Listen to our most recent episode:

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gott Nýggjár!

An image from a New Year's celebration on Sudroy. Those small lights going up the hill are candles. Looks spectacular.

Happy New Year's!

Across the Faroe Islands, when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's, municipalities and private citizens light off fireworks to light up the night sky. Here's a little of what it looked like last year. Gott nýggjár!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Torshavn at Christmas

A fun 360 degree panorama of Torshavn at Christmas:

Torshavn Christmas in Faroe Islands

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Bonus Podcast

While doing an interview for a future podcast today, we ended up talking about Christmas on the Faroe Islands. So we'll release that portion of the interview as its own little podcast, and the rest of the interview will appear in a podcast early next year.

You can listen on iTunes or download the podcast directly here:

(Note: This podcast will not be on the audio player above... for reasons much too boring to explain here.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Podcast 34: It's All About the Advertising

On this podcast, we talk to the president of Kovboy Film and ask him about advertising on the Faroe Islands and a series of short films he's producing. We also preview some new music from a member of the podcast team and take a trip to the spiritual capital of the Faroes.

As always, you can listen on iTunes or download the show directly here:

There will be a delay in updating the audio player for this episode. We'll take down this notice when the new podcast is available for listening here.

Links from this week's podcast.

Images of the new education center being built in Torshavn:
Watch the movie "Burden"

Kovboy Films portfolio:

Kovboy's Short Films on YouTube:

Thomas Koba's photography:

Sample Elin Heinesen's music:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A long way down

This week we interview the head of Kovboy Films. He has produced a series of videos about the Faroe Islands. In our conversation he mentions this video as one of his favorites. It's not hard to see why:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Music, Music, Music

It's late at night on a Thursday and everyone has been enjoying an evening of good food and conversation. The host for the evening is Elin Heinesen. Around 2 in the morning, Elin picks up a guitar and starts to sing. Before coming to the Faroe Islands, I already knew Elin was an accomplished singer and musician. But to hear that voice in person... well... I'm not sure I was fully prepared for it. It's a voice that's clear and haunting and utterly enchanting. That short, impromptu concert was among the highlights of that trip.

Now I've received word that Elin, who's also an important member of our podcast team, is putting out an album early next year. The CD won't hit the shelves until January 15th, but you can go to this website, listen to some samples, and even place an advance order if you wish. I highly recommend it.

Listen to a sample, close your eyes, and you can almost imagine what it was like to be in that room on that special night.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hogni Confirmed for SXSW 2010 in Austin

On one of our first podcasts, we talked to Hogni, a Faroese musician who was trying to win an online contest for a chance to play at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

As a matter of fact, before his appearance, we asked podcast listeners to vote online, and we here at the podcast like to think that we helped contribute to his stunning rise in the polls that eventually placed him on top.

However, the story didn't have as happy an ending as we had hoped. He won the chance to play just a few weeks before the festival, and getting a visa to perform in the USA can be a pretty time consuming process. In short, it couldn't be done quickly enough and Hogni didn't get a chance to play in the US.

But now organizers are announcing the lineup for the 2010 festival, and Hogni is on the schedule. We here at the podcast are big fans of Hogni, and appreciate the fact that he was our first high-profile guest on the podcast. So needless to say, we're thrilled that he's got another chance to perform in Austin... and hopefully enough time to get the paperwork done.

Congratulations, Hogni!

Gudrid Hansdottir will also be performing at SXSW. She played an acoustic set for foreign journalists (including me) on a boat. It was great. We really do need to have her on the podcast.

The South by Southwest music festival begins in March.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Podcast 33: Summer music... in the winter

This time out, we wrap up the scene at the Summer Festival in Klaksvik. Producer Tollak Hansen speakw with Páll Finnur Páll and Frændur about being musicians on the Faroes and why both bands chose to write only in Faroese. As always, you can listen on iTunes or download us directly here:

Note: There may be some delay in updating the media player this week. We'll remove this note when the player has been updated.

Links from this week's podcast:

Páll Finnur Páll's MySpace Page:

As for the Frændur song, you can see and hear it in the post directly below this one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Musical Preview

In our next podcast, we'll talk to a two musical acts, including Frændur. To get you in the mood, enjoy this home video taken at a recent performance at Hvonn. Be warned: this song is insanely catchy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Faroe Islands Podcast goes stateside.

Tollakkur Hansen, one half of the podcast-team, will go to the USA later this week. There he will do recordings from his trip, talk to people on the street, and take pictures, which will be posted here and on the Facebook fan-page.

He hopes to get an insight to a different culture. Coming from one of the smallest countries in the world, it'll be interesting to see, how a big country like the US, will affect him.

Entries from the trip, will start hitting the web at the end of next weekend, and he will keep steady updates from this journey of a lifetime.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Podcast 32 Goes Country

On this podcast, we speak with Edgar Struble, an American musician and composer who has been producing Faroese country acts for 20 years. We also drive across a bridge alleged to span the Atlantic Ocean.

As always, you can listen on the media player above or on iTunes, or you can download us directly here:

Links from this podcast:
Edgar Struble's home page:

Live image of bridge "Across the Atlantic."

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Last month on the podcast, we featured a live set from Marius. Now he and his band are recording some of the songs they performed on the podcast. Here's a video of them recording one of their songs. Fun to watch... and to listen to.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Faroe Islands Review

This week we give a big shout out and plug to a site run by a dear friend. The Faroe Islands Review has information about the Faroes in English and is sort of a clearinghouse for photos, stories, and videos about the islands. It's also a good place to find old episodes of the podcast. They've got a full archive going all the way back to episode one.

So if you're interested in learning more about the Faroes, the Review is a good place to start.

