ArticleA Home of Music
That must be Iceland's homiest and most unpretentious wonder - so much so that it's successfully hiding in plain sight in the middle of Reykjavik. A small one-storey building with an inconspicuous sign indicating that the place has something to do with music. Something like a “Music Museum” - yet if you try to look up that particular title, Google will be quick to suggest the Reykjavik Rock Museum/Rokksafn Islands or even the Icelandic Punk Museum. One glance at either of those rather impressive buildings would suffice to know the difference.
Inside, the place looked so private that I was tempted to leave right away not to feel like an intruder. Yet…curiosity might be bad for cats but it's indispensable for travelers - so, I lingered until a smiling man came to the room with a cup of coffee in his hand. Surprisingly, he wasn't even surprised to see me. It turned out the museum did have quite a few visitors, even though it had never been advertised in any formal way. It's hard to believe that word of mouth alone can keep a place like that alive and vibrant in the 21st century - that is, until you look around and soak up its atmosphere. As always, the god is in the details, even if some of the details have nothing to do with music. Like, for instance, this one
Or does it? Even a translation of that Icelandic poem reads like a song - one can but imagine how poetic it sounds in the original language. Poems like that are likely to have a lot to do with Reykjavik being designated a UNESCO City of Literature - the only non-native English- speaking city to earn the distinction.
It might be harder to argue that the following area of the museum is music-related
but it does help to better feel and understand the museum's homeyness. It also reveals one of its important secrets - a balance between mutually enhancing art forms, such as literature, painting and music. That said, the latter is still the star of the show, and it's for music that people come to the place - both to talk about it and, first and foremost, listen to it. The experience is highly personalized as every guest is presented with a cute CD-player and a collection of discs (s)he is welcome to choose from or just listen to one after another while drinking the on-the-house coffee
Formally speaking, Reykjavik Music Museum has a street address but its real location is: Time-Machine, The Crossroads Between the 19th and the 21st Centuries, ABCDEFG.