Jóhann Jóhannsson

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Jóhann Jóhannsson
Jóhann Jóhannsson live during The Miners' Hymns screening.jpeg
Jóhannsson performing at (le) Poisson Rouge in 2013.
Background information
Birth name Jóhann Jóhannsson
Born (1969-09-19) 19 September 1969 (age 44)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Origin Iceland
Occupations Composer and producer
Website http://www.johannjohannsson.com

Jóhann Jóhannsson (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈjouːhatn̥ ˈjouːhatnsɔn]; born 19 September 1969) is an Icelandic composer and producer. The BBC has called him "an intrepid musical enigma"[1] and his work has been called "elegant, haunting and melancholic".[2] His music is frequently informed by minimalism, film music, baroque music and drone music and combines classical orchestration with electronic music. He was born in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Career[edit]

Jóhann Jóhannsson's initial album, Englabörn, from 2002 was one of the first and most influential releases in the broad-reaching, post-classical/modern composition field.[3] Jóhann Jóhannsson has since released several albums with the 4AD, Touch and Fat Cat labels.

While Jóhann's background in Iceland’s flourishing alternative-music scene has influenced his work, Englabörn combined echoes of holy minimalism, Erik Satie, Purcell and Moondog with the electronic music of labels such as Mille Plateaux and Mego. Later works include Virthulegu Forsetar (2004), scored for a brass ensemble, electronic drones and percussion, and the orchestral albums Fordlândia (2008) and IBM 1401, A User's Manual, a composition which uses sounds produced from the electromagnetic emissions of the old IBM 1401 mainframe computers.

Jóhann's work has been widely acclaimed. Kitty Empire wrote about Virthulegu Forsetar in The Observer: "It's hard to classify this beautiful album by Icelandic composer Johannsson. On this, his second album, he employs an orchestra of 11 brass players, glockenspiel, piano and organ, with added bells and electronics; so it lies somewhere between classical, ambient music and experimental soundtrack",[4] while Andy Beta gave 'Englabörn' a score of 8.9 in Pitchfork Media: “exceptionally restrained, the piano moving like droplets off of slowly melting icicles, the violin breathing warmth from above. The hesitation of each breath and falling bead feels as though it were a Morton Feldman piece condensed to three minutes.”[5]

In 2010, Jóhann collaborated with the experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison on The Miners Hymns (2011), a film and accompanying composition for brass band, pipe organ and electronics which "celebrates social, cultural, and political aspects of the extinct industry, and the strong regional tradition of colliery brass bands".[6] The piece had a live premiere in Durham Cathedral in July 2010 and was released on CD and DVD in May 2011. The album was called, "A gorgeous brass-based requiem for northeast England's former mining community" by the BBC.[7]

Jóhann has won awards for his film music at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards and the Sapporo International Short Film Festival.[8][9][10] His numerous film scores include The Good Life (Eva Mulvad, DK 2010), Varmints (Marc Craste, UK 2008) and For Ellen (So Yong Kim, US 2012).[11] Jóhann is an accomplished composer for contemporary dance and theater, and his collaborations with the internationally renowned choreographer and dancer Erna Omarsdottir, IBM 1401, A User's Manual (2002), and Mysteries of Love (2005), have been performed widely across Europe.

He is a co-founder of Kitchen Motors, an art organization/think tank/record label which specializes in initiating collaborations, promoting concerts and exhibitions, performances, chamber operas, producing films, books and radio shows based on the ideals of experimentation, collaboration and the search for new art forms.[12]

Jóhann founded Apparat Organ Quartet in 1999, which has released two well-received albums since 2002 and has gained acclaim for their live performances in Europe, America and Japan.[13] Jóhann has also produced and written music with Marc Almond (Stranger Things album), Barry Adamson and Pan Sonic, The Hafler Trio, Jaki Liebezeit, Stephen O'Malley, Peter Rehberg, Stilluppsteypa, and others.

