Listen to the Mother’s Blood, Sister Songs – In Search of Melkorka podcast series, a companion channel for the radio documentaries, featuring guests including Dr Emily LethbridgeProf Poul Holm, visual artist Joan Perlman, folklorist Prof. Terry Gunnell, harpist and composer Katie Buckley, musician/poet Melkorka Ólafsdóttir and Prof. Gísli Sigurðsson.

In this audio feature Linda takes us back to her own family home; a farm at the Old Head of Kinsale and shares how it has shapes her sonic and visual aesthetic and how this dramatic and isolated landscape connects to Iceland where she has written and composed work.

In this audio conversation Poul gives an insight into the Norwegian Viking raids, and settlements, in Ireland from 790s and across the 9th and 10th centuries and how the Norse and Gaelic people became intermixed.

Arnhildur Valgarðsdóttir or ‘Adda’ (the name she performs under) is an extraordinary women of song and music. Linda Buckley and producer Helen Shaw met up with her at a church in Iceland where she plays organ, piano and leads the choir.

Dr Elizabeth Boyle is Head of Early Irish at Maynooth University and an accomplished historian of the medieval world. She has a doctorate from Cambridge University in Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies. Lizzie, as she is known, is English but clearly with a name like Boyle has Irish ancestors.

Professor Gísli Sigurðsson explains the impact of his research, how it challenges the nationalist thinking of the time, and how the story of the Irish princess slave, Melkorka, is one of the few slave stories that the Icelandic culture has both embraced and celebrated.

Kristín Lárusdóttir is a cellist who crosses into electronica, jazz, tango and folk music and she loves to perform the traditional Icelandic folk rimur songs with her cello, mixing old and new.

Linda Buckley and producer Helen Shaw sat down with harpist Katie Buckley in Iceland’s beautiful concert hall Harpa to talk music, Iceland and the phenomenal influence of Björk.

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne is an acclaimed writer in both Irish and English. She often references folklore and folktales in her work of contemporary fiction and she is deeply immersed in both Irish and Icelandic folktales through both her own extensive academic research and also through that of her late husband the Swedish folklorist Bo Almqvist.

Jón Páll Björnsson curator of the Settlement Exhibition at Reykjavík City Museum takes producer Helen Shaw on a tour of the exhibition to find out more about the settlement and what it tells us about the people who first made Iceland their home.

Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster are folk singers and musicians. Bára is a legendary force in Icelandic folk music and song tradition, and she is an accomplished composer herself. In this interview with composer Linda Buckley they both shares the story of rima, the rhyming chants of Iceland, and their work in preserving them, as well as their performance together through their folk group FUNI.

Dr Emily Lethbridge, at the University of Iceland, is an expert on the Icelandic Sagas, those unique manuscripts which tell the story of the Icelandic settlement and the story of the Norse Vikings themselves. In this exchange composer Linda Buckley sits down with Emily at the Arni Magnusson Institute for Icelandic Studies in Reykjavik and gets a deeper understanding not just of the sagas but how Ireland and the gaelic people feature in them, including the story of the supposedly mute Irish slave Melkorka.

Dr. Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir is Professor of Literature at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik. She’s been a visiting scholar at University College Dublin under its Iceland-Ireland project and for this podcast in the Mother’s Blood, Sister Songs series composer and presenter Linda Buckley asked her to explore what links Irish and Icelandic storytelling.

Vilborg Davíðsdóttir

Vilborg Davíðsdóttir is an acclaimed Icelandic writer who draws on the women of the Icelandic Sagas for inspiration in her work. In this podcast, composer Linda Buckley and producer Helen Shaw sit down with Vilborg, in her Reykjavik home, and she talks about her self confessed obsession with the Scottish and Irish gaelic connections to the settlement of Iceland and the Icelandic Sagas.

Melkorka Ólafsdóttir is a flautist in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and takes her name from the Melkorka of the Icelandic Sagas. She traces her lineage back to that Melkorka, who is said to have been an Irish Princess taken into slave and bought by an Icelandic chieftain and brought to Iceland.

Kári Stefánsson is an Icelandic neurologist and founder and CEO of the Reykjavik-based biopharmaceutical company deCODE genetics. His work has focused on how genomic diversity is generated and on the discovery of sequence variants impacting susceptibility to common diseases.

Lára Bryndís Eggertsdóttir is the organist at Hjallakirka, Kopavogur in Iceland and she is passionate about organ music and the power it plays in Icelandic society, in bringing people together.

In this conversation Linda unpacks Joan Perlman’s work, finds out what brought her to Iceland, what inspires her, and how they are both, as artists, drawn to Iceland’s story of landscape and people for their work.

Prof. Terry Gunnell is a well known expert on Icelandic and Nordic folk traditions and in this interview with Linda Buckley for Mother’s Blood, Sister Songs he traces the links between Ireland’s folklore and Iceland.