s former First Lady, Carla Bruni, has also sung the pop classic. The performers are expected to play the song more than 3,000 times over the course of the performance’s five-week run (February 3–March 11).
“We have a call out” for organists with good voices and lots of stamina, says Karen MacKinnon, the director of the Cardiff-based art foundation Artes Mundi, which has co-commissioned the work with the national museum. “It’s quite a lot to ask.” The work is the first performance ever acquired by the Wales institution. Read more