Bio

Jóhann Jóhannsson (Icelandic pronunciation: ˈjouːhan ˈjouːhansɔn; born 19 September 1969) is an Icelandic composer born in Reykavik in Iceland. As a composer he has been variously identified with minimalist, neo-classical, drone, and electronic music. Jóhann is known for his film music, primarily for his Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning score for James Marsh's The Theory of Everything. Life and career: Jóhann's first album, Englabörn, released in 2002, includes pieces for string quartet, piano, percussion and electronics. Jóhann Jóhannsson has since released several albums with the 4AD, Touch and Fat Cat labels. Whilst Jóhann's background is in the Icelandic alternative music scene, Englabörn combined 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 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 employed an orchestra of 11 brass players, glockenspiel, piano and organ, with added bells and electronics and it lies somewhere between classical, ambient music and experimental soundtrack", 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." 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". 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. His film work includes scores for Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, Lou Ye's Blind Massage, James Marsh's The Theory of Everything, The Good Life (Eva Mulvad, DK 2010), Varmints (Marc Craste, UK 2008) and For Ellen (So Yong Kim, US 2012). Jóhann has written music for the theatre and he collaborated with the international choreographer and dancer Erna Omarsdottir on the pieces IBM 1401, A User's Manual (2002), and Mysteries of Love (2005). He is a co-founder of Kitchen Motors, an art organisation with a record label which specializes in instigating collaborations, promoting concerts and exhibitions, performances, chamber operas, producing films, books and radio shows to uncover new art forms. Jóhann founded Apparat Organ Quartet in 1999, which has released two albums since 2002 with live performances in Europe, America and Japan. 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 all over the world with his ensemble, including Paris in the Centre Pompidou, London's Barbican Centre, Brussels' Palais des Beaux Arts, and the Rudolfinum in Prague.

Reviews

Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Theory Of Everything: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack | Reviews | Clash Magazine

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has created a captivating film soundtrack based on the inspirational life story of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. The movie, Oscar tipped due to Eddie Redmayne's incredible central performance, focuses on Hawking's education, romance and marriage to Jane, and his subsequent brilliant career. Jóhannsson, who also scored the fantastic Prisoners, has previously worked with artists as diverse as drone metallurgists Sunn O))) and avant-garde composer Andrew M... Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Theory of Everything Original Score | mxdwn.com Reviews

Tweet A Brief History of Film Scores It's amazing what a bit of context can do to a piece of music. Take IBM 1401; A User's Manual, the stand-alone piece that put Jóhann Jóhannsson on the map, sort of. Legend has it that the album is something of a generational hand-me-down. Comprised of taped archives that the Icelandic composer rediscovered in his later years, the legend says that the original computerized ambience is the result of Jóhannsson's father acting out playful impulses on the... Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Theory of Everything | PopMatters

Directed by James Marsh, written by Anthony McCarten and based upon a memoir by Jane Hawking, The Theory of Everything is a film about how physics superstar Stephen Hawking met his first wife while studying at Cambridge back in the 1960s. The soundtrack of a love story with an academic backdrop comes with a few expectations. First of all, this is Cambridge we're talking about. Isaac Newton studied there, so it's got to be collegiate... Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Miner's Hymns (from exclaim)

Since making the move from Touch to 4AD back in 2006, Jóhannsson's efforts have tended towards slightly effortless and soundtrack-y themes. IBM 1401 and Fordlandia were both competent, even stirring, but this first outing on FatCat (ironically an actual soundtrack to a Bill Morrison film) draws upon minimalist approaches absent since his earliest work. Morrison's film is an elegy of sorts, constructed from archival footage, to the disappearing history of North England coalmining... Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Miners' Hymns (from pitchfork)

Jóhann Jóhannsson's The Miners' Hymns is the instrumental soundtrack to Bill Morrison's dolefully spare documentary about the history of coal mining in northern England. As such, it will not make a stellar accompaniment to your next barbecue... Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Miners' Hymns (from drownedinsound)

In a state where there has for over 20 years been no meaningful political choice, where for more than 30 years the power of the trade unions has been subjected to a systematic programme of attrition, where the Grand Narrative that enshrines weakly-regulated free market capitalism as the only game in town is subliminally and not-so-subliminally stated and re-stated thousands of times a day via every available medium, it's easy to mislay other versions of the story... Read More »

BBC - Music - Review of Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Miners' Hymns