This week's Faroe Photo is of Kirkjubøur. The village is considered the spiritual center of the Faroes. It is the site of three churches (one still intact), some of which date back to the middle ages. There's also a home that has been occupied by a single family for 17 generations.

It's a beautiful place.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Podcast #31: "It's crisp and clean..."

We're at it again, with news, and an interview, where we talk to an American, going to a family reunion on the Faroe Islands. At the end, we go on a boat, and visit some amazing bird-cliffs.

You can get us at all the right places.

Direct download:


Monday, October 26, 2009

Podcast 30 Goes to the Movies

This week, we discuss attempts to develop a filmmaking culture in the Faroe Islands.

As always, you can listen on iTunes, on the audio player above, or download us directly here:

To listen to more music from The Pony Tales' "Black Summer," check out their MySpace page:

During this week's podcast, we mentioned some organizations that helped us while we were in the Faroe Islands this summer. They included:

Hotel Hafnia

BVK Car Rental

Sjóferðir (Offering boat tours of the Vestmanna bird cliffs)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Faroe Video

This week's podcast will deal with the film culture of the Faroe Islands. We'll be talking about a filmmaking workshop that takes place each summer in Torshavn. The first assignment is to shoot a chase scene. Here's one example...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Teitur in Quietus

Article on Tietur at the G! Festival this summer. (Note your fair host's supporting role as the "motley crew" in this story.) It's well work a read:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Faroe Islands Podcast: Episode Twenty-nine

This week, we devote our entire podcast to a live performance and conversation with Marius. Hear songs from his upcoming album and listen to him talk about his new sound and why he was away from the Faroese music scene.

Direct download: Podcast_29.mp3

We're also at the other usual places: iTunes, webplayer at the top of the page.

Just Google us, and you'll find us.

If you want to hear more music from Marius, check out his MySpace page:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

France vs. Faroe Islands - Live Streaming!

It's not official yet, but the match between France and Faroe Islands, will be streamed at this adress:


Streaming starts at 19:50 GMT.

Read a preview here:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Faroe Islands in Medford, Oregon

The local news in Medford, Oregon ran a story about the Faroes today. Your fair podcast host even gets a shout-out at the end.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Podcast 28: The Whaling Edition

This week we discuss whaling on the Faroe Islands. We talk to an American researcher who is studying whaling cultures and to a Faroese doctor who says whale meat is no longer safe to eat.

You can listen on iTunes, on our media player, or download us directly here:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Frontline Story on Faroese Whaling

This week's podcast is on whaling on the Faroe Islands. One of our guests will be Dr. Pal Weihe. He appeared on an episode of Frontline/World in 2007. The story does a good job explaining the issues surrounding Faroese whaling and pollution. It's well worth checking out...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Podcast 27, Featuring Linda Andrews

This week, we speak with Linda Andrews, the Faroese singer who won the big prize on the Danish version of "X Factor." We talk with Linda about her experiences on the show and how her life has been after winning.

Also, we visit the village of Gasadalur (pictured above), one of the most pristine and beautiful villages in the Faroes.

You can listen on iTunes, or the audio player above. Or you can download us directly here:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Help The Faroe Islands Podcast in winning an award!

We are nominated in two categories at (Best Podcast, Best Travel Blog) - One needs to sign up, to be able to vote, but it's totally free, and takes almost no time at all.

The adress, where you can cast your vote for us, is here:


Share this to everyone you know!

Famous Faroese?

In her interview with the Faroe Islands Podcast, Linda Andrews says she wants to eventually become the best known Faroese person ever.

That got us thinking: who is the best known Faroese person ever? Eivor and Teitur have to be considered favorites from the current era. Going back a little further, Ove Joensen (the man who rowed from the Faroes to Denmark) could qualify. And then there's Nolsoy Pall, who fought the Danish trade monopoly in the early 1800s.

Linda's interview will be released early Monday. In the meantime, who do you think the best known Faroese person ever is? Leave a comment and let us know.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Podcast 26: The Internet!

This week we talk about the internet and how it has (or hasn't) changed life on the Faroes with Óli Á Deild Olsen. We also take a trip to Klaksvik and recap the big games from the Faroe Islands National Team.

As always you can listen on the media player above, download us on iTunes, or get the file directly here:

If you want to see the website Olsen manages, you can find it here:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Faroe Islands 2 - Lithuania 1

Faroe Islands, won 2 - 1 against Lithuania, today.

Awesome victory!

Faroe Islands vs. Lithuania - Online streaming link!

It hasn't been confirmed yet, but most likely, the match will be streamed at this link:


Match starts at 17:15 (GMT).


A new beautiful video, from the Faroe Islands!

This shows the beauty and tranquility of the Faroe Islands.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Faroe Islands vs. Lithuania - A preview of rememberance.

If there ever was a day, that the Faroe Islands, should stand up against their opponents, it's tomorrow. We are on our homeground now, on a pitch, where we've had the most positive results at home.

Kick-off is tomorrow at 17:15 (GMT), and tomorrow we will provide you with a streaming link to the match.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Austria vs. Faroe Islands - LIVE ONLINE!

The football-match (soccer) between Austria and Faroe Islands, starts at 19:30 (GMT) and you can watch it live here:


Streaming starts, when the match itself starts.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Podcast 25 Goes to the Movies

This week, we talk to the cast and crew working on the "Buzz Aldrin" film that was shooting in the Faroes last month. We interview Chad L. Coleman of "The Wire" (above) and the director (below), and a Faroese actor working on the film.
We end the podcast by taking a stroll through the beautiful village of Saksun.
You can listen on iTunes, Facebook, or on the audio player above. Or you can download it directly here:

19 years ago! Faroe Islands vs. Austria

Almost exactly 19 years ago, the world of football (soccer) got one major surprise, when the Faroe Islands won against Austria.

