On the latest episode of La Blogothèque's phenomenal Take Away Show (or Concert A Emporter, if you're French), Julianna Barwick takes her brand of ethereal, loop-driven music to the streets of Reykjavik to perform a spontaneous composition of “Ash Day” in celebration of Iceland's Ash Wednesday. Similiar to Halloween, Ash Wednesday in Iceland has kids dressing up and getting candy while singing songs in honor of the holiday, and Barwick is the benevolent fount of candy distribution that the children turn to. By incorporating their echoed singing voices into the performance, the track takes on that signature Barwick haunting, and the scene is so idyllic it could move you to tears. Be prepared.
As director Derrick Belcham noted, “It is the end of February. The extended darkness is beginning to wear us down, and the weather is a schizophrenic outpatient. On a tip from a local, we take to the streets to watch the children of Reykjavik sing for candy and desserts in full, mystical regalia. It is Ash Day, and Julianna is ready to make the kids work for their treats.”