I bought Sigur Rós Inni box set today – a splendid and beautifully packaged 105-minute double live album and a 75-minute film directed by Vincent Morisset.
The audio/visual spectacular was drawn from two dates at London’s Alexander Palace in November 2008. These are, to date, the final shows the band have played. They may not necessarily be the last ever as, rumour has it, that they are working on a new studio album. However, the new material apparently marks a new direction so the likelihood is the London concert is almost certainly the last time they will perform their current ‘greatest hits’.
The film is by no means a conventional concert movie. The grainy black and white images give the band a ghostly aspect; some of the shots wouldn’t be out of place in a David Lynch dream sequence. The effect is to present the amazing music in a kind of faded devotional format and keeps the enigma of the group intact.
I initially thought that the title, Inni, meant ‘hymns’ but it actually means ‘inside’ – the film is so called because Morriset wanted “create an emotional understanding of being in the room with the band and going ‘inside’ the music”.
Tracks are interspersed with brief archive film of interviews and early shows. None of this footage begins to explain where their extraordinary music comes from. When asked how their sound evolved by a NPR deejay, the band were unable to give a reply and the nearest we get to a definition of their music is the tongue in cheek label ‘serious heavy metal’.
The show climaxes as it does on their previous concert movie Heima, with ‘Popplagið’ which was originally united track 8 from the untitled album – ( ). This remains the definitive Sigur Rós track building from a quietly haunting melody towards a stunning and uplifting climax ; it is quite simply one of the best pieces of music ever recorded.