Iceland is a country famously not known for comedies. In fact most of our films and TV series are about the darker side of the the human life, and when they are not, they tend to be small fragile and sometimes claustrophobic stories. Enter Ligeglad (Whatever).
Ligeglad is a fresh and brash 6 part comedy series from Iceland. It’s rude, clever, a fast-paced in-your-face comedy that pushes the boundaries of discomfort, directed by Arnór Pálmi Arnarson for Filmus Productions. In the style of Klovn and Curb your Enthusiasm the lead characters play the worst possible version of themselves. The series was a huge success in Iceland when it premiered last spring.
And I had the pleasure of composing music for it.
Plot goes something like this: an unlikely trio find themselves in Denmark. Following a series of lies and co-incidences this unlikely trio is suddenly touring Denmark in a pedophile’s motorhome. They have no plan and very conflicting agendas. What can possibly go wrong?
I entered this production soon after completing CASE, which is by any standard a very dark series. So from that, going to black comedy was quite the shift, mentally speaking. This reminded me very strongly of the fact that what we work on impacts us emotionally in a big way. It took a while just to shake off the darkness and embrace the black humour of Ligeglad.
Also, as it turns out, writing music for comedy is really, really hard. Maybe you knew that, but it sure took me by surprise. Which is why, when you see a really funny scene, it often has either already popular music that we know, or no music at all.
The general solution was to compose a long suite of quirky music with many stops and buildups. That way, the editor and director could cut scenes to existing music, but in addition to that, we put a lot of work into spotting the music, using it to accent funny moments.
Ligeglad was premiered on Icelandic TV RUV in the spring of 2016. Ratings for the show were excellent, on average 37% of Iceland’s population tuned in, making it the second highest rated drama series in Iceland in that year. RÚV has already commissioned a second season of Ligeglad, Ligeglad del Sol, so hopefully there will be more work with what was a very fun project with good people.
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