|Birth name||Jóhann Gunnar Jóhannsson|
|Born||19 September 1969|
|Died||9 February 2018 48) (aged|
|Occupation(s)||Composer and producer|
|Instruments||Piano, organ, synthesizer|
|Labels||Deutsche Grammophon, 4AD, Touch, 12 Tónar|
|Associated acts||Apparat Organ Quartet, Evil Madness|
Jóhann Gunnar Jóhannsson (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈjouːhan ˈjouːhansɔn] ; 19 September 1969 – 9 February 2018) was an Icelandic composer who wrote music for a wide array of media including theatre, dance, television, and films. His work is stylised by its blending of traditional orchestration with contemporary electronic elements.
Jóhann released solo albums from 2002 onward. In 2016, he signed with Deutsche Grammophon, through which he released his last solo album, Orphée . Some of his works in film include the original scores for Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, and James Marsh's The Theory of Everything. Jóhann was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for both The Theory of Everything and Sicario, and won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score for the former. He was a music and sound consultant on Mother! , directed by Darren Aronofsky in 2017. His scores for Mary Magdalene and Mandy were released posthumously.
Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) is a German classical music record label that was the precursor of the corporation PolyGram. Headquartered in Berlin Friedrichshain, it is now part of Universal Music Group (UMG) since its merger with the UMG family of labels in 1999. It is the oldest surviving established record company.
Orphée is the tenth full-length studio album by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, released under Deutsche Grammophon on September 16, 2016. The music is inspired by Jean Cocteau's film of the same name and by Ovid's interpretation of the Orpheus myth.
Denis Villeneuve is a French Canadian film director, writer, and producer. He is a four-time recipient of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction, for Maelström in 2001, Polytechnique in 2009, Incendies in 2011 and Enemy in 2014. The first three of these films also won the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Motion Picture, while the latter was awarded the prize for best Canadian film of the year by the Toronto Film Critics Association.
Jóhann was born on 19 September 1969 in Reykjavík, Iceland to Jóhann Gunnarsson and Edda Thorkelsdóttir.He learned piano and trombone from age 11, but had given them up by the time he went on to study languages and literature at the University of Iceland. Jóhann started his musical career in the late 1980s in the proto-shoegaze influenced band Daisy Hill Puppy Farm who released a couple of EPs which were played by British DJ John Peel and received a fan letter from Steve Albini. He went on to work as a guitarist and producer playing in Icelandic indie rock bands, like Olympia, Unun and Ham. In 1999, Jóhann co-founded Kitchen Motors; a think tank, art organisation and music label that encouraged interdisciplinary collaborations between artists from punk, jazz, classical, metal and electronic music. His own sound arose out of these musical experimentations.
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói bay. Its latitude is 64°08' N, making it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. With a population of around 128,793, it is the center of Iceland's cultural, economic and governmental activity, and is a popular tourist destination.
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft,, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004.
Steven Albini is an American musician, record producer, audio engineer and music journalist. He was a member of Big Black, Rapeman and Flour, and is a member of Shellac. He is the founder, owner and principal engineer of Electrical Audio, a recording studio complex in Chicago. In 2018, Albini estimated that he had worked on several thousand albums during his career.
Jóhann's first solo album, Englabörn, was a suite based on the music written for the theatre piece of the same name. Jóhann approached the composition by recording string instruments and processing them through digital filters, which allowed him to deconstruct the recordings and reassemble them. The album combined holy minimalism, Satie, Purcell and Moondog with the electronic music of labels such as Mille Plateaux and Mego. Pitchfork gave Englabörn a score of 8.9, and described it as "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."
In signal processing, a digital filter is a system that performs mathematical operations on a sampled, discrete-time signal to reduce or enhance certain aspects of that signal. This is in contrast to the other major type of electronic filter, the analog filter, which is an electronic circuit operating on continuous-time analog signals.
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.
Holy minimalism, mystic minimalism, spiritual minimalism, or sacred minimalism are terms, sometimes pejorative, used to describe the musical works of a number of late-twentieth-century composers of Western classical music. The compositions are distinguished by a minimalist compositional aesthetic and a distinctly religious or mystical subject focus.
For Jóhann's second album Virðulegu Forsetar, an hour long ambient piece, he used an orchestra of 11 brass players, glockenspiel, piano and organ, with added bells and electronics, creating a sound that combined classical, ambient and experimental music.
A glockenspiel is a percussion instrument composed of a set of tuned keys arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano. In this way, it is similar to the xylophone; however, the xylophone's bars are made of wood, while the glockenspiel's are metal plates or tubes, thus making it a metallophone. The glockenspiel, moreover, is usually smaller and higher in pitch.