This coming saturday, they will play once again. As a preview, let's turn time 19 years back, and watch this clip:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A slideshow of mine.

You may have seen this before, but this is a slideshow I made of some photos i've taken.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Podcast 24: To the G! Once More!

This week, it's part two of our visit to the G! Festival. We talk to Teitur, Boys in a Band, and Anna Katrin of Valravn (pictured above).

You can listen on iTunes or download us directly:

The latest edition of the podcast should be up on our media player in a few hours.

If you want to hear more music from our guests, there's plenty on MySpace:


Boys in a Band:


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Podcast 23 Heads to the G!

This week, the first in our two part series on the G! Festival. We talk to Jens Thomsen of ORKA, B.A.B.Y. and Heidrik (pictured above), who all performed at this year's festival. We also listen to some music.

You can listen on iTunes or download the show directly here:

You will be able to listen to it on our media player in a few hours.

If you want to hear more music from our guests, you can find it here:




Coming Soon

The next podcast is all about music and will include an interview with HEIÐRIK. The new show should hit the internet in a few hours, in the meantime, check out this performance

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Found: 500 Facebook Friends

We've got 500 fans on Facebook now. Thanks to all who signed up. Keep telling your friends.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Faroe Islands, featured on BBC Two, tonight at 20:00 (GMT)

For all who see BBC Two, be sure to tune in at 20:00 (GMT), and watch this edition of BBC Coast.

"Coast heads high into the wild Atlantic to the majestic Faroe Islands, where Neil Oliver discovers how romance blossomed for British soldiers and Faroese women during the Second World War's 'Operation Valentine'..."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Podcast Preview: ORKA

This week's podcast features an interview with Jens Thomsen, the founder of ORKA, an avant-pop group that performed at this year's G! Festival.
The podcast should be finished in a few days, in the meantime, you can listen to some of ORKA's music here:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Final Score

France 1 - Faroe Islands 0

The Faroes actually played pretty well. Believe it or not, France actually got lucky on this one.

Faroese Soccer, Live!

The Faroe Islands team is playing France right now. To watch the game live, click on the following link...


The Football (Soccer) Podcast

This week, we take in a few soccer matches and speak with National Team Coach Brian Kerr in advance of the team's game against France.
You can listen on iTunes or download us directly here:
The new podcast should be up on the media player later today.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Podcast #21: All About Me

In anticipation of many special edition podcasts to come, we present a radio interview with me (Workman) that aired on Ras 2 in the Faroes.

And while you're listening to that, we'll keep sifting through the hours and hours of audio we collected while in the Faroe Islands.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More Faroe Photos

Another big, beefy gallery of photos coming right up. Podcast will be coming in due time. Until then...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Faroe Photo Feast

First big gallery of photos from/of the podcast crew can be found here:

Live, From the Faroes...

Ok, we're taping stuff and it's not really live, but still, we're all in one place.
That's me, doing a natural sound recording. I look angry, and I'm not sure why. But I'm having the time of my life. More details later.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Podcast #20: One for the Road

On this episode, we continue our conversation about Faroese television and take another trip to the airport. You can listen on our audio player or download it from the usual places including:

Now it's off to the Faroes for me. Watch this space and our Facebook page for photos and special edition podcasts.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Faroese TV

We're talking TV in Podcasts 19 and 20, so it only seems right to watch some Faroese TV in between podcasts.

The folks at Kringvarp Foroya make it pretty easy to watch their programming online. Just click the link below to get to their video streaming page:

The column on the left contains links to radio programming, the column on the right links to TV shows. Dagur & Vika is a news program while 3-2 is all about sports. Tikk takk is a gameshow for kids and Mús, well... I haven't been able to figure out what that is yet.

Hopefully by the time you've watched some TV, we'll be back with Podcast #20.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Behold: Podcast #19

In this episode, we talk about Faroese television with Ivan Niclasen, who heads up the documentary department at the Faroese Broadcast Union. We'll also listen to the wildlife in Hoyvik.

As always, you can download us on iTunes or listen on the audio player above, or you can download the episode directly at:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Podcast #18, Get it While It's Hot

We're back and better than ever with Podcast #18.

In this episode, we'll talk about landslides, review the performance of the Faroese team at the Island Games, and visit a music festival in Sudroy.

As always, you can listen on iTunes or the media player above. Or you can download the file directly at:

You can find the medal count for the Island games at:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Please Stand By...

Some technical problems have delayed the release of the most recent podcast. It should post in the next 24-48 hours.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Podcast #17 is here, and it's good!

News, interview and sounds...

It's all there, all the things you love.

While last week, Sjúrður Skaale was mainly talking about politics, he'll be talking about comedy this time. A very good interview.

And we end with another soundbyte... this time from the ferry to Suðuroy, Smyril.

All this, made out of love, and sprinkled with sounds, which you can listen to at:

More Comedy

Another video from Sjurdur Skaale. Part two of his interview will air on podcast #17, due out later today.

Conference Reminder

Reminder: Conference on evolution and religion hosted by podcast guest Arni Zachariassen happens this Saturday, June 20th at the Nordic House. For more information visit:

There will be one session in English, and organizers may stream that one live over the internet. If they do, we'll post a link to the broadcast here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Podcast #16 is released!

This week around, it's all about football (soccer) in the news, as both, the national team and the U21 have played.

Then, we dive into the interview, with Sjurdur Skaale, member of parliament, for example tells us why, he thinks the Faroe Islands are better off, as an independent country.

We then take a stroll through the Faroese Art Gallery.

At last, we end with a very special message.

Comedy, Ahoy!

A song from Haraldur, a characted written and performed by Sjurdur Skaale, the subject of this week's podcast...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Podcast #15 is released!

