múm (pronunciation: [muːm] - moom) are an exploratory Icelandic musical group whose music is characterized by experiments in electronic music, soft vocals, glitch beats, innovative sampling and eerie effects with a variety of traditional and unconventional instruments. The band was formed in 1997 by original members Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason and has since then released six full albums, as well as a mountain of other music, singles, EP's, collaborations, theatre and film music. In 2013 múm released a single with Kylie Minogue, Whistle from the film Jack & Diane which the band composed the original score the year before. In 2015 múm wrote a special piece named Drowning with German pianist and composer Hauschka, commissioned by the MDR Sinfonieorchester in Leipzig where it was performed that summer. múm’s most recent extracurricular project is a semiimprovised electronic music score to the silent masterpiece Menschen am Sonntag (1930), sculpted through a series of monthly events at local art gallery Mengi with the aim ultimately to write a new score to the film, which they toured through Europe in February and March and performed at selected film festivals in 2016 and will continue this project in 2017. múm also played a special show at Iceland Airwaves Festival 2016 where the collaborated with the Kronos Quartet, playing songs from múms back catalog at Harpa Concert Hall.
A brief history:
In 1997 split "10 record with two songs in their first year and recording most of their first album, Yesterday was dramatic, today is OK. They were joined a year later by twin sisters Gyða and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir and released two albums as quartet, but were aided on the second album by drummer and reggae percussion wizard Samuli Kosminen, who also joined the touring troupe. In 2002, after the release of Finally we are no one and the first world tour, Gyða left the band to return to her studies in Reykjavík. Shortly after, the third sister Ásthildur Valtýsdóttir joined for singing duties temporarily and Serena Tideman replaced Gyda on cello, for a single european tour. By then the ensemble evolved to include Eiríkur Ólafsson and Hildur Guðnadóttir (who both had guest appearances on múm recordings from the beginning) and Ólöf Arnalds. In early 2006, Kristín also left the band after releasing and heavily touring the album Summer Make Good. Their fourth album recorded during 2006 was released in September 2007, entitled Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy.
múm recorded their own soundtrack for the classic Sergei Eisenstein film, Battleship Potemkin. múm have also composed for theater, most notably two radio theater plays, winning the Nordic Radio Theater Prize in 2005. The same year they were invited to Amsterdam by the Holland Festival to collaborate with the National Dutch Chamber Orchestra to create a performance piece based around various compositions of the late avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis. In Japan múm has written and produced songs for pop singers Aco and Tomoyo.
In August 2009 múm released their fifth full album, Sing Along to Songs you don’t Know, and followed it with an extensive world tour. In the summer of 2012 múm launched Early Birds, a compilation of early and rare recordings featuring 15 tracks recorded between 1998 and 2000, to very positive reviews. The album included a formerly unreleased fan favorite “Hvernig á að særa vini sína,” which was featured in the film The Exploding Girl.
In 2012 múm were invited by Brian Eno to play Punkt festival in Kristiansand Norway. The performance was remixed live in an adjacent room by Finnish artist Vladislav Delay. 2013 saw the release of múm’s sixth studio album entitled Smilewound. The album was nominated for the Nordic Music Prize the same year. In 2014 múm wrote new music for Teatr Miniatura’s staging of The Blue Planet by Andri Snær Magnason.