Color of the Pomegrenates

This stunning and visually stimulating film was made in the '60s by the Armenian director Sergei Parajanov. The film tells the story of Armenian singer and poet Harytyan Sayatan. Rather than to depict his life literally, the film creates a remarkable and arousing visual sequence filled with imagery that spins a magical tale of the inner life of the 17th-century poet. The film is filled with sublime situations often in a surreal way. Animals, children, ornate costumes make up a transcendent composition. The deeply touching choir music found in the film is exemplary for the inherent sorrowful romance that is found in the east and is something that I had in the back of my mind in writing the a cappella choir pieces on my album Two Trains. In one scene a pomegranate is crushed on a silk cloth which draw the outlines of the fallen Armenian kingdom. Parajanov was a political artist which ultimately exiled him from the Soviet Union making him a persona non grata and finally imprisoned for treason.

The Housemaid

Dong-sik is a middle-aged composer struggling to take care of his pregnant wife and two kids. Eventually, he hires a housemaid to help him in the house, but the strange and sultry woman proves a true femme fatale, and immediately shows her will to seduce him. As her attitude is more than evident, the showdown with his wife becomes inevitable, with the two women using every trick in the book to gain the upper hand toward the unsuspecting lover. I love these kinds of urgent love stories. I try to write about it. And through fiction, I can enact those feelings. I feel like I do that through my songs.

The film is a domestic noir that borders on becoming a thriller, as sexual obsession, manipulation and extreme ways become the center of a game that eventually unravels a family.

Somehow the film is interestingly contained in its narration, creating a significant tension that is underlining in the film. I used to watch this film while on a month’s residence in Bretagne in France, a chalet that I spend the evenings playing the piano and writing. I found it incredibly inspiring.

Werckmeister Harmonies

This mysterious drama helmed by Béla Tarr and Agnes Hranitzky follows the story of a young man who faces brutal violence when a village receives the visit of a circus with a giant whale and a man called “The Prince”.

With fascinating cinematography in black and white, this film is consistently generous in starling shots and visual composition. The lyrical atmosphere of this film and narrative helps me desire the outlines of the invisible. I feel that music has that charm. To bring out the negative space of general life.

Terminator 2

I’m not sure it has anything to do with my music, probably nothing at all. Other than that at some vague psychological level, when I was a little kid I sneaked to my friend's house to watch this R-rated movie. And it was that attraction to fear that brought out our imagination. I think that as children we are drawn to that excitement, fear, anxiety. At least we nurture that fascination here in Iceland with grievous folklores about outlaws, murder, ghosts, elves. And we’ve been accustomed to that for centuries. I believe through storytelling man has a marriage with emotions that threaten us. On another note, I feel that this film speaks of the technological paranoia that circulates society in this age. Algorithms hover over us, like tempests, ordinating our social behaviour.


Musical films such as the Disney series, really helped me develop my taste for song. As a child, I hummed the fluent melodies of Alan Menken and they just stuck to my head and settled a musical foundation I still feel accord with. I haven’t watched these films in ages, only from time to time with my little niece, but I feel immediately drawn to it. In a similar way I fell in love with The Magic Flute by Mozart and the songs of Zarastro, Papageno, The Queen of the Night.


Högni released his debut solo LP on Oct 20th via Erased Tapes. Check out a stream of 'Crash' below.