Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson’s a career as a professional musician dates back to the early ’70s. He’s worked with the likes of Björk, Current 93 and Psychic TV. As a composer he’s worked on more than twenty-five films, including the award-winning score for the Oscar-nominated Children of Nature.

He’s a longtime collaborator and friend of Sigur Rós and this year he designed a rune for their inaugural arts festival Norður og Niður which takes place on the shortest, darkest days of Iceland’s Winter later this month. The festival’s name translates as ‘may you go north and down’ which means telling someone or something to go to hell.

Hilmar is also the allsherjargoði – the “high priest” of the Ásatrúarfélagið – Iceland’s pagan religious church which he joined at the age of sixteen, shortly after it was founded. It’s a religion of respect and tolerance that reflects the Icelandic society and its values and we met him in Reykjavik during this year’s Iceland Airwaves festival to him to find out more about paganism.

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December 22, 2017