Retelling a Mythic Tale for the #MeToo Era: The Campaign for Bloodhoof


MATA, an independent presenter of new music based in New York City, was founded to commission, support, and present the music of early career composers.

On May 11, at University Settlement’s Speyer Hall, MATA will present Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir’s evening-length multimedia oratorio BLÓÐHÓFNIR.


What is Bló∂hófnir?

Bló∂hófnir (Bloodhoof) is a setting of Icelandic poet Ger∂ur Kristny’s award-winning poem of the same name. An evening-length work for an all-female ensemble of period instruments and voices, it retells a mythic tale for the #MeToo era.

Bloodhoof revisits the ancient Eddic lay, the Skirnismal, recasting it from the perspective of the abducted giantess Ger∂ur, to demonstrate that what once may have been understood as a tale of romance, is better understood in the context of abduction and sexual violence.

First performed by the Umbra ensemble in Reykjavik in 2016, with visuals by Tinna Krisjánsdóttir, MATA’s production, lightly staged and performed by an ensemble of New York’s leading early music performers, will be the World Premiere of a revised version of the score. To help publicize the event and to give it further context, MATA has partnered with the PEN World Voices Festival to bring poet Ger∂ur Kristny to New York as well.


What’s the story?


How did MATA find Bló∂hófnir?

Composer Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir was one of nearly 1100 composers who submitted their work in 2018 to MATA’s free call for submissions for programming consideration. In exploring her catalog, we came across Bló∂hófnir and immediately knew that this was a piece that needed to be heard.


Why is it important?

It has become clear to MATA that it is no longer enough to provide composers with an eight-minute slot to make a statement among other statements, and whenever possible we’d like to give composers larger canvases.

Haraldsdottir’s score, sung entirely in Icelandic, is human in its scope and eternal in its sound; Bló∂hófnir conveys an elemental earthiness. It challenges past assumptions about culture and demonstrates that history ought to be interrogated and re-evaluated in light of contemporary realities.

How can I help?

MATA is raising $7500 to help defray the costs of mounting this vital production.


$25 contributions will receive a digital download of the recording once it is available

$250 contributions will receive a limited-edition MATA / Bloodhoof tote bag

$750 contributions will receive a signed copy of Blódhófnir, in addition to the other benefits

$1500 contributions will receive access to a rehearsal of Bloodhoof, and two reserved tickets to the performance, in addition to the other benefits