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New government-backed initiative offers 25% rebate to international artists using Icelandic recording studios

New government-backed initiative offers 25% rebate to international artists using Icelandic recording studios

Record in Iceland aims to open up the country's unique musical culture 

Iceland Airwaves delegates are invited to an exclusive tour of participating studios


Iceland's world-class recording studios and unique musical environment are to be opened up to overseas artists, songwriters, composers and audio-visual businesses thanks to a groundbreaking new initiative. 

Presented formally at Reykjavik's annual music showcase and industry festival, Iceland Airwaves (November 6th-9th), Record in Iceland will offer international creatives a 25% rebate on audio recordings made in Iceland, including travel and accommodation costs. 

Click here for the Record in Iceland promotional video, featuring Ólafur Arnalds, Markéta Irglová, Ben Frost and Ásgeir Trausti.

Reimbursement involves a short and straightforward application process, and Record in Iceland is open for music made for TV and film soundtracks as well as artist recordings. The flexible scheme will also incorporate rebates for foreign partnerships, where projects are part-recorded in multiple territories. 

A detailed Q&A covering the application process and the eligibility criteria for Record in Iceland can be accessed here

Conceived by Iceland Music, the country's music export office, in collaboration with Promote Iceland, Reykjavik Music City and the Ministry of Industry & Innovation, the initiative involves any recording facility in Iceland, including the following studios: 

Operated by Bedroom Community's Valgeir Sigurðsson, Greenhouse Studio is a fully-equipped, purpose-built recording business nestled in the suburbs of Reykjavík, which also includes residential facilities. Artists who have recorded at Greenhouse include Kanye West and, more recently, Joan Shelley.

Established in 1975, and one of the oldest and and most respected studios in Iceland. Under the management of sound engineer and musician Gudmundur Kristinn Jonsson, Hljóðriti continues to attract the more prominent Icelandic artists, including Bjork, JFDR, Ásgeir and Pascal Pinon. 

Owned by Markéta Irglová (The Swell Season, "Once") and producer Sturla Mio Þórisson (Damien Rice, Owen Pallet, Tina Dico), Masterkey feels more like a comfortable residential home than a formidable studio, with rooms designated for talking, eating, recording, connecting, writing, playing and relaxing. 

SinfoniaNord specialises in orchestral recording for films, TV and the music industry, and is situated in Akureyri, in the far north of Iceland. The studio is based in the breathtaking music hall Hof, which is also home to the Sinfóníuhljómsveit Norðurlands orchestra.SinfoniaNord has already worked with prominent companies like Disney, Netflix, BBC and the History Channel.

The only Icelandic facility to incorporate analogue as well as digital recording, Studio Silo is situated within the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stöðvarförður on Iceland's East Coast. A professional five-room facility, it was designed by Acoustics Engineer and Designer John H. Brandt.

Housed in a former 1930s swimming pool, Sundlaugin, which was formerly owned and operated by Sigur Ros, comprises a large high-ceilinged recording room, four isolation booths, a control room and a vast range contemporary and vintage microphones and instruments. 

A short drive from central Reykjavik, Syrland defines itself as a "one stop shop" with over 30 years of experience. Capable of incorporating both intimate and ambitious projects, the facility has been used by major Icelandic artists (including Bjork and Of Monsters & Men) and has an ongoing relationship with the Iceland National Symphony Orchestra.   

To coincide with Record in Iceland's launch, international delegates travelling to Iceland Airwaves will be offered an exclusive tour of participating studios. This offer is limited to a limited number of individuals, and those interested should contact Anna Rut Bjarnadóttir.

Iceland Music MD, Sigtryggur Baldursson, said: 

"Because of our glorious isolation, Iceland has nurtured quite a unique music culture. But as well as developing a nation of poets and musicians, we also have a network of first-class recording studios, each with their own idiosyncrasies. 

"Until now, these studios have been something of a hidden secret, but our aim with Record in Iceland is to open these facilities to a far wider range of international artists and businesses, and to make them a compelling commercial proposition.  

Markéta Irglová, Academy Award winning composer and musician, and co-owner of Masterkey said: 

"I was supposed to come here for ten days to record, and I never left. Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and it's got everything that any capital city has, such as great culture and great food, and at the same time you can drive for ten minutes and be in beautiful nature with just nothing around you. It's pretty unique."


Sveinn Birkir Björnsson, Promote Iceland, said:

"It's exciting for us to be able to promote the Icelandic studios and the service at hand here in Iceland in this manner. It's our hope that Iceland becomes known as an inspiring recording location for international artists, just as it has become a well known filming location for international film makers." 

Since the post-punk era, Iceland has a long history of attracting overseas recording artists from The Fall to Blur, Will Oldham, Camille, Brian Eno, Oneohtrix Point Never, Feist, Coco Rosie, Blood Orange, Damien Rice, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Spiritualised and Kanye West. 

Iceland is also increasingly a destination for soundtrack composers. Trevor Morris' score for "Vikings" and Atli Örvarsson's score for both the Netflix film "How it Ends" and "The Perfect Guy" were recorded at SinfoniaNord. 

Despite its relatively small population (338,000), the country is renowned for its resonant musical culture and the stunning geographical beauty of its landscape. An increasingly popular destination for international touring artists, Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik, is only a 3 hour flight from London, 3h 30m from Berlin and 5h 30m from New York.  

Notable recent recordings made in Iceland include Joan Shelley's acclaimed album "Like The River Loves The Sea" (No Quarter) which was recorded at Greenhouse Studios and Iðnó Studios, and Helge's second album "Polar" (V2 Records Benelux), recorded at Sundlaugin and due for release on November 8th. 

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