Mixing Super 8 and 16mm film in a cut and paste, homemade aesthetic, Grandma Lo-Fi pays tribute to Icelandic hometaping legend, Sigríður Níelsdóttir. At the tender age of 70 she started recording and releasing her own music straight from the living room. Seven years later she had made 59 albums, crafting an endless array of compositions using casio keyboards, kitchen implements, pets and toys. Before long she became an adored cult figure in the Icelandic music scene, represented here by her young apprentices Mugison, Múm, and Seabear.
All these charming lo-fi bossanovas scrambled up with her beautifully broken grandma voice, the cutlery on sugar box percussion, the purrs and meows and coos and howling of all her various pet animals that joined her in song… I am not exactly sure when and where I heard her music for the first time. But I do remember how enchanted I was. It was as if a completely new universe opened up to me, I had never heard anything like it. I called her one evening to ask her if she would like to play a concert in an old cinema by the Reykjavik pond, but she gently declined. She didn’t want to perform in front of people. Her cat, the broken winged pigeon she nursed for a while: Sure! But she wasn’t up for playing for people. If however, me and my friends would like to play her music live, then nothing would make her happier. So this is what I did. I called my friend Orri Jonsson and before we knew it we were in his band Slowblow’s garage, sipping rhubarb potions and doing our best to capture Sigrí.ur’s inimitable tunes on our instruments. This proved to be trickier than it seems, so we called Sigridur and asked if we could come visit and get a few pointers. A few biscuits and some cartons of chocolate milk later, we were completely charmed by this formidable firecracker and that’s when we decided we had to make a movie about her. Eight years later…
Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, Co-director
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