In his book, London Under, Peter Ackroyd notes that the world beneath our feet can "move the imagination to awe and to horror". But, equally, it's a locus for prodigious triumph and catastrophic ruin, as this collaboration between Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and American filmmaker Bill Morrison unequivocally shows... Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Miners' Hymns (from state)

Jóhann Jóhannsson's eight offering, The Miners' Hymns, is also his second consecutive soundtrack release, following up last year's success with his score for And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees. Jóhannsson's latest release was written and composed for Bill Morrisson's documentary of the same name about the old British mining industry, compiled from archival footage supplied by the British Film Institute and was recorded live in Durham Cathedral... Read More »

JOHANNSSON, JOHANN - Virdulegu Forsetar (from Aquarius Records)

A reissue of the 2004 album Virdulegu Forsetar from Iceland's post-classical composer Johann Johannsson. Since the release of this album, Johannsson has jumped from Touch to 4AD, with international acclaim following right along. Virdulegu Forsetar is an hour long piece written for 11 brass players (trumpets, horns, tuba), percussion (Glockenspiel and bells), electronics, organs and piano. Virdulegu is all brooding, slow building, minor key, cinematic epic... Read More »

Johann Johannsson - And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees (from Pop Matters)

And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees originated as the score for Marc Craste's Varmints, a short animated film based on the book of the same name by Helen Ward. Johannsson combines choral, orchestral and electronic elements with devastating effect to complement the tale of a creature struggling to survive the life-threatening consequences of a reckless indifference; one that is unfortunately echoed in the ongoing destruction of the entire Gulf region... Read More »

News

ASCAP Honors Top Film & TV Composers at 2015 Ceremony

Composers <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span>, Sean Callery and Austin Wintory were honored by their peers Monday at ASCAP's 30th annual Film & Television Music Awards. The three received the PRO's Composers' Choice Awards, chosen by its writer members through an online voting process, at ceremonies honoring the composers behind the top films at the box office, the most-performed television music and the top video game music of 2014. Jóhannsson was honored for his score to The Theory of Everything; Callery, whose 2014 work included Bones, Elementary and Homeland, was named TV Composer of the Year; and Wintory Read More »

Oscars 2015 Song Nominees: Common and John Legend, More

Lights ; country legend Glen Campbell's stoic strummer "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me , and the pale Parachutes -era Coldplay echo "Lost Stars," performed by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley and co-written by the New Radicals' Gregg Alexander, from Begin Again . Icelandic composer <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span>, who won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score with his work on The Theory of Everything , is nominated again in that category. The music community won't have the possibility of seeing Trent Reznor win another Oscar, though, as he and Atticus Ross missed the cut despite a Golden Read More »

Common and John Legend, The Lonely Island and Tegan and Sara Nominated for Oscars

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony will air on February 22, with this year's event hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees, and Common and John Legend, <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span>, and The Lonely Island and Tegan and Sara are all up for awards in 2015. The nominees for Best Original Song are Common and John Legend's "Glory" from Selma, the Lonely Island/Tegan and Sara for "Everything Is Awesome" from The Lego Movie, Rita Ora's "Grateful" from Beyond the Lights, "Lost Stars" from "Begin Again" (co-written by the New Radicals' Gregg Alexander and performed by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley), and Glen Campbell's "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. The nominees for Best Original Score include <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> for The Theory of Everything, Alexandre Desplat for both The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hans Zimmer for Interstellar and Gary Yershon for Mr. Turner. Find the full list of nominees here. "Glory": "Everything is Awesome": Common and John Legend, The Lonely Island and Tegan and Sara Nominated for Oscars Read More »

Common and John Legend win Golden Globe for Glory

Bevel alongside David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr and Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson. Legend and Common beat Lorde's 'Yellow Flicker Beat' from 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1', Patti Smith 'Mercy Is' from 'Noah', Lana Del Rey 'Big Eyes' from 'Big Eyes' and Sia 'Opportunity' from 'Annie. The winner of Best original score (motion picture) went to <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> for 'The Theory of Everything'. More from Noise11.com Have Your Say Get our free BREAKING NEWS email for Music News and Film News. And subscribe to our YouTube channel now! Common and John Legend win Golden Globe for Glory Read More »

