A highlight of the festival was the acclaimed Norwegian musical outfit Sturle Dagsland, who created an expressive and progressively changing soundscape that exploded with both visual and aural drama. Utilising the environment at hand, this distinctive vocal performance was an artistic masterpiece of unrestrained ferocity and serenity, harmonised over an array of musical instruments and electronics; a truly unique approach that had the audience mesmerised and in awe.
The darker side
The darker side of Nordic sound was explored by Swedish electronic artist TMRW, whose deep-hitting bass and space-like noise fascinated the crowd amidst a visually stimulating light and smoke show. With her face masked by a visor, she embodied the overwhelming intrigue of an alien-being, teleported into a strange otherworldly dimension.
Hip Hop and Feminism
Meanwhile, Iceland’s Reykjavíkurdætur gave a slamming insight into women’s participation in hip-hop, exploring politics, feminism, sexual abuse and gender rights through their hard-hitting lyrics. The all-female group stunned the audience, highlighting the misogyny of the modern-day Western hip-hop scene and throwing its all too-often sexualised themes back at society with feminist power in an energetic uproar.
Greenlandic Hip Hop
Interestingly, this performance was juxtaposed by that of the Commonwealth Hip-Hop Collab, which featured Greenlandic producer Uyarakq and Tue Track from old-school Danish hip-hop group Malk De Koijn. This pairing saw Greenlandic rap meeting Danish hip-hop in an all-too-real examination of the sometimes strained cultural relationship between the two countries.
The spiritual side
The spiritual side of Finnish musical history was explored by Maari Kallberg and Ilona Korhonen, who recounted traditional tales of Kalevala – Karelian and Finnish oral mythology — through folk music and runo-song. The festival was also treated to a metaphysical piece of musical art by Finn Tuomas Rounakari in his fully acoustic performance, Shamanviolin. Using modified tuning and playing techniques with a traditional violin, Ruonakari appeared to evoke his inner self, uniting it with the audience around him.
Not like any other music festival
With such an array of diverse talent, it is very apparent that the Nuuk Nordisk Kulturfestival is not like any other music festival on the planet. The emphasis here is on strong messages related to Nordic culture itself, shaped and defined by the people in an unspoken manner. It is another way for the people of the North to explore the depths of their history, to embrace diversity and to work towards a future of unity. The Nuuk Nordisk Kulturfestival shows us that the invisible barriers that separate us can be obliterated, and that there is no better weapon to utilise than music.