amiina is a band based in Reykjavík Iceland. At present the band counts six people - Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir, Hildur Ársælsdóttir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Sólrún Sumarliðadóttir, Magnús Trygvason Eliassen and Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson (aka Kippi Kaninus).
The group's origins go back to the late 1990s, when four girls studying string instruments at the Reykjavík College of Music formed a string quartet. The group started out playing classical music, but increasingly moved on to play all sorts of music with various bands in Reykjavík.
In 1999 the quartet joined Icelandic band Sigur Rós on-stage. The collaboration has continued ever since, with amiina contributing strings to Sigur Rós’ music on tour and in the recording studio on the albums ( ) , Takk and Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. amiina recorded strings for the latest album Valtari but no longer accompany Sigur Rós on tour.
In 2004, amiina’s first EP, AnimaminA, was released, followed by the single “Seoul” (2006), the full-length album Kurr (2007), a Lee Hazlewood collaboration on a 7” vinyl Hilli (at the Top of...) (2008) and the limited release EP Re Minore (2009). In the autumn of 2007, drummer Magnús Trygvason Eliassen joined amiina on tour, adding percussion to the band’s textures. A few months later, collaboration between the electronic artist Kippi Kaninus and amiina was established while preparing a show together for the Reykjavík Arts Festival. The merging of Kippi Kaninus' electronics and rhythms with amiina's sounds and Magnús' percussion became the starting point for more established collaboration between the six musicians.
amiina’s second long playing album, the much acclaimed Puzzle, was released by the band in 2010 in Iceland, getting worldwide distribution the following year. The songs on Puzzle are more rhythmically rugged than amiina's previous work and feature heavier use of electronics. amiina's long-standing fondness for zero-g melodies and open-minded instrumentation, however, continues.
In 2009 amiina started to perform their original soundtracks to pioneering German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger's 1930's silhouette animations of the timeless fairy tales Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Aladdin. The so called Animagica program, originally performed at the Branchage film festival in Jersey, has now been put on show at Latitude, Sydney Festival, Mona Foma in Tasmania, St. Leonard’s Church London, Perth International Art Festival, National museum of Singapore and Reykavik‘s Children Festival.
Late last year amiina decided record the Lighthouse Project. A work that started in 2009 and will now be released as an EP in June. It was decided to record these songs in their original arrangements for a quartet, and to give the music the prospect to travel out and across forever. The band felt it was important to convey the intimacy of the original performances, so the songs were recorded "live" in the studio, as if at a concert.
In between work with amiina, for the last two years or so, band members have also kept themselves busy, recording or touring with other artist such as: Sigur Rós, Yann Tiersen, Spiritualized, Efterklang, Yukihiro Takahasi, Canon Blue, Pétur Ben, Ben Forst Tilbury, Borko, múm, Jónsi & Alex, Kippi Kaninus, adhd, Moses Hightower and Sin Fang to name a few.
amiina is currently on a journey, working on new material for the next album. Yet amiina will perform at ATP 2013 as a quartet of its starting members playing music from their latest EP and the Animagica.