Sundlaugin Studio (Home to Icelandic band Sigur Rós)

6 comments
Iceland, Music, Recording Studio, Sigur Rós, Sound, Travel

Sundlaugin Studio is a recording studio situated in the town of Mosfellsbær Seven miles east of Iceland’s Capital Reykjavík.

This place use to be a Swimming Pool until it was converted into a Recording studio and is currently owned by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós.

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Prior to my arrival i phoned the studio to ask Sound Engineer Birgir Jon “Biggi” Birgisson to see if a visit was possible?

He said this was fine.

Birgir Jon “Biggi” Birgisson has been the head Sound Engineer at Sundlaugin Studio since 2003. This is the man who basically holds the secrets to the Sigur Rós Sound.

 I explained that i was a fan and I wanted to see first-hand where artists like Sigur Rós and the Album Leaf record their Music.  I also wanted to get a feel for the area that surrounds the studio, It did not disappoint.

It was very generous of “Biggi” to let come inside and see the home of Sigur Rós, much appreciated.  This place has the same meaning to me as Beatles Fans have to Abbey Road.

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Sundlaugin Studio boasts a spacious, high-ceilinged Room perfect for recording Music.

Bib at Sundlaugin Studio

This is where Sigur Rós albums like ( ), Takk, Valtari, með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust and Kveikur were recorded, mixed and mastered by the Sound Engineer.

The Sundlaugin Studio also attracts other artists from outside of the country to record here.  Jimmy Lavelle otherwise known as ‘the Album Leaf’ has been here and recorded some of his best work – In a Safe Place and Into the Blue Again was recorded here.  There is an Icelandic atmosphere in these records.

Instrument

Liebmann Harmonium

Instrument.

Mellotron M4000

The Mellotron is an polyphonic tape reply keyboard and was developed in the 1960s.
Basically the sounds from this keyboard are live recordings from a live Orchestra and
other Musical arrangements recorded onto tape loops.  You simply press the key which
triggers the tape loop and it replicates the sounds of other instruments.  You could argue that this technically could be the first Sampler.

The Mellotron became hugely popular after ‘the Beatles‘ used it on various songs but
most importantly the track Strawberry Fields Forever.  The Moody Blues used it on Nights in White Satan, Led Zepplin on Stairway to Heaven and David Bowie adopted it for Space Oddity.

Modern bands such as Oasis, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Sigur Ros & Nine Inch Nails have demonstrated there is still a place in modern Music for the Mellotron.

I couldn’t possibly go into detail about each instrument the Studio has to offer but to understand the Studio Facilities and Equipment available click on the Studio Website Link:  http://www.sundlaugin.com

Bib standing in the Sigur Ros Studio.

Spacious main floor with four isolation-booths available

Me chatting to Birgir Jón %22Biggi%22 Birgisson 1

I chatted to “Biggi” about Icelandic Music, what inspired and influenced Icelandic artists like Bjork and Sigur Ros and asked him if he could recommend any CDs worth purchasing while i was in the country which he kindly did.

Three Icelandic Artists Biggi said to buy

Lucky Records Music Shop.

I went to Lucky Records the next day and purchased the three CDs (see above)

Area outside Sigur Ros Studio

Me and my friend Secretut enjoyed some Fish (Iceland is known for fresh fish) in a quaint cafe yards from the recording Studio.  A special thanks to her for her generosity – driving me there and back to Reykjavík and being an exceptional tour guide.

Inside wee resturant.

Secretut - Fantastic tour guide and bud.

Secretut – Fantastic tour guide and bud.

Álafoss - the fifth track on the band's "( )" album is nicknamed after this area.

Álafoss – the fifth track on the Sigur Ros “( )” album is nicknamed after this Waterfall & area.

Art Creations around Studio

 

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6 thoughts on “Sundlaugin Studio (Home to Icelandic band Sigur Rós)”

  1. Cheers. It was a fantastic day, one that’ll stick in the memory.
    Thanks to the generosity of Icelandic folk like Biggi & Secretut to make it possible.

    • Hello Kay,
      The Studio was not hard to find although i was quite fortuante because originally i was going to pay for a taxi to drive me there (I knew it was in town of Mosfellsbær which is seven miles east of Reykjavík) but my Icelandic tour guide Secretut kindly drove me there and back to Reykjavík. She said she felt like a tourist in her own Country because she had not been inside Sigur Rós Studio before 🙂

  2. Eleonora says:

    Hello, so a free visit of Sundlaugin Studio is possible? My dreams come true! I only have to call the studio before to go?

    • aos says:

      Hello Eleonora, I couldn’t possibly speak for Sundlaugin Studio but ringing and pre-arranging a visit with Biggi worked for me. It was fantastic first-hand to visit the studio and area, folk were friendly and made the trip to Iceland a little more special for me personally. I wish you good luck with your dreams.

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