Podcast # 15 is here.

In this edition, we start of with some news.

Then we head over to a very interesting interview, with Ólavur Ellefsen, who is the CEO of Simprentis. A company, which has made an oil simulator, used worldwide.

Then, yours truly, has an interview with Kevin Skau, about, why he and 3 others, decided to come to the Faroe Islands for vacation.

We end this podcast, by traveling around the Faroe Islands with Norðlýsið, which is an antique sailboat.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Podcast #14: Special edition! - An interview with the Prime Minister

*** Special edition! ***

As ever so often, we're starting of with some news.

Then the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Kaj Leo Johannesen gives us an interview.

At the end of this edition, we're heading to Vestmanna, to hear some sounds and info about the village.

We're available on the usual places, the podcast player, iTunes and ready for download right here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


In Podcast #14, we'll have an interview with Faroese Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen. The interview and the rest of the podcast will hit the web later this week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Podcast #13, the Lucky One

In this episode, we hear some music from this Summer's G! Festival, speak with a woman who paid a brief visit to the Faroes, and eat some fast food.

You can listen on our audio player above, download the show on iTunes, or get it directly here:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ORKA, Live

ORKA has just been added to the bill at this year's G! Festival. Here's a sample of a recent live set they did...

Friday, May 8, 2009


Spring has come to the Faroe Islands, and that means, well, temperatures in the 40s this week. It has been cloudy and soggy lately, but things change quickly this time of year.

The biggest changes come in the length of the days. Today, the sun will rise in the Faroes at 4:55 AM and set at 9:54. Twilight starts at 3:49 AM and ends at 11:01 PM. But in just ten days, twilight will start at 3:06 AM and end at 11:44. (Once the sun is up, I know that's not twilight, but my point is there's some kind of light in the sky for that whole period of time.) That's an increase of about 90 minutes of light.

From the start of June until the middle of July, there's some light in the sky all day and all night. By July 22nd, twilight begins at 2:45 in the morning and ends around 12:15 the next morning. Sounds wonderful. Indeed, I wouldn't mind seeing that long, drawn out sunset on July 22nd. Hmmmmm.

This week's Faroe photo is of Fuglafjørður and was taken just a few days ago by Jenny Henkie, who's visiting the Faroes right now. Apart from some great pictures, her site has a feature that will tell you when the sun rises and sets in the Faroes on any given day. And as you can probably tell, I've already spent a lot of time playing around with it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Podcast #12: The Fear of God Podcast

In episode 12, we discuss the state of religion on the Faroes with Arni Zachariassen, a theology student studying at Aberdeen University.

You can listen on iTunes or download the file directly here:

Arni's website is Dialogos (in Faroese). You can subscribe to his podcast here:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hogni Live

Last month we introduced you to Faroese musician Hogni. Last week he was in the Faroe Islands and performed on Radio 2.

You can see his performance here:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Flag Day!

To all those celebrating on the Faroes today, we offer you our fond wishes. We'll have some pictures taken during the holiday party soon.

Photo credit: Arne List.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Podcast #11: Back to Portland

This week we travel to Portland for the monthly meeting of the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation and speak to Rakul Ketels about growing up on the Faroe Islands.

The podcast is available on iTunes and by direct download here:

National Costume

Rakul Ketels & Torgerd Vaillancourt wearing Faroese national costume at Portland State University.
Portland's Faroese community... all four of them.Your fearless podcast host, along with Allen Boggs, who was probably the first person ever to listen to an episode of this podcast.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Podcast #10, Unfinished Business

In this week's podcast, part 2 of our interview with Stephen Metcalf. You can read his New York Time's story on the Faroes here:

As always, you can listen in all the usual places, or download the podcast directly here:

More news links:
BBC Story on new coach of Faroe Islands National Football Team:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Podcast #9 is Here

In this episode, we speak with journalist Stephen Metcalf about a piece he wrote about the Faroes for the New York Times. We also recap last weekend's X Factor final and take a walk in the rain in Tollak's home village.
You can listen at all the usual places, or download the audio file directly here:

If you haven't read Metcalf's piece, it is one of the best pieces of writing I've seen about the Faroe Islands and is really worth your attention. Also, check out the video in the left hand column. (In the podcast, we say it's in the right hand column, but it's too late to go back now.)

You can read Stephen Metcalf's article on the Faroe Islands here:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Congratulations, Linda!

Linda Andrews took the big prize on Denmark's "X Factor" tonight. Here's the song she sung Friday...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Podcast #8: Tyr Time!

In this special edition of the podcast, we travel to Portland, Oregon to interview Faroese metal band Tyr. We also have an update on Linda Andrews progress on X Factor, and we'll take a trip to the bottom of the sea.

You can listen at all the usual places, including our media player above, or you can download the podcast directly here:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Linda Andrews Advances

Faroese singer Linda Andrews has advanced to the finals on the Danish version of "X Factor." During her second song on Friday's broadcast, she was backed by a gospel choir she helped form.

Details and a forecast for this week's finals will be in Podcast #8

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

#7, The Bite-Sized Podcast

In this podcast, we hear the end of Jenny's interview, get an update on Linda Andrew's progress on X Factor, and get a preview of our special Tyr podcast.

You can listen in all the usual places, or download the file directly here:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Linda Andrews on X Factor

Faroese singer Linda Andrews has advanced to the semi-finals on the Danish version of "X Factor."

Here's the performance that earned her another week on the show. We'll have more details about Andrews on Podcast #7, which will be out soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tyr in Portland

Images from Tyr's show at Satyricon in Portland on March 14th.

