A new Icelandic album about a woman’s experience of her partner coming out as trans has just been released. The album is called Sinking Island and in a moving post on Facebook earlier this morning the artist María Magnúsdóttir a.k.a MIMRA explains how her own story was the basis for it. GayIceland caught up with María and asked her about the album and her story.

María Magnúsdóttir a.k.a MIMRA has released an album, Sinking Island, about her experience of her partner coming out as a trans woman.

“It’s been a long time in the making and has an unusual history. It’s the product of my experience for the last few years. I wrote the songs and lyrics as I was going through one of the most tumultuous periods in my life. Then I made the arrangements for the songs, recorded and designed the sounds in my music studies, while I was processing those feelings. I can not really launch this album without mentioning how big a part my ex has in it,” she says, when asked into it.

In the previously mentioned post on her personal Facebook-page María tells her story, the story behind the album. The story of experiencing her partner come out as a trans woman. It’s a powerful read and with her permission we publish a bit of it, before continuing.
“As a human being it’s natural to go through changes, examine the past and have a change of heart. It’s also immensely natural to bury difficult experience from the past deep down, to feel as an outsider, feel different from the rest and counter that by trying one’s hardest to fit in the mold which is seen as ‘normal’. I witnessed my partner face emotions, buried so very deep for so long. I saw her peep out, little by little, in tiny steps and huge leaps until time showed her that this was as it was meant to be. This was real. I met this with an open mind, as I’m of the generation that celebrates diversity, but it was not without pain. Not when I put my self in the picture. I loved him then and I love her still, in a different way and in a new life.”

So the album is the product of your feelings in this transitional period, your way to come to terms with your emotions?
“Yes, totally,” she says. “Most of the songs got their subject from this experience. As a writer of lyrics I obviously draw from my own life. In that way the album, Sinking Island, is the story of love and heartbreak which is allowed to flow without restrictions from beginning to end to form the complete story of the island that sunk.”

It goes without saying that the album is full of different emotions, one of them being anger which is the concept of the song Reiðiþula. Was anger the predominant feeling at this period?
“The anger swelled inside me, but I could not direct it at my ex, rather at everything else, as I say in the song Reiðiþula: “angry at everyone but you”. Reiðiþula is the scream that broke out when I didn’t know who to blame.”

So anger was the first feeling that surfaced when your partner came out as trans?
“No. The first feelings were confusion and uncertainity, as the world had been swept from under my feet. I didn’t know if the feelings and emotions that she was experiencing would perhaps pass. I didn’t realise at first and neither did she. We discussed this a lot at that time and I tried to understand. At the same time I wanted to set limits, I wanted her to meet me half way with her gender, but in the end that didn’t work out, of course. The anger came later, after the relationship was finished and was probably a part of the grief process.”

“It’s not only my story but the story of us both that I’m telling through the album and it’s promotion,” says María, here on the left side of her ex-partner.

How long had you been together at this point and how was your life as a couple?
“We were together for almost seven years. We moved to the Netherlands to study and together we went through the turmoil that comes with starting a life in a new place. We grew together and apart as artists studying art and being in a band together. We were happy.”

“I wrote the songs and lyrics as I was going through one of the most tumultuous periods in my life.”

Where you familiar with trans issues at the time, or did you have little knowledge of them?

“I wasn’t personally familiar with trans issues at the time, but I knew something about them and I support battle of trans people for equal rights.”

Sometimes couples stay together after one of them comes out as trans, it sounds like you tried that?
“Yes, we tried. We discussed it again and again and tried to meet each other’s needs, but it just didn’t work out for us. We tried for each other to fit into some mold that was not right for us. I realised little by little that we were making impossible demands of each other and ourselves. But the beautiful thing in the grief that followed was that I had never before seen her so at ease with herself.”

It can not have been easy for María to go through it all again while she was making the album, but she makes little of that.
“I was going through that process anyway as I was experiencing heartbreak the whole time I was making the album. To work on the songs that sprung from this experience was also a healing process. It’s a good feeling when the product you have been creating becomes an entity of it’s own. As you get further from the origin of the songs and can look at the product from the outside. On the other hand to talk about this and open up now is a little bit difficult.”

Sinking Island is the product of María’s feelings in this transitional period, her way to come to terms with her emotions. It’s an indie pop album that takes the listener on a journey through the sound world of electrical and orchestral musical instruments, combined with  María’s unique voice. The album is already on Spotify.

Did it never occur to you to forget about the whole thing and just move on?
“I am moving on by releasing these songs and this album. These feelings are magnificent and true and so are the songs.”

Has your ex heard the album and is she happy with it? Did she maybe have some kind of input to it’s creation?
“She has listened to the album and she thinks it is great. Especially the sound design and production. And, yes, she has a big stake in my music making when it comes to production. As I said we were in a band together for a long time even though we came from very different directions as musicians. It was thanks to her that I got familiar with the music software Ableton Live, in which I recorded and produced the whole album.”

How is your relationship today? Are you still close?
“We are friends today. It’s not only my story but the story of us both that I’m telling through the album and it’s promotion. She has given me her blessing for this and I keep her informed. She’s still very dear to me.”

Main photo: Tinna Schram.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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