by Hannah Abban
I attended this event eager and excited but yet not knowing what lay ahead.The night started off with a brief interview with Gerdur Kristny. She sat poised and confident as she listened and answered questions honestly. We learnt more, for example, about her journalistic background and how she felt that domestic violence was an issue in her field that was too taboo to be discussed. Her intent behind writing her work was to help break the stigma and give a voice to victims of such crimes.
Later, you could feel a haunting silence as the atmosphere changed and the three piece orchestra started playing. It was hauntingly beautiful and the more I listened the more I felt like time had suspended itself. After a prelude of just the orchestra playing Gerdur rose to read her work alongside the music. It was an arrangement that took a while for the ear to get used to; but nevertheless one that proved very complimentary. Her words breaking through the music caused another shift in tension which I felt hung in the air as she read phases like ‘night falls with the whistling sound of an axe’. This wasn’t a bad tension, but one that rather elevated the performance. It was also very fitting considering the heavy theme of the work itself.
I’m a big fan of true crime podcasts and I think this succeeded where some podcasts fail in bringing the story of the victim to life. The key word here is victim; for it is them that matter most but are often lost between the words of sensationalist headlines and whipped up media frenzies. Through Gerdur’s words I – and much of the audience, I’m sure – found myself wondering more about the victims themselves and how they felt.And I think that was what was most special about the event; it felt like an ode to them.