Thursday, 2 June 2011

Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Miners Hymns

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson's musical background is varied: he studied piano and trombone in his native Reykjavik but amplified music soon beckoned and through most of the 90´s he played guitar and keyboards with various bands in Iceland’s flourishing music scene.

Mostly instrumental, Jóhann’s work often involves complex narratives, which deal with our relationship with the world of machines and decaying and obsolete technology. His music often incorporates found recordings, such as his use of reel-to-reel recordings of a decommissioned 1960’s IBM mainframe in the piece IBM 1401 - a User’s Manual.

Jóhann is founding member of Kitchen Motors - an art organization that curated events, commissioned works and released records and has been an influential part of the art and music scenes in Iceland for the last 10 years. 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 is also an award-winning film composer with many international feature film credits to his name, including The Good Life, Dreams in Copenhagen, Varmints and By Day and By Night. He is a prolific collaborator, having worked and performed with artists such as Marc Almond, Barry Adamson, Pan Sonic, The Hafler Trio, Jaki Liebezeit, Laetitia Sadier, David Tibet, Baby Dee, Larsen and many more. Jóhann is also an accomplished composer for contemporary dance and theater. His acclaimed 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 performs regularly throughout Europe and the rest of the world with his 6 piece ensemble, which includes a string quartet, piano, electronics and percussion.

He recently released his latest album titled The Miners Hymns, through FatCat Records.

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