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September 13, 2013
Post-classical / modern composer and pianist
Friday, Sept 13
- 8pm $29 adv, $33 door
Jóhann Jóhannsson was born in Iceland but currently resides in Copenhagen, Denmark. Described as “intrepid musical enigma” by the BBC, Jóhann’s compositions have been moving listeners for more than a decade. His arresting ‘Englabörn’ album from 2002 was one of the very first and most influential releases in the broad-reaching post-classical / modern composition field and his place in that scene is now fully cemented and justly deserved. Jóhann Jóhannsson has since released several albums with the highly renowned 4AD, Touch and FatCat labels.
Jóhann’s work frequently combines electronics with classical orchestrations and fuses diverse influences including minimalism, baroque music, drone music and electro-acoustic music, while Jóhann’s background in Iceland’s flourishing alternative music scene also informs his work. ‘Englabörn’ combined echoes of Erik Satie, Purcell and Moondog with the electronic music of labels like Mille Plateaux and Mego. Later works include ‘Virthulegu Forsetar’ (2004), scored for a brass ensemble, electronic drones and percussion, and the orchestral albums ‘Fordlandia’ (2008) and ‘IBM 1401 – A User’s Manual’ (2006), a composition which uses sounds produced from the electromagnetic emissions of the old IBM 1401 mainframe computers.
Jóhann’s most recent project is a collaboration with the experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison called ‘The Miners Hymns’ (2011), a film and accompanying composition for brass band, pipe organ and electronics. The piece had a live premiere in Durham Cathedral in July 2010 and was released on CD and DVD in May 2011.
Jóhann is founding member of Kitchen Motors – an art organization that curated events, commissioned works and released records and was an influential part of the art and music scenes in Iceland around the turn of the century. Members of múm, Sigur Ros, Aniima and many others were all affiliated with Kitchen Motors and participated in their projects. Jóhann´s many side projects include the all-analog Apparat Organ Quartet and the electronic “supergroup” Evil Madness.
Jóhann has won awards for his film music at the Rhode Island and Sapporo film festivals. His film scores include ‘The Good Life’ (Eva Mulvad, DK 2010), ‘Varmints’ (Marc Craste UK 2008) and ‘For Ellen’ (US 2012). 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. Jóhann has performed in venues all over the world with his ensemble, including Centre Pompidou, London’s Barbican Centre, Brussels’ Palais des Beaux Arts, and the Prague Rudolfinum.