Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Mr. Johannsson described his music for “Arrival” as filled with menacing “piano drones and layered loops.” Adam Epstein of the news website Quartz wrote this week that in composing the score Mr. Johannsson had “somehow managed to create the most definitive alien sound in cinema.”

“When you listen,” he added, “you’ll know: If aliens exist, this is probably what they sound like.”

Johann Gunnar Johannsson was born on Sept. 19, 1969, in Reykjavik, Iceland, to Johann Gunnarsson and Edda Thorkelsdottir. He took up the piano and trombone when he was 11 but gave up formal musical training as a teenager.

He went on to study languages and literature at Reykjavik University and played in indie-rock and electronic groups in the late 1980s.

As a founding member of Kitchen Motors, an Icelandic arts collective and record label active from 1999 to 2005, Mr. Johannsson fostered an early interest in interdisciplinary collaborations.

“He was an explorer, a gentle philosopher who approached sound and music with a wild, almost childlike enthusiasm,” Kristín Bjork Kristjansdottir, an Icelandic musician and fellow Kitchen Motors founder, wrote in an email.

“Regardless of how busy he was with his Hollywood scores,” Ms. Kristjansdottir added, “he always reserved energies for collaborations and experimental music adventures that were close to his heart and sparked his inspiration.”

Advertisement

Continue reading the main story

Mr. Johannsson released his first solo album, “Englabörn,” in 2002. “IBM 1401 — a User’s Manual,” his fourth album, was inspired by his father, a maintenance engineer at IBM who early on discovered a way to use a computer to record music. The album features his father’s reel-to-reel tape recordings from the 1970s and spoken-word segments from the user manual of the computer model that gave the album its name.

Mr. Johannsson continued exploring his interest in technology in the 2008 album “Fordlandia,” released by the label 4AD and inspired by Henry Ford’s proposed utopian rubber plantation in Brazil. His last solo album was “Orphée” (2016).

It was orchestral music that brought Mr. Johannsson international recognition, and he came to be known as part of a group of composers — among them Nils Frahm, Max Richter and Hauschka — whose music, often described as neoclassical, blends classical elements with electronica.

After he had built a recording career on grand, cinematic sounds, film producers came calling. He wrote scores for a handful of Icelandic films before drawing acclaim for his work on “The Miners’ Hymns,” Bill Morrison’s 2010 documentary about coal mining in northern England.

His Hollywood career was closely tied to Mr. Villenueve’s. Before writing the music for “Sicario” and “Arrival,” Mr. Johannsson created his first Hollywood score for Mr. Villenueve’s 2013 revenge thriller, “Prisoners,” which starred Hugh Jackman.

Mr. Johannsson was initially chosen to score “Blade Runner 2049,” Mr. Villeneuve’s 2017 sequel to Ridley Scott’s acclaimed 1982 science-fiction film “Blade Runner.” But Mr. Johannsson left the project and was replaced by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. Mr. Villeneuve told an entertainment website that the movie had “needed something different, and I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis,” who had scored the original “Blade Runner.”

Recent film work by Mr. Johannsson included another collaboration with Mr. Marsh, on “The Mercy,” about the yachtsman Donald Crowhurst and his attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, it was released in Britain and Ireland last week and has yet to open in the United States.

Mr. Johannsson is survived by his parents; a daughter, Karolina Johannsdottir; and three sisters.

Correction: February 12, 2018

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this obituary referred incorrectly at one point to Mr. Johannsonn’s score for the 2016 movie “Arrival.” It was not nominated for an Oscar. The earlier version also misstated the surname and the gender of a colleague of Mr. Johannsson’s. Kristin Bjork Kristjansdottir (not Kristjans) is a woman, not a man.

Sam Roberts contributed reporting from New York.

A version of this article appears in print on February 13, 2018, on Page B18 of the New York edition with the headline: Johann Johannsson, 48, Heralded Movie Composer. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/obituaries/johann-johannsson-award-winning-movie-composer-dies-at-48.html

852
Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Source:USA Today

Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Source:NewsOK

Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Source:Uproxx

Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48

Source:WTOP

Johann Johannsson, Award Winning Movie Composer, Dies At 48