Music & Art Dec 09, 2015

Johann Johannsson Update: World-Renowned Composer and Breakout Director

Meet the musician putting Iceland on the map for cinematographic excellence

Icelandic composer and newly-dubbed director Johann Johannsson has made quite a name for himself in the cinematography industry. His musical genius has been featured in dozens of shows and movies worldwide, with many more on the horizon. Earlier this year, he won a Golden Globe for “Best Original Score” for the film The Theory of Everything. In a shift from composing, just five days ago Johannsson released his first short film titled ‘End of Summer.’ The film takes the viewer on a journey through the captivating landscapes of South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsula. The black and white short film is set to a dynamic score composed by Johannsson and fellow composers and friends Hildur Guðnadóttir and Robert A. A. Lowe. Check out the trailer here!

Johansson doesn’t plan to stop here. The composer and director is currently involved in several major projects set to be released over the course of the next couple of years.

Drone Mass

This performance, composed by Johann Johannsson, features a 50-minute ontario that blends the melodic sounds of string quartet, electronics and vocals. The revolutionary performance is inspired by the historic Nag Hammadi library, or Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians. The musical ensemble is rapidly growing in popularity worldwide, having been performed at renowned locations around the globe like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York earlier this year. Next up for the traveling performance is the 13th Annual Sacrum Profanum Festival at the ICE Krakow Congress Centre. Looking to get a preview of the performance? Check out the trailer now!

Story of Your Life

‘Story of Your Life,’ directed by Denis Villeneuve, will be the third feature length film that Johannsson has scored for. The film, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, takes place after aliens land around the world, and one linguist is tasked with determining whether they come in peace or they are a threat. Johansson’s electric score adds the extra element needed for what will be one of the top sci-fi films of the year!

Trapped – TV Series

Funded and produced by BBC, this drama series combines the cinematic genius of feature film director Baltasar Kormákur with a picturesque Icelandic setting to produce one truly captivating storyline. Johannsson, in partnership with Hildur Gudnadottir and Rutger Hoedemaekers, is currently in the studio recording a score for this new hit series.

New James Marsh Film

James Marsh, the director of the award-winning film ‘Theory of Everything,’ is currently working on a new film starring Colin Firth set to release early next year. Marsh has asked Johannsson to develop a score for the film, which tells the tale of one man’s attempt to win the 1968 Golden Globe Race, that ends with him creating an account of traveling the sea alone.

In addition to these projects, Johannsson continues to tour around the world. If you happen to be in the area, check out his performance on February 27th in Adelaide, AU at the Unsound at Adelaide Festival or February 29th in Perth, AU at the Perth Festival.