Prince Presents Golden Globe to Common, John Legend

Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 ; Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye (a Wondering Sound contributor), for "Mercy Is," from Noah , and Sia , for "Opportunity," from Annie . Common gave a powerful acceptance speech, declaring, "Selma is now." The Best Original Score award went to Icelandic composer <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> , for "The Theory of Everything." The nominees also included Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won the award (and the Oscar) in 2011 for The Social Network and were up this year for another David Fincher-directed movie, Gone Girl . Watch Prince's award presentation, along with Common and Read More »

2014 Top Ten List Spotlight: Iceland Bands

Aerial? Maybe, but only after you've risen from the craggy depths on skyward seeking mountains of earth over microcosmic eons of time. You'll may eventually find yourself, cloudbound, balancing on some some sharp arête, but then you may also find yourself tumbling right back down. <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> - The Theory of Everything (Back Lot Music/Universal Pictures) Icelandic composer <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for this sweeping soundtrack to The Theory of Everything, the 2014 biopic of celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking, his early life and his romance with Jane Read More »

Thursday Music News

I always wanted it to be done up properly and although this is not shockingly or radically different than the demo, I really love it." [Consequence of Sound] Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, and several KEXP faves garnered nominations in the musical categories. Icelandic composer <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> received a nomination for his score of the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything. He'll be competing against previous winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for their work on David Fincher's Gone Girl. Patti Smith and Lenny K got a nomination for Best Original Song in Read More »

Album Of The Week: Les Sins Michael

Glish's self-titled noise-pop debut. • Tyrannosaurus Dead's fuzzy, flinty DIY indie-pop debut Flying Ant Day. • Clark's self-titled IDM album. • Hideout's sparkling, professional pop-rocker Rookie. • Theophilus London's Kanye-influenced, Kanye-executive produced Vibes. • Calvin Harris' guest-heavy EDM-pop takeover Motion. • <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span>'s score for The Theory Of Everything. • The Hyperdub 10.4 compilation. • The double-disc Five Years Of Friends Of Friends compilation. • The box-set version of Bob Dylan's complete Basement Tapes. • Windhand & Salem Pot's split EP Halloween. • Baauer's Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson and BJ Nilsen Reveal Soundtrack for 'I Am Here'

Busy Icelandic score composer <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> has previously played with Swedish experimentalist BJ Nilsen in a self-described "electro horror" band called Evil Madness. Now, the two have re-teamed for the soundtrack of director Anders Morgenthaler's film I Am Here. An Amazon listing reveals that the soundtrack will be released digitally through Ash International on December 1. The score will be also released overseas on vinyl; Kudos Records in the UK lists this as coming out on November 10. An announcement notes that the score finds Jóhannsson and Nilsen joined by cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, ... below. I Am Here stars Kim Basinger as a woman going down a dangerous path on a quest to have a baby. It has already premiered at a German film festival, and it will be released in Denmark on January 9. Thanks to Film Music Reporter for the tip. I Am Here: 1. Intro 2. Lightgirl 3. Maria Driving 4. Shower 5. I Need a Fix 6. Baby 7. Streetwalkers 8. Mama, I Had a Dream 9. Transparent 10. Hotel Room 11. Brothel 12. Hotel Room 2 13. Abduction 14. Maria and Petit 15. Hospital 16. Mirror 17. Rape 18. Carkeys 19. I Am Here (Salve Regina) 20. Maria Driving 2 <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> and BJ Nilsen Reveal Soundtrack for 'I Am Here' Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson Re-teams with Denis Villeneuve for 'Sicario' Score

Coming off recent work on the upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic Theory of Everything, Icelandic composer <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> will once again be working with Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Enemy) to score the director's next film, Sicario. Film Music Reporter reports that Jóhannsson is set to deliver a score for the film, due sometime in 2015 through Lionsgate. Sicario stars Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal and Jeffrey Donovan, and presents a story about an Arizona cop travelling to Mexico alongside a pair of mercenaries to track down a drug lord. Jóhannsson had previously ... Villeneuve on last year's Prisoners, which received a CD release around the same time the film hit screens, and a vinyl pressing earlier this year. As for Theory of Everything, the film premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month and gets its wider release November 7. As previously reported, the film focuses on the relationship between Hawking and his first wife Jane Hawking (née Wilde), who had met before he was diagnosed with ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease). You'll find a trailer for the film down below. <span>Jóhann Jóhannsson</span> Re-teams with Denis Villeneuve for 'Sicario' Score Read More »

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