Lögberg-Heimskringla - 03.10.2003, Blaðsíða 3

Lögberg-Heimskringla - 03.10.2003, Blaðsíða 3
Lögberg-Heimskringla • Föstudagur, 3 október 2003 • page 3 Kanadískur prófessor með einstakt áhugamál A Canadian Professor With A Unique Field of Interest He is a Canadian profes- sor in the field of Parks, Wiidlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Alberta, Canada, and has worked all over the world as such and he combines Eco- tourism with his work. Guðrún G. Bergmann met Dr. James Butler and found out more about this interest of his. "In 2001 I began a project with my students which I call ELFEN (Elemental Life-Form Encounters in Nature), it con- sists of recording peoples expe- riences of supernatural phe- nomenon. Canadian TV has a program called Magnificent Obsessions. In this program they follow people, who have a peculiar interest, around for a week and mine is unique enough to receive their fayor- able attention," said Dr. Butler and laughs. "That's the reason for my visit to Iceland." While he dwelt in Iceland he met with various individuals who can sense the presence of the elves and he travelled to places that are known as Elvin places. Dr. Butler said that he is working on a book about elves and other elementals and how their existence is linked with people's daily lives. Therefore he is also interested in informa- tion about firms in Iceland who use the name of the elves in the names of their firms, and have elves in their logos or are con- nected in any way with the supernatural world. "I find Iceland to be a very interesting country and I have PHOTO BY MORGUNBLAÐIÐ/GUÐRUN BERGMANN Dr. James Butier, a Canadi- an biologist with an interest in elves and elementals been in contact with Icelanders in Canada to fmd out about their experience with the elves and other elementals. I expect that the information 1*11 gather here will be useful for my book. I had the opportunity to get my knowledge across during this visit of mine, because the Ice- landic Farmer Tourist Bureau and the University of Agricul- ture at Hólar had a meeting at Bratti, the meeting room, of Ice- land University of Education in Stakkahlíð, on Monday, Sep- tember 1, where I held a lecture called: The Changing World of Eco-tourism and the Sacredness ofNature and the Hidden Land- scape of Elves, Gnomes and Fairies. Through my work I have collected extensive knowl- edge on eco-tourism, with the views of both the seller and the buyer, and by sharing this knowledge with Icelanders I think I may have helped them to avoid mistakes others have made. I also talked about how one can connect the supernatu- ral world with eco-tourism." Dr. Butler stayed in Iceland for a few days after the shooting of the TV fílm was done. "I had hoped to get to see puffins, but am a bit late for that," he said. "The worst thing is that I had been asked to be a guide for a bird watching tour which was to be next spring in Iceland, because I have been a guide for such tours before all over the world. But as soon as Iceland announced that they were going to begin hunting whales again the tour was cancelled in protest and therefore I will not be here next year," said Butler. It is evi- dent that he is not happy about this decision of the Icelandic government. Information from Morgunblaðið, Á. H. Soulful Sounds from Duo Sigurður Flosason and Gun- nar Gunnarsson, the organ/saxophone duo from Ice- land played a soul-stirring con- cert at Christ Church Deer Lake in Toronto Sunday, September 14th. Those wise enough to make this part of their Icelandic expe- rience weekend were treated to sounds they will not often hear replicated. Their CD Sálmar líf- sins includes many of the pieces they performed, but it cannot PHOTO COURTESY OF GAIL EINARSON McCLEERY From left Siggi Flosason, sax; Petur Oskarsson, Iceland Nat- urally New York; Gunnar Gunnarsson, organ, with the organ in the background at their concert in Christ Church Deer Park quite catch the vibrations creat- ed by the powerful pipe organ in combination with the intensi- ty of the saxophone, sometimes singing sweetly, sometimes wailing. Sigurður Flosason, saxo- phonist and Gunnar Gunnars- son, organist are an unbeliev- able duo. They have been play- ing this version of sacred music, which they say cannot really be categorized, since 1999. It is based on improvisation. As Gunnar said, "Listen for it. The melody should emerge at some point in the piece." Gunnar's day job is as organist at Laugarneskirkja in Reykjavík. In 1998 he invited Sigurður to join him and some other musicians "to do a jazz oriented thing in the church - jazzy interpretations of popular sacred music. It was not a radi- cal departure." Gunnar played the piano in this show. Because Sigurður lives near the church, they decided to try playing the organ and saxo- phone together. The music they now create together "unites their varied backgrounds." Both are classically trained. Both have played with dance bands. Both do a lot of theatre and studio work. They "put the elements in the pot and stir," combining strange and sweet. They look for variety and contrast. In this concert Siggi played the alto and soprano sax. Gun- nar reported, "Eveiy organ is so different, it is like playing with a different person." Their Toronto concert included two Christmas pieces, children's prayers, a piece played at funerals, sacred music written by living composers as well as very old pieces. Along with Gunnar Hrafns- son, bass player, Sigurður and Gunnar, on the piano, played at all the functions during the Toronto weekehd activities. At the reception following the inaugural meeting of the Ice- landic Canadian Chamber of Commerce, at the opening of Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir's sculp- ture exhibit, at the gala recep- tion and dinner on Saturday night, they were the background music. When asked how they felt about this, Gunnar said "It doesn't bother me at all," whiie Siggi added, "Music has so many functions. It's ok. Just playing with other musicians is enough." Sigurður was trained in both the classics and jazz at Indiana University, and when he retumed to Iceland in 1989 he headed the Jazz School, which he still does. He is from Reykjavík. Gunnar is from Akureyri. They have two CDs, Sál- mar lífsins and a Christmas CD. These are available in music stores in Iceland. Ivbmh Gathered at the first meeting of the Icelandic Canadian Chamber of Commerce were several of Iceland's honorary consuls in Canada. From left to right, Hallgrímur Benediktsson, consul for Southern Alberta, Calgary, Jon Ragnar Jonsson, Consul General in Toronto, ON Tammy Axelsson, Gimli, Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Heather Alda Ireland, Consul General for British Columbia, Vancouver, David Franklin, Montreal, QC, Gail Einarson McCleery, Toronto, ON, Gordon Reykdal, consul for Northern Alberta, Edmonton. We Understand •^**^. BARDfcL'HÉSs FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIUM Winnipeg'soriginal Bardal Funeral Homesince 1894. 843 Sherbrook Street in Winnipeg Telephone 774-7474 Visit us on the web at http://www.logberg.com

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