IBM 1401, A User's Manual , Jóhann's fourth studio album, was released on 30 October 2006 on the 4AD label. It was inspired by his father, an IBM engineer and one of Iceland's first computer programmers, who used early hardware to compose melodies during his downtime at work. Jóhann used sounds produced from the electromagnetic emissions of the IBM 1401 as part of the composition.
IBM 1401, A User's Manual is the fourth full length studio album by Icelandic musician Jóhann Jóhannsson, released by 4AD on October 30, 2006.
4AD is a British independent record label, founded by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent in 1980. It was originally funded by, and an imprint of, Beggars Banquet.
Fordlandia , Jóhann's sixth full-length studio album, was released in November 2008 via 4AD, and was thematically influenced by the failure of Henry Ford's Brazilian rubber plant Fordlândia.
In 2010, Jóhann collaborated with filmmaker Bill Morrison on The Miners' Hymns (2011), a film and accompanying composition for a brass band, pipe organ and electronics, based on coal-mining in County Durham. The film was noted for celebrating "social, cultural, and political aspects of the extinct industry, and the strong regional tradition of colliery brass bands".The overall piece was itself a tribute to the miners strikes which occurred in the area during the 1980s. The piece premiered live in Durham Cathedral in July 2010 and was released on CD and DVD in May 2011. The album was described by the BBC as "a gorgeous brass-based requiem for northeast England's former mining community". Writing in The Observer , Fiona Maddocks gave the London debut performance of the score at the Barbican five stars, writing, "The strange counterpoint between an Icelandic minimalist, an American filmmaker and a bitter episode in recent British history has resulted in a work as unclassifiable as it is unforgettable."
Jóhann had scored a number of works concurrent with his solo career through the 2000s including the Icelandic comedy Dis in 2004, TV series Svartir englar in 2007, and In the Arms of My Enemy in 2007. However it is his work with Denis Villeneuve for which he is best known.His first collaboration with Villeneuve was Prisoners in 2013. He subsequently worked on Villeneuve's films Sicario (2015) which was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score and Arrival in 2016. Jóhann joined Villeneuve once again to work on Blade Runner 2049 , at some point during production, Villeneuve decided that the music needed a change in direction. In describing the artistic process for Blade Runner 2049 , Villeneuve stated that "the movie needed something different, and I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis. Jóhann and I decided that I will need to go in another direction." Villeneuve brought in Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch to complete the project. Jóhann's work on James Marsh's The Theory of Everything was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score at the 2015 Academy Awards and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. His final works were for the films Mandy , The Mercy , and Mary Magdalene . In an interview following the release of Arrival, Jóhann commented on his process stating that "it's about putting yourself in a receptive state of mind where you react to inputs, and it can be from anywhere. It doesn't really matter if you're writing for film or if you're doing your own piece; you always have to put yourself into that space. He furthers: "There are practical parameters, of course, involved in writing film music rather than doing your own album, but I view them very much as the same body of work. And, for me, there are very clear lines for me between Englabörn to Arrival."
In March 2015, Jóhann teamed up with ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) and the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth to perform Drone Mass at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.His list of collaborators included Tim Hecker, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Pan Sonic, CAN drummer Jaki Liebezeit, Marc Almond, Barry Adamson, and Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))). In 1999, Jóhann founded the Apparat Organ Quartet, which has released two albums since 2002 with live performances in Europe, America and Japan.
Jóhann died in Berlin on 9 February 2018, at the age of 48. The cause of death was an accidental overdose of cocaine combined with medication.
|Academy Awards||2014||The Theory of Everything||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||2014||The Theory of Everything||Won|
|BAFTA Awards||2014||The Theory of Everything||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||2014||The Theory of Everything||Nominated|
The music of Iceland includes vibrant folk and pop traditions, as well as an active classical and contemporary music scene. Well-known artists from Iceland include medieval music group Voces Thules, alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, singers Björk, Hafdís Huld and Emiliana Torrini, post-rock band Sigur Rós, post-metal band Sólstafir, indie folk/indie pop band Of Monsters and Men, blues/rock band Kaleo, metal band Skálmöld and techno-industrial band Hatari. Iceland's traditional music is related to Nordic music forms. Although Iceland has a very small population, it is home to many famous and praised bands and musicians.
Benny Jonas Nilsen, alias BJ Nilsen, BJNilsen, and Hazard, is a Swedish sound artist.