A larger gallery of images from the show can be found at our Facebook page. Just follow the link in the sidebar.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Faroe Video

A video from a member of our podcast team just won an award. Check it out...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Podcast #6: Once a Dream, Now a Reality!

Podcast #6 is alive and well and posted to all your favorite locations.

This week, we talk to an American woman who splits her time between San Francisco and the Faroes. We also have a conversation with Hogni, who won the right to play at SXSW, but eventually had to cancel because he couldn't get the work permit. And we also take a walk among the rare trees of Torshavn.

You can listen on the media player above, download us on iTunes, listen on Facebook, or download the podcast directly through this link:


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We Did It!

The voting is over and Hogni has had an amazing run. On Monday night, he had crept from 4th to 3rd. Then he took the top spot overnight and finished at #1. That means Hogni is going to Austin.

What that also means is that some of you here actually voted and helped send Hogni to South by Southwest. Sure, he's got a loyal fan base and others who surely spent a lot of time voting and worked very hard to make this happen. But I've decided we here in this space can take all the credit for this victory. You're welcome, Hogni.

Seriously though, congratulations, Hogni. And thanks to those of you out there who voted.

Hogni update: less than 5 hours left

On Saturday we posted a short item about Faroese musician Hogni, and his bid to play a showcase at Austin's South by Southwest music festival. The artists who play one specific show will be determined by internet voting.

Since that first post, Hogni has gone from 7th to 4th in the rankings. If he finishes in the top 3, he's going to Austin.

UPDATED at 13:15 GMT:

As it stands now, Hogni is at #3 now, but that can change, so, there's no rest. Keep on clicking, and tonight we'll know the result.

So, as stated in earlier posting:

If you've got a few moments, go to

and vote for Hogni. It's legal to stuff the ballot box, so vote as much as you like.

We'll let you know what comes of it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hogni Update

On Saturday we posted a short item about Faroese musician Hogni, and his bid to play a showcase at Austin's South by Southwest music festival. The artists who play one specific show will be determined by internet voting.

Since that first post, Hogni has gone from 7th to 4th in the rankings. If he finishes in the top 3, he's going to Austin.

Voting wraps up in about 18 hours, so if you've got a few moments, go to

and vote for Hogni. It's legal to stuff the ballot box, so vote as much as you like.

We'll let you know what comes of it.

Announcing Podcast #5

At long last, podcast #5 is here for your listening enjoyment. In this episode, we hearabout the Faroese music scene, learn about a pivotal moment in Faroese history, and listen to the Law Thing in action.

As always, you can find us on iTunes and Facebook, of you can listen in the audio player above. If you want, you can download us here:

Lloyds List special report on the Faroe Islands:

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hogni Makes Bid for SXSW

One Faroese artist (The Ghost) is already scheduled to play at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. Now there's a chance a second artist could perform as well.

Hogni plays straightforward rock and blues that evokes Ben Harper and Lenny Kravitz, and he's on a shortlist to play in a showcase at SXSW. Sixteen artists are up for the honor, and the winner will be determined by Internet voting.

You can vote for Hogni at

Hogni is currently ranked 7th. You can vote more than one time, so if you've got some spare time, stuff the ballot box and make some history... sort of.

UPDATE, March 1, 2009: Hogni is now ranked 6th. Keep up the good work.

UPDATE, March 2, 2009: Hogni is now 5th. We're making a difference.

Video of severe winter storm, February 2008

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Five Questions With Luis Fernando Camacho.

This is the first in an occasional series where we ask Faroe Islands enthusiasts why they're interested in that far-off country...

1) Who is Luis Fernando and what does he do for a living?
A = Luis Fernando Camacho is a self-taught artist who currently resides in Las Vegas NV, USA

2) Have you ever been to the Faroe Islands?
A= No, never been to the Faroe Islands

3) When did you first hear about the Faroe Islands?
A= A few years ago when I met a Faroese at Art School in Guadalajara, Mexico.

4) Were you fascinated with the place, once you got to know more about it? If so, why?
A= Of course! Everything about the Faroe Islands I found fascinating, starting with the landscape. It was totally unrelated to what I saw before, seemingly out of a fairy tale. A society physically isolated from the rest of the world, which seems to function just fine, or better than any other; perhaps the fact it is a small nation geographically, gives them better control over any kind of social problems. And to complete the picture: The Faroese people, which are very simple people, without pretensions of any kind, deeply proud of their roots and attached to their traditions. However, "being proud of their roots and attached to their traditions" does not seem so special, and can be seen in other cultures, but the humble and subtle way they preach it makes the difference. Music is a good example, if you listen to some themes from decades ago (before globalization took by assault the core of most cultures), you will find songs with regard to some town, some fishermen and even about the weather, and are executed with a dye completely solemn. It seems like they write hymns to celebrate and honor every aspect of their life in the islands. Even in the music nowadays, although it is not so solemn and executed according to more current styles, that "Folk" essence remains, indisputably linked to their roots. How remarkable it is that some of those musicians being excellent performers, with international careers that any other musician in the world would only dream to have, remain practical and realistic. This speaks of their simple, down to earth attitude. Once, not long ago, a friend (Faroese musician) told me, "Ordinary people doing extraordinary things." It all comes down to that.I can imagine what it is like to grow up in the Faroe Islands, to live in an isolated place, an "oasis" where the notion of a whole world out there, is always present in you. Maybe for that reason, young Faroese people travel all the time with such fervor to explore what's out there. Being in constant contact with nature and having the opportunity to compare it to other places, might be the main cause of the attachment to their "Eden," and the cause of solemnity when referring to their country. A constant source of inspiration... which might also be the reason why it seems like in the Faroe Islands, talent can be found even underneath the stones...In my case, growing up in a place like Mexico, it does not present such opportunities. The state of global consciousness that seems a natural condition for Faroese people since they are kids, is more of a luxury for people in countries like mine; a luxury reserved only for those who are curious enough to explore and venture. Maybe these circumstances were the reason I have formed this poetic idea of the Faroe Islands, and it makes me find the place so fascinating.

