Five Songs for Swimming

Five Songs for Swimming

In remembrance of swim queen, soprano singer, teacher, bird lover and lifelong inspiration Unnur Ágústsdóttir
July 11, 1927 - February 26, 2021

This installative project is divided into three parts; vinyl, book and performance. The vinyl consists of five original songs inspired by the late Unnur Ágústsdóttir, a swim queen from the 40’s who grew up on an isolated island in the Atlantic. The book titled ‘An Insufficient Guide to Writing a Lullaby’ is written around the songs recorded on the vinyl in relation to the subject of the lullaby and daydreaming. A bright velvet fabric marks the space where the songs are performed.

An Insufficient Guide to Writing a Lullaby


"Usually when we think of the aspect of the lullaby we think of a song that we sing for our children to help them fall asleep. But I’ve been thinking about this, we don’t fall asleep right away. We first have to enter the lullaby, the space where we are able to move on to the dreaming. Maybe that’s the same as daydreaming, the moment that can happen when we’re out of bed. But there is this extra space we enter before we fall asleep as well. Sometimes I feel like the lullaby is the road to there."

"Ulysses heard of the songs of the mermaids and apparently they’re so beautiful and he really wants to hear them but he also knows that once you

start listening to them you can’t stop and become completely trapped. So he finds this very perverse setting for him to listen. He uses his sailors to row the boat but he puts wax into their ears, this is why I thought about this story. This way they aren’t able to listen to the mermaids. Ulysses is then tied to the mast with his ears open and the boat would flow next to the mermaids rowen by people who don’t hear them, in relation to the songs for swimming or moving in water, there is a different body than the listening body."