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An exciting project with musicians from Poland


From the autumn of 2022, until April 2024, Funi is working on project called Wczoraj i dziś /Í gær og í dag  (Yesterday and Today) with the Foundation Academy of Ancient Music from Szczecin Poland.


The project explores the traditional folk music of each country and contemporary music growing out of those traditions, including new compositions.


The main elements of the programme will be three visits to Iceland by musicians from Szczecin and three visits to Poland by musicians from Iceland. The visits will include public concerts, workshops and lectures.


The first visit from Poland to Iceland took place from the 14th to 21st of November, when four members of the Szczecin Vocal Project, with their musical director Pawel Osuchowski, along with respected singer and musicologist Adam Strug visited Reykjavík.


In May 2023 we visited Szczecin, where we delivered a workshop about the traditional hymn singing traditions connected to the Pasíusálmur (Hymns of the Passion) of Hallgrímur Pétursson, and performed a concert, followed by a talk out, as part of the annual Szczecin Early Music Festival.

From September 7th to 11th, we visited Stargard, in Northwest Poland with our friend Ásta Arnardóttir, where we gave a workshop to music school students about the Icelandic langspil, an instrument that they had never heard of. On the 10th we gave a concert, celebrating women in Icelandic folk song, in the old cloister church at Marionowo.

Wczoraj i dziś /Í gær og í dag will be concluded with two concerts in Iceland on the 6th and 7th of April 2024. The varied instrumental and vocal programme will feature the first performance of 'Yesterday, today and tomorrow' a new piece by Bára for mixed choir and organ with text by Chris.

Kyndilberar / Torch Bearers - video series

Along with our good friend, Linus Orri Gunnarsson Cederborg, Chris works on a project called Vökufélagið. It's a network of people who are dedicated to building a vibrant, inclusive folk music and dance community in Iceland. Among other things Vökufélagið organises the annual Vaka Folk Festival in Reykjavík.


When it became clear that it was not possible to organise concerts or other live music events during the Covid pandemic, Vökufélagið shifted its focus to video production, because there is little to be found on the internet.

Here are a couple of videos from the series, with the unique Icelandic tvísöngur, two voice harmony style of singing.

Here's one with Chris singing with Linus Orri Gunnarsson Cederborg, co-organiser of Vökufélag and the Vaka Folk Festival.

Here's a clip of us performing at the 2022 Nordic Harp meeting in Turku, Finland.

New Funi album

Chris has been working on plans for recording our third full length Funi album. We have been casting our net wide and collecting together songs and rímur extracts that are very little known. Bára has also been writing new tunes for some of the texts. This process of discovering and then arranging hidden riches is one of the things that we love about working with traditional music, whether it's from Iceland or England.

We are adding a new dimension to this album project. 

As well as our usual song arrangements, with langspil, Íslensk fiðla, kantele and harmony vocals, we have been working with our friend Buzby Birchall of Hidden Sounds to make special recordings in the Icelandic landscape, in locations connected with the songs, so the sounds of the earth and sea that the songs first sprung from will be present, like veins of minerals through rock, throughout the album.


For the past few years, we have run a monthly open singing session in downtown Reykjavik. We now meet on the third Wesdnesday of each month, through the winter, at Söngskólinn í Reykjavík, which has a good room for singing (no surprises there) and onsite car parking too.

​The idea behind these sessions is to create a welcoming space and opportunity for people to come and sing together and to share and learn new songs. In particular we focus on the unique, traditional Icelandic Tvísöngvar, two part harmony songs, and the old dance ballads called Sagnadans or Vikivaki, which are largely overlooked in the wider Icelandic musical world.

Working with Groupa, from Sweden

In the summer of 2019, we were contacted by Mats Eden of the great Swedish band Groupa. They were making an album of their interpretations of Icelandic folk music. They visited Reykjavík for a few days and we had a great time showing them all sorts of examples Icelandic folk song tunes.

Armed with a pile of raw materials, they went home to work out what to do with it. They returned to record the album and they invited Bára to sing on the some tracks and also invited bass player Skuli Sverrisson and guitarist Hilmar Jensson to play on the album.

The album, Kind of Folk 3-Iceland was released on-line in the spring of 2020 and it is very good indeed.

​​We look forward to hearing the music on the album performed live here in Iceland.

​More about Groupa and the album here:

Kvæðamannafélagið Iðunn

Kvæðamannafélagið Iðunn was founded in 1929, by working people who were moving into Reykjavík from the countryside. They wanted to keep up their old ways of self made entertainment. It is one of the oldest established cultural organisations in Iceland and it is dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the traditional Icelandic​ singing and poetic styles associated with the Icelandic rímur tradition. Bára was first introduced to this venerable society by her parents, who were active members. They took her along to meetings and expeditions as a child and she has been involved with it to a greater or lesser extent ever since.

The first known rímur dates from the 14th century and the tradition continued as an important form of home entertainment in farms, right up to the 20th century, when big changes in Icelandic society and the arrival of home entertainment in the form of radio, and later on TV, led to its decline.


Bára has been the formaður (chairperson) of Iðunn since 2015. Now in this ninetieth anniversary year, the society is going from strength to strength as more people become interested in this unique and beautiful form of traditional ballads. The precise founding day of Iðunn was the 15th September 1929 and  the society marks the anniversary 'Dagur rímnalagsins' each year with a concert.

Details of all Kvæðamannafélagið Iðunn activities along with extensive archive recordings can be found on the society's website.

Regular folk music activities in Reykjavík


Part of our mission as Funi is to share our traditional music and to collaborate with other enthusiasts to encourage more people to get actively involved in singing, playing and dancing. We are involved in several regular opportunities to get involved with playing and singing folk music in the Reykjavík area.