Jóhann has performed in venues all over the world with his ensemble, including the Paris Centre Pompidou, London's Barbican Centre, Brussels' Palais des Beaux Arts, and the Rudolfinum in Prague.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • The Sun’s Gone Dim And The Sky’s Turned Black (2006, 4AD)

Selected works[edit]

As composer[edit]

Feature films[edit]

  • Íslenski draumurinn by Robert Ingi Douglas (Iceland, 2000)
  • Óskabörn þjóðarinnar by Jóhann Sigmarsson (Iceland, 2000)
  • Maður eins og ég by Robert Ingi Douglas (Iceland, 2002)
  • Dís by Silja Hauksdóttir (Iceland, 2004)
  • Wicker Park by Paul McGuigan (United States, 2004)
    • Writer and performer for tracks: "Sálfraedingur", "Ég Átto Gráa Aesku", and "Ég Sleppi Thér Aldrei"[10]
  • Blóðbönd AKA Thicker than Water by Árni Óli Ásgeirsson (Iceland, 2006)
  • Voleurs de Chevaux by Micha Wald (France, 2007)
  • Ashes and Snow by Gregory Colbert (US 2005)
  • Personal Effects by David Hollander (US 2009)
  • By Day and By Night by Alejandro Molina (MX 2010)
  • Dreams in Copenhagen by Max Kestner (DK 2010)
  • The Miners’ Hymns by Bill Morrison (UK 2011)
  • The Good Life by Eva Mulvad (DK 2011)
  • For Ellen by So Yong Kim (US 2012)
  • Free The Mind by Phie Ambo (DK 2012)
  • White Black Boy by Camilla Magid (DK 2012)
  • Mystery by Lou Ye (CN 2012)
  • McCanick by John C. Waller (US 2013)[14]
  • Prisoners by Denis Villeneuve (US 2013)[15]

Short films[edit]

  • Keepsake by Tim Shore (United Kingdom, 2003)
  • Propinquity by Jonathan Skinner (United Kingdom, 2006)
  • Varmints by Marc Craste (United Kingdom, 2008)
  • Junk Love by Nikolaj Feifer (DK 2011)

Television documentaries[edit]

  • Corpus Camera (Iceland, 1999, Stöð 2)
  • Leyndardómar Íslenskra Skrímsla (Iceland, 2000, Sjónvarpið)
  • Erró- Norður, suður, austur, vestur (Iceland, 2000, Stöð 2)

Plays[edit]

  • Margrét Mikla by Kristín Ómarsdóttir (1996, Icelandic Take-away Theatre)
  • Vitleysingarnir by Ólafur Haukur Símonarsson (2000, Hafnarfjördur Theater)
  • Fireface by Marius Von Mayerberg (2000, RÚV)
  • Englabörn by Hávar Sigurjónsson (2001, Hafnarfjördur Theater)
  • Kryddlegin Hjörtu by Laura Esquivel (2002, Borgarleikhús)
  • Viktoría og Georg by Ólafur Haukur Símonarsson (2002, Icelandic National Theatre)
  • Pabbastrákur by Hávar Sigurjónsson (2003, Icelandic National Theatre)
  • Jón Gabríel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen (2004, Icelandic National Theatre)
  • Dínamít by Birgir Sigurðsson (2005, Icelandic National Theatre)
  • Døden i Teben by Sophocles/Jon Fosse (2008, Det Norske Teatret)
  • Ganesh versus the Third Reich by Back to Back Theatre (2011, Back to Back Theatre)

Stage works[edit]

  • IBM 1401, a User's Manual with Erna Ómarsdóttir (2002)
  • Mysteries of Love with Erna Ómarsdóttir (2005)

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Collective – Jóhann Jóhannsson – IBM 1401, A User's Manual review and full tracks". BBC. 2006-12-03. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  2. ^ "Making a note of the human cost of industrialisation – The Irish Times – Wed, Jul 27, 2011". The Irish Times. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  3. ^ "Jóhann Jóhannsson, the post-classical elegist – Features | State Magazine". State.ie. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  4. ^ Kitty Empire. "Other pop | Music | The Observer". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  5. ^ Beta, Andy (2003-03-05). "Jóhann Jóhannsson: Englabörn | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  6. ^ "Fatcat Records | News". Fat-cat.co.uk. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  7. ^ "Music – Review of Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Miners’ Hymns". BBC. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  8. ^ "SSF News | Sapporo Short Fest | 札幌国際短編映画祭". Sapporoshortfest.jp. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  9. ^ "RIIFF Awards 2008". Film-festival.org. 2008-08-10. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  10. ^ a b Jóhann Jóhannsson at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ "For Ellen – Online Film Guide | Sundance Institute". Filmguide.sundance.org. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  12. ^ Kitchen Motors website
  13. ^ Strauss, Neil (2001-10-25). "THE POP LIFE – THE POP LIFE – Iceland Shows Its Charm Is Still Vigorous". Iceland: NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  14. ^ "McCanick (2013) – Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. 
  15. ^ "Prisoners (2013) – Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. 

External links[edit]