Icelandic music has a long, rich tradition. Going back 1,000 years to the sagas and edas of the Vikings, passed down through the ages as song, it's no wonder that contemporary Icelandic music has an element of the spiritual. Screaming Masterpiece showcases the variety of contemporary music coming out of this tiny remote country.
Screaming Masterpiece showcases the variety of bands emerging from Iceland. Though they come from similar backgrounds with shared influences, their approaches to music wildly vary. From the ethereal organs and synthesisers of Johann Johannson to the rap/rock styles of Quarashi (who sound surprisingly like the Beastie Boys) to the quirky indie rock of Slowblow, what these bands really share is integrity. They form a collective of musicians, inspiring each other, playing off each other's sounds and collaborating on side projects.
The film features live performances of each of the bands it highlights, from well-known act like Sigur Ros, Múm and Björk to local favorites like Singapore Sling and Anima. Interviews are conducted with not only the musicians, but local historians and film makers, to give context to the contemporary movement. We see Edas sung in traditional styles and pieces of a documentary about Icelandic Punk in the early 1980s. It becomes apparent that Iceland music is nothing new, the rest of the world is finally learning about it.