The deacon of dark river

FIGURA Ensemble // foto: Hanne Budtz-Jørgensen

Experience a haunting ghost story at NJORD Biennale 2018, when FIGURA Ensemble invite you to join their children's concert, featuring opera singer and actor Joachim Knop as the chilling tale's narrator. 

The piece The Deacon of Dark River is based on the Icelandic folk tale Djákninn á Myrká and set to music by Danish-Icelandic composer Hugi Gudmundsson. Djákninn á Myrká is the best known legend in Iceland - an eerie and dark tale of love, death, and demons, which Gudmundsson has rewritten for a young audience in colaboration with Icelandic children's author Ragnheiður Gestsdottir.
The music conveys the legend by evoking the feelings and atmosphere of the the tale, and the narrator guides the audience through the ghost story. 

The Deacon of Dark River won first price in Nordic Music Days’ composition competition in 2013 and has since then been translated and performed in Finnish, Swedish, English, and Icelandic. NJORD Biennale has commissioned a brand new version of the work, rewritten for FIGURA Ensemble and in Danish. This new version will have its premiere Saturday at NJORD Biennale 2018.

FIGURA Ensemble is an outstanding musical collective. Over the past 24 years, FIGURA has challenged both collaborators and audiences with their execptional concerts and vigourous, modern vocal drama, not to mention their children's workshops aimed at young music lovers. The work that the ensemble does with and for children will take centre stage at this year's NJORD biennale, when FIGURA presents a new kind of children's workshops.  

Before each performance of The Deacon of Dark River, FIGURA conducts a children's workshop, where the children - together with the experienced ensemble - create a new, musical intro to the concert, taking its point of departure from the children's own ideas about 'frightening sounds'. The workshop centres on the timbral aspects that constitute the sinister and the ghastly, and the result of the workshop will help set the mood for the ghost story. 

Hugi Gudmundsson // foto: Dagur Gunnarsson

The Deacon of Dark River

Saturday 27/1

10.00 Children's workshop w. FIGURA
w. FIGURA Ensemble & Joachim Knop 

13.00 Children's workshop w. FIGURA
w. FIGURA Ensemble & Joachim Knop 

The workshop is free but registration is required. 


The concert is aimed at children aged 6-11 and their families


The deacon of dark river has been translated into danish by GERT MADSEN 
Composed by HUGI GUDMUNDSSON (Premiere)


FIGURA Ensemble // foto: Niels Hougaard


The concerts have received funding from Frederiksberg Municipality

NJORD | Jan 30 – Feb 02 2020 | Copenhagen

NJORD is Copenhagen's biennale for new Nordic music and art. The biennale brings together composers, visual artists, musicians, poets, and directors in Nordic collaboration on a number of cross-artistic projects.