Updated: Aug 30, 2020
We believe that music is a universal language. Regardless of origin or language, music has the power to evoke emotions in people and bring them to a mutual frame of mind. And while music doesn’t need spoken words or language accompaniment to create feelings, it can help. An interesting example of this is a technique you may not have heard of before: the use of syllabic tones without meaning, purely for the vocal sound they produce. To better explain, please have a listen to “Olsen Olsen”, by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós.
The vocals sung are actually Vonlenska, a name the band gave what they call “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music”. They have no meaning, and are sung purely for the sound and emotion they add to the song. In “Olsen Olsen”, the slow, gradual crescendo of the vocals might evoke images of sunrise peeking over the horizon, a vast sky over a rugged land or generate a feeling of quiet excitement and dawning hope. Regardless, we can all appreciate the feeling behind them, and we do not need to be Icelandic to do so. What do the vocals sound like to you? Do you have any other examples of music crossing cultural barriers to reach people’s hearts? Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook!
Text by: Ambrose Cheung/Licha Stelaus Productions
Disclaimer: We are fans of great sound and music. We are not Sigur Rós' agent nor presenter. If you would like to engage them in your events we are happy to make the connection. Please email us through our CONTACT form. Or simply contact Sigur Rós through info on their channels. We do not own the photos and videos in this blog. - Licha Stelaus Productions