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Swell Season's Marketa Irglova finds life, music in Iceland

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Marketa Irglova was born in the Czech Republic, spent time Ireland and England during her tenure with the Swell Season and called New York City home for awhile.

These days, however, you'll find the 26-year-old singer and songwriter -- who won the Academy Award for Best Original song fro "Falling Slowly" from the 2007 film "Once," in which she co-starred -- in Iceland, where she made her second solo album, "Muna."

Irglova says he fell in love with Iceland after closing the Swell Season's last tour with a charity show in Rekjavik. "We made a holiday out of it and stayed for three days to give ourselves time to explore," Irglova recalls. "It ended up being a really beautiful time. I loved it. I had just moved to New York at the time; if I hadn't, I would have moved to Iceland, then."

She got her opportunity to return when she began making "Muna" (which means "remember" in Icelandic), working with producer Sturla Mio Thorisson in a studio there. The album was inspired by sources such as "Jesus Christ Superstar" and author Neale Donald Walsh's "Conversations With God" book trilogy, and Irglova says "Muna's" ethereal sound was certainly inspired by the surroundings where she and her nearly one-year-old daughter now reside.

"I had written all the songs before I came to Iceland," Irglova notes, "but that said, a song can take so many different shapes once you bring it to the recording studio. The final shape and form it assumes is completely up to the environment where it's recorded and the people who partook in recording it with you.

"So I'd say even though the songs were written and influenced by my life in New York, not so much New York as a place but it's impact on me as a person, the atmosphere of the record is completely soaked in Iceland and the local musicians who participated. So I'd say Iceland definitely has a lot to do with how it turned out in the end -- for the better, I think."

Marketa Irglova and Rosi Golan

8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8

The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor

Tickets are $22

Call 734-761-1800 or visit www.theark.org

Web Site: www.theark.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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