Jóhann Jóhannsson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jóhann Jóhannsson
Jóhann Jóhannsson Analog (cropped).jpg
Background information
Birth name Jóhann Gunnar Jóhannsson[1]
Born (1969-09-19)19 September 1969
Reykjavík, Iceland
Origin Iceland
Died 9 February 2018(2018-02-09) (aged 48)
Berlin, Germany
Occupation(s) Composer and producer
Instruments Piano, organ, synthesizer
Years active 1987–2018
Labels Deutsche Grammophon, 4AD, Touch
Associated acts Apparat Organ Quartet
Website johannjohannsson.com

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.[2]

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 Theory of Everything. He was a music and sound consultant on Mother!, directed by Darren Aronofsky in 2017.

Early life and career[edit]

Jóhann was born on 19 September 1969 in Reykjavík, Iceland to Jóhann Gunnarsson and Edda Thorkelsdóttir.[1] 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 Reykjavík University.[1] 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.[3] He went on to work as a guitarist and producer playing in Icelandic indie rock bands, like Olympia, Unun and Ham.[4] In 1999, Jóhann co-founded Kitchen Motors;[4] 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.[3]

Solo works[edit]

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."[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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".[9] 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".[10] 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."[11]

Film work[edit]

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 was his work with Denis Villeneuve for which he is best known.[12] His first collaboration with Villeneuve was Prisoners in 2013.[12] He subsequently worked on Villeneuve's films Sicario (2015) which was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score and Arrival in 2016.[12] However, his work on Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 was rejected in favour of a score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch.[12] His 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.[12] His final works were for the films Mandy, The Mercy, and Mary Magdalene.[12] He was in the process of working on a score for the 2018 Disney film Christopher Robin prior to his death.[13]

Personal life and death[edit]

Jóhann has a daughter, Karolina Johannsdottir.[1]

Jóhann was found dead in his apartment in Berlin on 9 February 2018, at the age of 48. As of February 2018, the cause of death is unknown.[14][15]

Collaborations and other projects[edit]

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.[16] 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.[17]

Discography[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

Soundtrack albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "The Sun's Gone Dim and the Sky's Turned Black" (2006, 4AD)

Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]

  • Keepsake by Tim Shore (United Kingdom, 2003)[25]
  • Varmints by Marc Craste (United Kingdom, 2008)[26]
  • Junk Love by Nikolaj Feifer (DK, 2011)[27]
  • End of Summer by Jóhann Jóhannsson (2015)[17]

Television[edit]

Artworks[edit]

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)[17]
  • Pabbastrákur by Hávar Sigurjónsson (2003, Icelandic National Theatre)[17]
  • Jón Gabríel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen (2004, Icelandic National Theatre)[17]
  • Dínamít by Birgir Sigurðsson (2005, Icelandic National Theatre)[17]
  • 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)[17]

Contemporary dance[edit]

  • IBM 1401, a User's Manual with Erna Ómarsdóttir (2002)[17]
  • Mysteries of Love with Erna Ómarsdóttir (2005)[17]

Awards[edit]

Year Film Directed by Notes
2008 Varmints Marc Craste Winner – Rhodes International Film Festival (Best Original Score)[26]
Winner – Sapporo Short Film International Film Festival (Best Original Score)[26]
2012 Mystery Lou Ye Winner – Golden Horse Awards for Best Original Film Score[31]
Nominated – Asian Film Awards for Best Composer[31]
2014 The Theory of Everything James Marsh Winner – Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score[2]
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Original Score[2]
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Film Music[2]
Nominated – Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media[2]
2015 Sicario Denis Villeneuve Nominated – Academy Award for Best Original Score[2]
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Film Music[2]
2016 Arrival Denis Villeneuve Winner – World Soundtrack Awards for Best Film Composer of the Year[32]
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score[2]
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Film Music[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Codrea-Rado, Anna (2018-02-12). "Johann Johannsson, Award-Winning Movie Composer, Dies at 48". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Jóhann Jóhannsson, Oscar-Nominated Composer, Dies at 48". Billboard.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "History Of Jóhann: The Composer's Path Through The Reykjavík Scene". Grapevine.is. Retrieved 12 February 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Blais-Billie, Braudie; Minsker, Evan (10 February 2018). "Jóhann Jóhannsson Dead at 48". PitchFork. 
  5. ^ "Jóhann Jóhann: Englabörn Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Virðulegu Forsetar". Johannjohannson.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  7. ^ "Jóhann Jóhannsson : IBM 1401, A User's Manual". www.ausersmanual.org. Archived from the original on 16 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 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. 
  8. ^ "Fordlandia". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 12 February 2018. 
  9. ^ DOMH. "FatCat Records". FatCat Records. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Grady, Spencer. "BBC – Music – Review of Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Miners' Hymns". Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Maddocks, Fiona (15 March 2014). "The Miners' Hymns review – a rich seam of music and mine". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Arrival composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has died at the age of 48". Verge.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  13. ^ Johann Johannsson's Death Leaves Friends Shocked, Questions Unanswered
  14. ^ Burlingame, Jon (10 February 2018). "Jóhann Jóhannsson, 'Theory of Everything' Composer, Dies at 48". Variety. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  15. ^ McIntyre, Hugh (10 February 2018). "Critically Acclaimed Film Composer Johann Johannsson Dead At 48". Forbes. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  16. ^ "Johann Johannsson-"Drone Mass" - Met Museum World Premiere". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Projects - Jóhann Jóhannsson". Johannjohannsson.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Jóhann Jóhannsson". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  19. ^ "Jóhann Jóhannsson: Orphée Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Projects - Jóhann Jóhannsson". JohannJohannson.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  21. ^ "How Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson Helped Change the Genre Cinema Soundscape". Variety.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Johann Johannsson". Allmovie.com. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  23. ^ "FREE THE MIND". Danishdocumentary.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  24. ^ "White Black Boy". Fonik.dk. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  25. ^ "Keepsake". Britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  26. ^ a b c "STUDIO AKA: VARMINTS". Studioaka.oco,uk. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  27. ^ "Junk Love -Filmagasinet Ekko". ekkofilm.dk. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  28. ^ "ERRÓ - norður -suður- austur- vestur". kvikmyndavefurinn.is. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  29. ^ "'Trapped' score wins Eddan Award". JohannJohannsson.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  30. ^ "Award-Winning Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson Dead at 48". Vulture.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  31. ^ a b "Nominees & Winners". www.goldenhorse.org.tw. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  32. ^ "Film Composer of the Year". worldsoundtrackawards.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 

External links[edit]