5) On your first trip to the Faroe Islands, are there any special places you want to see, any goals you want to achieve?
A= On my first trip to the Faroe Islands, and like any good tourist, I would like to see with my own eyes and walk every corner of the islands, from north to south. To satisfy my curiosity about the culture and the Faroese lifestyle, I would like to spend a few months on the islands; eat, see and do what the locals do, experience a Summer and its "midnight sun", or the Winter and the aurora borealis. To indulge my fondness for Faroese music I would like to attend the G! Festival and maybe meet in person the members of my favorite bands. And as a professional goal, during my stay there, I'd like to paint my way of seeing and feeling the Faroese culture, and exhibit those paintings in a gallery or museum in the capital.

You can find Camacho's art at:, he can also be found at:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Podcast #4 is Here!

This week, we get schooled in Faroese political history, learn about a TV series filming in the Faroes, and take a trip to the airport.

As always, you can listen on the audio player here or on our Facebook fan page. You can also download us on iTunes, or just click on this link to download us directly:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Look at the Airport

This week's podcast includes sound from Vága Floghavn, the airport serving the Faroe Islands. So we thought you'd like to see what the place looks like as well.

Both of these pictures come from Arne List's beefy photoset on Flickr.

The airport's home page in English:

Links to webcams at the airport:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Obama Says "Hello" to the Faroes

Soon after Obama was sworn into office as the 44th President of the US, Faroese Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen sent the new president a message of congratulations.

This week the Faroese PM received a reply:



If the press release is to be believed, Obama writes in all caps.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Podcast #3 is Here

In this episode, we learn about the upcoming G! Festival, speak with the woman directing tourism efforts for the Faroe Islands, and stand in the middle of Torshavn.

You can here the episode here, on iTunes, and on Facebook. You can also download the podcast directly here:

News Links:

Window to the World

This week's podcast includes a field recording taken from the very spot where this picture was taken. The podcast also makes reference to the webcam atop the hotel. If you look very closely, you can just barely see it.

If you want to see a live image from that webcam, just click here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coming Soon: Polka

We're working hard on podcast #3, but in the meantime, enjoy some music that will be featured in this week's episode. Why? You'll just have to wait and see.

But for now, enjoy Johnny Reimar and his Party Orchestra...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Now on Facebook

Just when you thought listening to the podcast was too convenient, it's become even more... what's the word?... convenient-er.

We've set up a new page on Facebook where you can listen to the podcast, and discuss episodes with your fellow listeners.

So drop by, sign up, and enjoy the ride.

Monday, February 2, 2009

We're Back... and Better Than Ever

Episode Two of the Faroe Islands Podcast is complete and available for download.

In this installment, we dispell some popular myths about the Faroe Islands, take a walk in the mall, and try to pronounce Torshavn.

You can find us on iTunes, on the media player at the top of the page, or you can download the file directly:

As always, please let us know if you have any questions, comments, corrections, or clarifications.

Say My Name, Say My Name

In podcast #1, host Matthew Workman had some unique and exciting new ways to pronounce the Faroese capital Tórshavn.

In pronunciation, however, unique is not always good. So in podcast #2, we'll explore other, perhaps more proper ways to pronounce Tórshavn. And we'd like you to give it a try, too. Just look at the word "Tórshavn" and try to pronounce it. Then make an mp3 file of your best attempt and email it to .

Because there probably isn't a settled English pronounciation for the word, and there is no other podcast in English about the Faroes, whatever decision we make here may well influence how other news outlets around the world pronounce Tórshavn. So be a part of history, send in your recording today.

All Things Considered...

Podcast #2 features an interview with Michael Reveal, an American attorney who has lived in the Faroe Islands for 12 years. The following is an essay Michael wrote in 2006. It first appeared in Faroe Business Report...

All Things Considered
by Michael Paul Reveal

During a recent business trip to Norway, an acquaintance of mine from Oslo asked me in all seriousness whether we had any cars on the Faroes. Having unfortunately heard that line of questioning before, I took a deep breath, smiled and stated that we had a goodly number, all things considered. He seemed to accept my cheery, but obscure answer, for we quickly plunged on to more pressing matters. His question, however, continued to resonate with me.

As my plane descended toward the Faroes, I caught a glimpse out the window of the emerald green mountains of my adopted homeland and I took note that there was, indeed, nary a car in sight. Perhaps, I reflected, my friend had asked a fair question. The approach to the international airport in the Faroes is over some rather dramatic countryside and one's first impression of our island nation stands in stark contrast to that conjured up as one approaches other international airports surrounded as they are by kilometre upon kilometre of concrete and cars. Here there was nothing but crashing surf and towering black basalt, then the brightly coloured rooftops of a small village and then the runway. Be that as it may, I began to wonder if, all in all, we in the Faroes were not suffering from a rather severe image problem.

As my fellow passengers and I flowed into the baggage claim reception hall, nodding our greetings to the passport control officer who scanned the arriving passengers for any folks he did not know, I wondered just how many people really do know anything about us – our history, our language, our location on the globe, our hopes and dreams, our accomplishments, our trepidations, and, yes, even that we have 17,420 passenger cars at last count.

"All things considered", I had told my friend. "What on earth does that mean", I asked myself as I settled into the comfortable airport bus, one of some 207 buses in the Faroes, I was to later learn, for the short trip from the airport to the capital, Tórshavn, now made even shorter with the new 4.9 km undersea tunnel.