Apparat Organ Quartet was founded in 1999 in Reykjavík, Iceland. It is a band that originally included the musicians Hörður Bragason, Músikvatur, Úlfur Eldjárn and Jóhann Jóhannsson. They were soon joined by drummer Þorvaldur Gröndal, replaced in 2001 by Arnar Geir Ómarsson, drummer of the Icelandic rock band HAM. Lacking the time to dedicate himself to the group because of his solo projects, Jóhann Jóhannsson left the band in 2012; he died in February 2018.
12 Tónar is a record shop in Reykjavík, Iceland, and also a record label for Icelandic artists. It is located on Skólavörðustígur 15, in downtown Reykjavík.
Skúli Sverrisson is an Icelandic composer and bass guitarist.
Hildur Ingveldardóttir Guðnadóttir is an Icelandic musician and composer. A classically trained cellist, she has played and recorded with the bands Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle, Múm and Stórsveit Nix Noltes, and has also toured with Animal Collective and Sunn O))).
Mount A is the debut album from Icelandic musician Hildur Guðnadóttir. The album was released in 2006 by 12 Tónar under Guðnadóttir's artist name Lost In Hildurness, and remastered and reissued in 2010 by Touch under her own name. The album features a dark, somewhat repetitive soundscape built upon cello, gamba, khuur, piano, zither, vibraphone and gamelan all of which are played by Hildur. Recording sessions took place both in New York City and in a house in Hólar specifically chosen for its good cello acoustics.
Reykjavik to Rotterdam (2005) was a film and music festival organized by the Reykjavik To Foundation. Films were screened and performances were held in the LantarenVenster theatre, except for Jóhann Jóhannsson's concert, which was held in the Saint Laurens Church. 12 Tónar set up their mobile shop as well.
Fordlandia is the sixth full-length studio album by Icelandic musician Jóhann Jóhannsson. The album was released on 3 November 2008 via 4AD, his second new release for the record label.
Without Sinking is the second album from Icelandic artist Hildur Guðnadóttir, released in 2009. Participating on the album are fellow Icelandic musicians Skúli Sverrisson and Jóhann Jóhannsson as well as her father Guðni Franzson, while the mixing was done by Valgeir Sigurðsson and Hildur herself.
Íslensku tónlistarverðlaunin is the official annual music awards given every year in Iceland to commemorate the musical achievements of the year.
Sicario is a 2015 American crime thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve, written by Taylor Sheridan and starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Victor Garber. The film follows a principled FBI agent who is enlisted by a government task force to bring down the leader of a powerful and brutal Mexican drug cartel. Sicario was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It began a limited release in the United States on September 18, 2015, followed by a nationwide release on October 2, 2015.
Mary Magdalene is a 2018 biblical drama film about the woman of the same name, written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett and directed by Garth Davis. It stars Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tahar Rahim.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a 2018 American crime-action film directed by the Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima and written by Taylor Sheridan. A sequel to 2015's Sicario, the film features Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Jeffrey Donovan reprising their roles, with Isabela Moner, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Catherine Keener joining the cast. The story relates to the drug war at the U.S.-Mexico border and an attempt by the United States government to incite increased conflict among the cartels.
The following is a list of notable events and releases of the year 2018 in Icelandic music.
Blade Runner 2049: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album for the 2017 film Blade Runner 2049. Released in October 2017, the album contains music composed by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, along with additional tracks by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Lauren Daigle. The soundtrack was produced by Michael Hodges (producer), Kayla Morrison and Ashley Culp. It also includes the piece "Tears in the Rain", which was originally composed and performed by Vangelis, the composer of the original 1982 soundtrack Blade Runner.
The following is a list of notable events and releases that happened in Scandinavian music in 2018.
(Go to last year in Scandinavian music or next year in Scandinavian music.)
Englabörn is the first full length studio album by Icelandic musician Jóhann Jóhannsson, released by Touch Music in 2002. Music included on Englabörn was composed for a play by Hávar Sigurjónsson and was played by string quartet, percussionists and Jóhansson himself on several instruments. Album consists of mostly short pieces combining classical, ambient and electronic influences.
Inspired by a recording of an IBM mainframe computer which Jóhann's father, Jóhann Gunnarsson, made on a reel-to-reel tape machine more than 30 years ago, the piece was originally written to be performed by a string quartet as the accompaniment to a dance piece by the choreographer Erna Ómarsdóttir. For the album version, Jóhann rewrote the entire score, and it was recorded by a sixty-piece string orchestra. He also added a new final section and incorporated electronics alongside those original tape recordings of the singing computer.