Valgeir Sigurdsson

Driving through the ash-black lava fields around Reykjavik airport to his home studio, the Greenhouse, the isolation that Sigurdsson’s clients agree to becomes clear. It is here in the suburban sprawl in the hills around the city, in a street built for artists in the 1970s, that he and Björk first conceived their philosophy of "domestic music".

"She would bounce crazy ideas off me, like making a song out of all the sounds in the kitchen. Quite early on, the conceptual side existed in [her Vespertine of 2001] : the intimacy of the vocal performance, and using chamber music, because that was created in the home."

Sigurdsson grew up in an Icelandic fishing town of 1,000 people. At nine, he learned to play guitar from his Anglophile cousins’ punk records. He soon moved on to Kraftwerk, Prince and classical music, and in his teens invested in a sequencer and drum machine. His break came when Björk invited him to engineer her songs for the Lars von Trier musical Dancer in the Dark (2000). By the end, as well as recording her soundtrack album, Selma Songs, he was synching her music into the film and recording a 90-piece orchestra.

’’People are proud of her. It’s good for us that the figurehead for Icelandic music is so odd and individual."

"She would bounce crazy ideas off me, like making a song out of all the sounds in the kitchen. Quite early on, the conceptual side existed in [her Vespertine of 2001] : the intimacy of the vocal performance, and using chamber music, because that was created in the home."