What I guess I meant by that somewhat flippant rejoinder was that statistics are just numbers unless they have a context and understanding that context is what is really important in the end. In the face of formidable challenges, the Faroese have managed to carve out a rather pleasant place in which to live and work and contribute to the well-being of the planet. If the Vision 2015 goals advanced recently by the Faroese Government come to pass, the Faroes will be an even nicer place to live and work, one of the nicest in fact, all things considered.

The Faroes began its fiery existence some 60 million years ago when the earth split open in what was to become the North Atlantic and poured lava out in rather amazing quantities. The recurrent ice ages rendered the Faroes into its current size and shape. Now the Faroes is considered a small place by some. Manhattan, on the other hand, is thought to be quite large by all accounts, yet the Faroes at 1399 sq. km. is in fact some 45 times bigger than Manhattan Island. We don't grow apples, so I guess New Yorkers are safe to continue calling their home the Big Apple, but we do have big sea cliffs, gargantuan in fact. But we are a modest folk, so we do not sound off much about the fact that we have the world's highest sea cliff, but we do. It's called Enniberg, for the record. Now in all humility, the Faroes is not as big as Wales, but it is bigger than Cape Cod and essentially the same size as Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a head start on skyscrapers, however, but soon we might even have a few high-rise office buildings of our own to complement the expansive green pastureland that some communities would dearly love to have in their city centres, all things considered.

The Faroese are descended from intrepid Vikings (at least the males, anyway) who coursed their way here from Western Norway and points south, picking up a bride or two along the way, which explains why the females of the Faroese population are more akin genetically to the Irish than the Vikings. For centuries the population held fairly steady at around 5,000 stalwart folks, give or take the fluctuations caused by Black Death and the relatively frequent mishap at sea. Today, the Faroes has a population of some 48,000 and, believe it or not, some 70,000 sheep.

Now I suppose in a certain context 70,000 sheep seems like quite a number, especially given the fact that Manhattan's Sheep Meadow hasn't seen a sheep since 1934 and Hong Kong has very, very few sheep per square metre. New Zealand, on the other hand, boasts some 47.2 million sheep, quite a number by anyone's calculations and certainly overwhelms our modest number. That splendid number equates to about 12 sheep per person in New Zealand, while in the Faroes we average only 1.5 sheep per person, which explains why we have to import lamb from New Zealand to keep pace with our deep love for a tasty leg of lamb on wintry nights.

Which brings me to another oft repeated, yet erroneous, notion about the Faroes: We are cold and dark and utterly storm tossed. Steaming lamb may indeed chase away the chill of winter, but in reality we are not that cold, we just don't warm up much. My friend in Oslo well knew that the Faroes rose out of the sea somewhere between Iceland and Norway and thus the Faroes by geographical association must, of course, be dripping in cold and snow. Not quite. Praise be to the Gulf Stream, or what is left of it by the time it gets to us. The Faroes sits in the middle of the North Atlantic Current and is thus protected from the many vicissitudes of winter that plague our neighbours. We average some 7°C [45°F] year round, with the temperature dipping to around 1°C in winter and soaring to some 13°C in the height of summer. We get 28 of what the weather folks call "snow days", enough, I suppose, to qualify as a place where winter sets foot, but it seems to tread very lightly, as what we do get is usually gone within a day or two, washed away by the misty weather commonly referred to as rain.

Now even the Faroese will readily admit that the Faroes gets a lot of rain, or at least what appears to be a lot of rain, all things considered. Here again, statistics are but numbers and taking a closer look should dispel some long-standing misconceptions about the Faroes. According to the rigorous number crunching of the weather bureau, the Faroes experiences some 1500 mm of precipitation annually. A sizeable amount one could argue, but it falls mostly as a light mist with an occasional good downpour thrown in now and again to remind us of what real rain is supposed to be like. Real rain, of course, is that pelting, large-globuled wetness that descends upon Bergen, Norway, for example. Rain there accumulates to some 2250 mm per year. The title of wettest spot on the earth, however, goes to the idyllic island of Kauai, Hawaii, a place plagued by real gully-washers. Some 3800 mm of rain and mist and fog accumulates in its mountainous interior. So do we get a lot of rain? Well not really, all things considered.

As a consequence of our 1500 mm of light mist or rain, call it what you will, we end up a bit short in the area of what the meteorologists call "sunshine hours". How many hours (not days) do you think the sun embraces the Faroes? Take a guess. Would you believe some 927 hours? Not many, considering that there are some 4380 hours of potential sunlight in a year (assuming a 12 hour day). Yet, we are ahead of Cold Bay, Alaska, situated in the heart of the Aleutian Islands. They sit under the clouds some 305 days a year and alas see the sun for only some 720 hours (more or less). I suppose they, like us, have few incidences of skin cancer. There are indeed untold advantages to living in the midst of the ocean under the clouds.

Now another major advantage is, of course, quick and ready access to fish. Fishing is by far the major industry in the Faroes, accounting for some 97% of the export. Most of the total catch, some 261,310,000 tonnes (live weight) per year, is caught in Faroese territorial waters, although the Faroese fishing fleet ranges worldwide. According to data prepared by the governmental agency, Statistics Faroe Islands, all those tonnes of fish contribute to an export value of some DKK3,668 million (less a small fraction for exported ships). We import some DKK3,738 million in goods, so our trade balance is a little skewed, but not outrageously so, all things considered, especially compared to some other nations.

Most of our export heads to the European Union. The United Kingdom absorbs some 78% and Denmark some 19%, while Spain continues its love affair with our salted fish, savouring some 10% of our export.

On the other hand, we import most of what we want from Denmark. A quirk of history keeps 33% of our import flowing in via Denmark, while another 18% comes from Norway. A mere 4% comes from Iceland, an amount that will assuredly rise now that the new free trade agreement has been signed between Iceland and the Faroes.

