Englar Alheimsins (Angels of the Universe) is the title of an Icelandic movie (based on a book by the same name) and of its soundtrack.

The book was written by Einar Már Gudmundsson, and is based on the true story of his brother's descent into madness. You can buy an English translation of the book on Amazon, but there's only one (used) copy available at the moment and it'll cost you.

The movie, by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson is 97 minutes long, was filmed entirely in Reykjavik and released in 2000, and has won several awards. It does not seem to be available on VHS or DVD, at least not on Amazon or not in English.

Credited cast:

  • Ingvar Sigurdsson - Páll
  • Baltasar Kormákur - Óli Beatle
  • Björn Jörundur Fridbjörnsson - Viktor
  • Hilmir Snaer Gudnason - Pétur
  • Margrét Helga Jóhannsdóttir - Páll's mother
  • Theódór Júliusson - Páll's father
  • Mike Downey - Lunatic
  • Pétur Einarsson
  • Halldóra Geirhardsdóttir - Dagny
  • Hans Peter Kochenrath
  • Einar Sigurgeirsson

The soundtrack, which I am listening to as I write this, was originally an extremely limited release on Sigur Rós' Krunk label. It is now much more widely available, thanks to Fat Cat Records.

Track listing - Icelandic and (English):

  1. Aðflug / Draumur (Approach / Dream)
  2. Minning (Memory)
  3. Svarti Hundurinn Og Skoska Leikritið (The Black Dog and the Scottish Play)
  4. Niðurlæging (Degradation)
  5. Yfirum (Over the Bend)
  6. Litbrigði (Colours)
  7. Stigið Niður Til Heljar (Journey to the Underworld)
  8. Snoð (Shave)
  9. Ferð (On the Road)
  10. Önnur Minning (Another Memory)
  11. Bakslag (Relapse)
  12. Mók (Coma)
  13. Schiller Í Kína (Schiller in China)
  14. Máttleysi (Helpless)
  15. Kveðja (Te Morituri)
  16. Bíum bíum bambaló
  17. Dánarfregnir Og Jarðarfarir (Death Announcements and Funerals)

The first 15 tracks were composed, arranged, and produced by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson. The sound is dominated by quiet, solemn strings with occasional bouts of dissonant noise (and an inexplicable driving techno beat on track 5). The last two songs were arranged and performed, but not composed, by Sigur Rós. Track 16, Bíum bíum bambaló, is a traditional Icelandic lullaby. Track 17 is a tune which is familiar to Icelanders as the organ music played on the radio when deaths and funeral arrangements are announced.

In the liner notes, there is a quote from Hildegard von Bingen:

"O vos Angeli qui custoditis populos ... Sit laus vobis, qui loculum antiqui cordis in fonte assipicitis."

(Loosely translated: O you angels who watch over the people...Praise be to you, who behold in the fountain the little place of the ancient heart.)

Elsewhere in the liner notes, there is this:
In Memoriam Pálmi Örn Gudmundsson
b 22.04.1949 - d. 27.05.1992

liveforever and a scar faery provided valuable feedback

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