Reykjavík Trad Sessions

For some years now, there have been regular weekly folk music sessions in downtown Reykjavík. The music played at the sessions is primarily Irish, Scottish and Swedish tunes, with plenty of siingng added into the mix. There is a core group of about seven or eight people who turn up most weeks. Many of the players are immigrants or students who are studying here for a while and we also quite often welcome players from other countries who are passing through or are here on holiday. The group is very friendly and both the music and the craic are very good.

As of May 2023 we are meeting twice a month at the Ægir bar on the corner of Laugarvegur and Skólavörðustígur in downtown 101 Reykjavík.


Check out the Reykjavík Trad Sessions Facebook page for regular updates about what's going on and where it is happening.

Big honour for Bára

On 17th June 2019 (75th anniversary celebration of Iceland's full independence from Denmark), Bára was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Falcon, by President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson. The honour was awarded 'For protecting and re-newing the traditional music of Iceland'.

Performance dates


Weds. 17th January at 20.00

Söngskólinn í Reykjavík


Icelandic traditional song workshop

Fri. 2nd February

National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafnið)

Details to be confirmed

Sat. 6th April


Akureyrarkirkja, Akureyri, Iceland

 Part of the International project

Wczoraj i dziś / Í gær og í dag

(Yesterday and Today)

between Funi, Iceland and Foundation Academy of Ancient Music, 

Szczecin, Poland

Sun. 7th April


Háteigskirkja, Reykjavík, Iceland

 Part of the International project

Wczoraj i dziś / Í gær og í dag

(Yesterday and Today)

between Funi, Iceland and Foundation Academy of Ancient Music, 

Szczecin, Poland

Sun. 2nd June at 12.00 noon

Reykjavík Arts Festival

Iðnó theatre, Reykjavík

Twelve hour Vaka folk arts 'takeover' event organised by Vökufélagið.

Concerts, workshops, dancing, displays and sessions

13th - 15th September 

Vaka Þjóðlagahelgi

(Vaka Folk Festival)

Reykjavík, Iceland

 A full harvest time feast of

Concerts, Dancing, Workshops, Sessions

Thurs. 17th - Sun. 20th October

Nordic Harp Meeting

Lund, Sweden

Booking now for 2024

and beyond.

To enquire about booking us for concerts or workshops, just send us an email from the contacts page here on our website.


Watch this space for updates and more dates. 

If you scroll down you will find info about our recordings and publications.


All of our recorded music is available as physical CDs and downloads from 


You can also find it on multiple streaming platforms, such as Spotify,  iTunes, Amazon, Deezer and so on.

Icelandic folk music with traditional Icelandic langspil and fidla


Our album of 15 Icelandic songs was released in April 2013. Flúr is an old Icelandic word that means decoration or tracery. 


The physical CD comes in a digipak along with a 32 page with lots of photographs, notes about the songs and full song texts in both Icelandic and English translation all beautifully designed by Inga Elsa Bergþórsdóttir.


As well as our usual mix of instruments, we are joined by some excellent musical friends and relatives who add their spice to the mix.  This is family based, cottage industry record production at its very best.

… haunting and fascinating. 

Simon Broughton – Songlines, October 2014


These consummate and intensely mesmerising performances are quite simply superb in their natural authority. 

David Kidman -, May 2013


It’s a particular pleasure, to come across this wonderful disc by Bára Grímsdóttir - one of Iceland’s foremost traditional singers - and

British-born multi-instrumentalist, Chris Foster.

Oz Hardwick R2 magazine - July 2013


You can download songs from FLÚR and our other album FUNI from Bandcamp. You can buy physical CDs online from Bandcamp or from us in person, here in Reykjavík, via the email link on the contacts page, or at our gigs.

Funi (GMCD002)

Our first album was released in 2004. The album was recorded in England, where we were living at the time. We were joined on the album by our good friend and fabulous squeeze box player, John Kirkpatrick. The photo on the front of the album shows three generations of Bára's family, photographed at the family farm in 1932. Her father, who also wrote several of the song texts on the album, is the little blond haired boy in the bottom left of the photo.

Chris' solo albums

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Chris' solo English language albums are all available from

Full information about them can be found over on Chris' website.

Bára sings


(Hymns of the passion)


Hallgrímur Pétursson

The Passíusálmar are fifty hymns written by the Icelandic priest and poet Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 -1674) and completed in 1659. These meditations on the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ hold a special place in Icelandic culture and are also the most widely published and translated Icelandic literary work.


Hallgrímur intended the hymns to be sung, so he set each one to a known tune in the Lutheran hymnody. People learned the hymns by heart and sang and read them in their homes during Lent. Over the years, the hymn tunes evolved in the mouths of the people as the melodies, which were originally German, were moulded to the sounds and structure of the Icelandic language.


In the twentieth century the practice of singing the Passíusálmur started to decline.  Coming in at around ten minutes each, the hymns do not fit comfortably with contemporary ideas about timing. They continue to be read a lot in churches and on the radio, especially on Good Friday. Fortunately, recordings of older people singing the hymns were able to be made, before they passed out of use.


In March 2020, Bára researched traditional melodies to seven of the Passíusálmur and performed them in Háteigskirkja, a church in our neighbourhood in Reykjavík. Covid restrictions meant that only a very small number of people could be present, but the performance was live streamed and videoed.


We are happy to share this very special music here.

Passíusálmur number 36

Um skiptin á klæðunum Kristí

(Christ's garments divided)

​ Passiusálmurs numbers 37 - 42 are over on the music and videos page.

© 2024

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