Icelandic post-rock veterans Sigur Rós are diving into the world of "slow tv" with Route One, a 24-hour live-streaming event that pairs footage from one of Iceland's longest highways with some of the band's new music. Scenes from the Icelandic countryside are being soundtracked by a version of the band's new song "Óveður," one that's transforming in real time thanks to the use of "generative music software" called Bronze. (The stream started at 5PM ET, so it'll continue well into tomorrow.) The band teased the broadcast this morning and played "Óveður" for the first time at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona a few weeks ago. And while the band's Icelandic fans can watch the broadcast on TV, Route One's international viewers can check it out through the YouTube stream above.
Route One sounds like something a friend might make up to pull one over on you: a band famous for their glacial, yawning music is now pairing that music with a seemingly endless stream of meadows, mountains, and deserted asphalt live on YouTube. It also sounds rather boring on paper, and yet it's fascinating to watch people celebrate and react to the broadcast in real time in the YouTube chat box. (I've been watching for about half an hour, and the broadcast has been holding steady at over 2,000 viewers.) If you're not a Sigur Rós superfan or a generative technology nut, think of it as the cheapest possible way to see Iceland. At the very least, it's like Google Street View with all of the clicking swapped out for a strange soundtrack.