Check out this video from the release of the album at Rockwood Music Hall.
#1 Obviously, it happens in the elbow of a person. In the words of Cady Huffman, it makes no sense to make a musical in the elbow of a person – but that’s sort of why you do it. And while you may think that a community in an elbow is not something that we would associate with our own lives, this story really delves into humanity in a way a musical in a more traditional place could not, free of constraints – free to get to the core.
#2 It‘s from Iceland, which has not been known for its musicals in the past. However, Iceland is known for its awesome music, its progressive culture, unique nature and peacefulness. All of this may have something to do with the creation of this musical.
#3 Even though this is the creator’s first musical, he has over the span of three years been able to get many great talents on board, from the award winning director to a Tony-winning actress and more. The piece has brought together a great group of people that believe in it. We’ll soon see if they are right.
#4 The concept album was just released in July and is getting great reviews, from reviewers claiming that this is a ‘musical gem’, ‘unique and awesome’ to statements that ‘music history’ is being made. You can judge for yourself if you listen on iTunes, Spotify or any other site where it is available.
#5 It is original in every way. The story combines a Shakespearian twist with influences from Tarantino, Charlie Kaufman and Dr. Seuss. But none of these comparisons really can explain what you will experience. You will have to see for yourself.
#6 One review of the concept album stated that even though the thought of an ‘indie rock’ musical was quite off-putting, you would be pleasantly surprised by Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter. The music of the piece is grand and epic. It is emotional – just the right kind of music to tell a story. If the show is anything like the album, you will be able to hear into the hearts of the great performers.
#7 Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter touches upon some of the most important issues of modern society, showing the system we have built around power and how well-intentioned and kind-hearted individuals act within it. This play does not preach. You will be able to make up your own mind.
We were able to talk to the cast and creative after the first week of rehearsals. This video is the result.
A new review for the concept album from RUST Magazine:
“What makes this project so significant is that Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter is a true contemporary rock opera on the level to masterpieces like Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. The artists involved are stunningly talented and it seems like they were able to accomplish an extreme projection of themselves in the music, bringing out their very best. Moving across expansive and varied tempos and colors, what’s so fantastic about this album is that there is just so much there to hear. It’s so complex and vibrant, and just so good it is clearly destined to make a permanent statement in music history.
This is music that will unite people everywhere because of what the artists have collectively accomplished. Ívar Páll Jónsson has attracted some of the very best creative people in his home country as well as the United States purely by the virtue of the greatness of his music. It’s music that is so good, and so inspiring that people have come together to make it happen in ways both large and small. No detail is too small, and no load is too heavy for these artists who have their community pride and love embedded in this album.
The many, many people who have brought Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter to life are examples of the best, most dedicated, most talented, and most highly inspired and visionary artists of our modern world. We commend them and congratulate them on this special album. This is an amazing accomplishment and it’s some of the best music our world has ever heard. The inspiration behind the music is genius and the collected community effort to realize it will provide a testament to the best of our age for all time to come.”
Check out RUST Magazine.
Ívar Páll Jónsson is the creator of Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter. We asked him six questions.
- What is your favorite color?
I just recently realized that I don’t have a favorite color. From an early age, you are programmed to believe that you should like one color more than the other ones. When asked, I used to reply “blue” or “red”, but it is not until now that I have the confidence to just tell it like it is. I do not have a favorite color.
- Do you use shampoo?
When I was a kid I went swimming in the countryside with my family, somewhere in the south of Iceland, where it looks like California during the summer and Siberia during the winter. When we arrived at the pool, we realized that we had forgotten our bottle of shampoo back at the cottage we had rented. So, my father went into a small shack, a sort of a kiosk, where he was welcomed by the owner, a man in his eighties. My father asked if he had any shampoo. “Shampoo? Is that a new soda?” the old man replied. But yes, I use shampoo.
- Are you a light sleeper?
Sometimes. If I go to bed too early I tend to wake up in the middle of the night. My three year old daughter has a habit of waking me up and asking to be tucked in, so sometimes I’m a bit tired when I wake up in the morning.
- Why Revolution?
I simply took the “R” from “Ragnar Agnarsson” and added the “evolution” from “Revolution”.
- In all seriousness, how did you come up with this?
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure how I did. It was an idea that slowly surfaced, around three and a half years ago. I knew the story I wanted to tell, but I was uncertain on the setting. So, I wrote down a few surreal ideas and chose the elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson furniture painter over the others. Then I made the outline, wrote the songs, wrote the synopsis and the script. Piece of cake. No, not really, it’s been a never-ending process of rewriting the script and writing new songs since then.
- Tell us about the team working on Revolution.
I’m frankly amazed at the amount of talent that the project has garnered. At the first stages I was lucky enough to get in touch with Stefan Orn, who produced the songs and serves as a Musical Supervisor/Director in the production. He is an awesome musician, both technically and creatively. Then of course there is Bergur Ingolfsson the director, who has such a clear vision of what he wants in theatre. He has such a sense of drama and comedy and he is a sweeping personality. Lee Proud, our choreographer, is a true artist, both in terms of creativity and professionalism. He is our Dance General. Petr Hlousek, our set designer, is a brilliant mind with a clear vision and amazing technical abilities.
The team of producers is a collection of guys who understand the art, they basically “get it”. No questions asked. Karl Petur Jonsson has done an amazing job in steering the ship to its destination, Gunnlaugur Jonsson has been instrumental in the whole process and Oskar Eiriksson has been priceless in his support. I also want to mention Jill Bowman, our wonderful General Manager, who has been efficient and energetic in her job.
The cast is awesome, and I hope that’s an indicator of the awesomeness of the piece that all these talented actors, dancers and singers are drawn into it. I can’t wait for rehearsals to start, so I can watch how the project develops in the brilliant hands of all those talented people.
RUST Magazine: “Hey folks we have a really – and we mean really – cool music thing happening to tell you about. It’s one part album, one part stage production and all awesome. To be honest we haven’t gotten too deep into this yet, so we don’t have a review ready, today we just want to spread the word and let people know what’s happening. Because that’s what we do at RUST.This Icelandic project is already getting really good reviews and feedback and you can listen to the songs on their webpage and we encourage y’all to do so forthwith! This is the kind of project that is relevant globally and it’s one of those things that people will wish they had experienced, but which could be missed in the fast clutter of our world. Great, unique, inspired projects like this are rare and fleeting. Catch the butterfly!” More at RUST Magazine