The UK accounts for only 5% of our import, which probably represents our continuing and deep-seated love affair with chocolate. The troops that came here from the UK during the second world war left more than just an airport. They left us with an abiding desire for things swathed in chocolate. Much to the delight of the candy sellers in the Faroes, and much to the consternation of the dentists and the Ministry of Health, who diligently promote healthy eating habits in the face of the delightful vistas of colourfully wrapped caramels abounding at Christmas time and just before Lent. All in all, 29% of our import is destined for our homes and our stomachs, or as the statistical office calls it "goods for household consumption". We do love that New Zealand lamb, followed by a flavourful bite of chocolate and a savoury cup of coffee. Ah, paradise, enow.

I suppose the Faroes is indeed a paradise, all things considered. We have a relatively stable economy. We earn money by feeding others, which is not such a bad calling. We ourselves eat well. Our homes are big and well-furnished. We send a considerable amount of money overseas to help in disaster relief. We are extremely sports-minded and have a passable football team able to strike fear and trembling in the hearts of many a foreign spectator cheering on the likes of Scotland and, yes, even France. Not bad for a bunch of part-timers. Not all of our time is spent cheering on our sports teams, however, as we support various amateur and professional theatres, have a national symphony orchestra, numerous choirs, excellent museums and a host of rather talented artists and musicians. We drive cars, of course, even luxury BMWs and sturdy SUVs, and read lots and lots and lots of books.

In fact, we publish some 149 (2004) books a year, including some 67 translations of other works. We even have our own Faroese editions of Harry Potter, which flow hot off the presses just after the English releases. Now to some, 149 may not seem a substantial number of books to get published every year. But, here again, context is everything. The publishers in the United States crank out 175,000 (2003) titles per year and those in the United Kingdom do an admirable job of putting out 125,000. Yet when one considers books per capita, the Faroese shine. The US publishes around 0.5 books per 1000 folks, the UK about 2 books per 1000 and the Faroes some 3 books per 1000. An admirable number by anyone's calculations, all things considered.

We do not spend, however, all of our time reading, it would seem. Our fertility rate is higher than any other Nordic country at 2.522 (2003) and we have fewer divorces as well. We have hardly anyone receiving social services in comparison to Sweden, for example, which has some 286.2 people per 1000 receiving assistance. We have infinitely more hospital beds available to us per capita than the other Nordic countries, although we could use a few more dentists and doctors. Folks with those credentials are invited to apply forthwith to the Ministry of Health.

Our inflation rate is low at 2.4% (1998 = 100.0 CPI). Unemployment hovers around 4% with industry begging for even more workers. Even though we have had our ups and downs lately regarding immigration policy, we still welcome more people to our shores on average than any other Nordic country (2003).

Now given the fact that most of our export comes from the fishing industry, one could well reason that this industry would be paying the greatest wages. Not so. The fishing and fish processing industry accounts for only 19.6% of the total wages paid out in 2004. Who pays the most? Reasonable question. Would you believe the government? Yes, the government (local and national) accounts for 34% of all wages paid, then comes the fishing industry, followed by the service industry with 10% with the construction industry keeping pace at 6.5%.

The average wage in 2004 was DKK210,000 for men and DKK140,000 for women [€28,000; €18,763]. This inequity is a problem that is well appreciated by the government and leaders of thought in the Faroes and steps are underway to address it. Some 85 individuals had incomes of more than a million DKK [€134,000] and altogether the Faroese had taxable income of DKK6,891 million [€923,465,772]. Not an outrageous sum, but one must keep in mind that all that money was earned by only 42,567 taxpayers (2003).

Now the Faroes is not known for its high crime rate and that is reflected in the low expenditure for what statisticians call "public order and safety". What the Faroese do enjoy is a social welfare system that generally meets the needs of most all the citizenry, which explains the large budget for "social protection" that equates to DKK1,865 million [€249,960,290] (2003) out of a total budget of DKK5,328 million (2003).

So what does the future hold? More of the same, no doubt, all things considered. The doldrums that have plagued the fishing and aquaculture industries is receding. Banks are reporting record profits and an enterprising young Faroese has just unveiled a building project in Tórshavn of mega-proportions, featuring high-rise condos, a shopping mall, office buildings and even a covered football pitch.

All this fits well with the government's Vision 2015 development plan, designed to make the Faroes one of the best places to live and work in the world by 2015. All things considered, we are a long way toward that goal already.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Now on iTunes

Two new ways to listen to the podcast. We're up on iTunes, follow the link to your left to subscribe. Or you can listen on the audio player above.

Who loves you? We do!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Launching, Softly

At last, we're here. As of this moment, the Faroe Islands Podcast is a going concern. The first, rather modest edition went online tonight.

In this first podcast, we catch up on some Faroe Islands news, take a brief history lesson, and listen to a field recording taken in Torshavn. I also prove that Faroese words are difficult to pronounce.

You can subscribe to the podcast by using the following RSS feed:

We should be on iTunes in the next few days.

For those of you looking for links mentioned in this week's podcast, look no further...

Týr's MySpace page and tour schedule can be found here.

Indian news item on the Faroe Island's financial stability.

Please feel free to post comments or suggestions about the podcast. Now we'll get back to work making another one.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Early Press

The first episode of the podcast should be out soon, but it already got a little attention in the press. On Sunday, the Medford Mail Tribune printed a feature article that mentions this podcast.

It's very well done.

We're putting together the first podcast now, and we'll post an announcement here when it's up on the servers.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Watch This Space

This blog will contain information about an upcoming podcast on the Faroe Islands. Subscribe to our RSS feed to be notified when we go live.