Sounds Like Angels Singing: 13th Century Icelandic Hymn Performed Live In A German Train Station

by Conscious Reminder 

‘Heyr, himna smidur’ was composed in 1208, eight centuries ago in Iceland. You can watch this amazing performance of that song by Arstidir in a Wuppertal train station. 

Picture this. You’re on your way home from a long day at work. You’re getting ready to step out and deal with the wave of people you’ll surely meet as you pass through the bustling platform. Except today there’s something entirely different going on.

You step out expecting to be deafened by the noise and chaos of the masses. But instead, the only sound you can hear seems to be coming from the angels of heaven.

Everyone around you quietly points you to a vast open space where these heavenly beings are standing in an arc. They look quite ordinary as one of them holds a beer and one more isn’t wearing any shoes. 

And then you realize they’re not really messengers from heaven. They’re the very human members of an Icelandic band called Arstidir who perform folk music.

But possibly you’re the one who has been blessed because you were lucky enough to step out of your train on the one night when they had wound up a performance in Wuppertal, Germany where you happen to live.

On their route to their hotel, they recognized the potential of that seemingly ordinary station and decided to put it to good use. 

Riding on the wave of a very successful concert, the troupe decided to give another performance. As soon as they started, all those around them went quiet. Many had already let their trains go by so that they could enjoy the mesmerizing music flowing around them. 

Though the hymn is thought to have been written in 1208 and this particular station was constructed only in the middle of the 1800s, the past and the future seemed to flow seamlessly into each other.

Even when the voice of an announcer is head over the song, it feels likes its part of the work of art that is being created here. 

Literally translated into ‘Hear, Heavenly Creator’, this song is the most ancient piece of music discovered in Scandinavia. The writer is Kolbeinn Tumason and music is from Porkell Sigurbjornsson who was a very famous Icelandic musician from the 1900s. 

Even thought it was only published on Youtube fifteen days ago, the video has already been viewed around seven million times.

Video courtesy of Arstidir

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