Gefjun & RÝma (IS)
Gefjun and RÝma are societies for kvŠamenn which are the performers of kvŠal÷g, the tunes accompanying the traditional narrative epic poetry (rÝmur) as well as shorter poems composed in one of the 450 rÝmur-meters. KvŠal÷g are traditionally performed by a single kvŠamaur which makes possible the characteristic irregular rhythm and personally applied melisma. Although kvŠal÷g are the main focus of the societies they also sing other kinds of traditional Icelandic vocal music. Typically kvŠamenn are not professional musicians but amateurs motivated by the passion for their tradition. The mission of the societies is to maintain the performance of kvŠal÷g as a living tradition by learning, teaching and performing.
Gefjun is a kvŠamanna-society in Akureyri established in 2005. Gefjun focuses mainly on learning, teaching and performing traditional kvŠal÷g, with personal and often theatrical interpretation by individual kvŠamaur, as well as group performance. It is a close nit group of 33 kvŠamenn some of which learned the traditional kvŠal÷g from their parents or grandparents. They meet once a month from September through June but more frequently when rehearsing for particular performing events.
The kvŠamanna-society of RÝma is based in Fjallabygg. It was formally established in 2011, but is based on much older societies of kvŠamenn in the area. RÝma's main focus is not only on kvŠal÷g, but also on TvÝs÷ngur (quint-songs) which is a most remarkable Iceland's musical traditions. TvÝs÷ngur has two voices moving for the most part in parallel fifths, utillizing voice-crossings at irregular intervals and is typically in the Lydian mode. RÝma also enjoys harmonizing Icelandic folk songs as well as personal interpretations of kvŠal÷g by individual kvŠamaur. The kvŠamenn of RÝma meet on average once a week during the winter months and perform for tourists and on special occasions in the summer time.