Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

HI-RES$13.49
CD$11.49

Classical - Released September 16, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$17.99
CD$14.99

Film Soundtracks - Released May 29, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res
CD$12.99

Film Soundtracks - Released April 5, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

HI-RES$28.49
CD$23.99

Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
CD$14.99

Classical - Released March 8, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

CD$14.99

Classical - Released September 16, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
In the six years between And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees and Orphée, Jóhann Jóhannsson became a celebrated film composer, earning back-to-back Oscar nominations for his life-affirming score for The Theory of Everything and his ominous, rough-edged music for Sicario. During this time, Jóhannsson continued to work on personal projects including this, his Deustche Grammophon debut. In its own way, Orphée is also a little like a soundtrack: the composer drew inspiration from the story of Orpheus' ill-fated attempt to rescue his wife Eurydice from the underworld, building on Ovid and Jean Cocteau's versions of the tale in his meditations on death, rebirth, and creativity. The Orpheus myth reflected Jóhannsson's life while he worked on the album: his move from Copenhagen to Berlin marked the closing of one chapter in his life and the start of a new one. Like And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees, Orphée is both more intimate than some of his larger works, and immediately recognizable as Jóhannsson's. On "Flight from the City," a gentle but insistent piano motif rises and falls like breath, while strings deepen its sweet ache; layers of counterpoint inspire bittersweet wonder on "The Drowned World"; "Orphic Hymn" showcases the composer's flair for choral pieces, with Paul Hillier's Theatre of Voices performing lines from Ovid's text in Renaissance style; and "Fragment II" offers a brief burst of his grander scale with its ever-widening sea of drones and strings. This piece features Orphée's main motif, an ascending harmonic pattern that also appears on the ghostly "A Song for Europa," which introduces the staticky, numbers station-like recordings that flicker through the album, adding another layer of distance and mystery. Orphée's studies in change give equal time time to mourning and hope, whether on the spine-tingling "A Pile of Dust" or the way "A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder" and "By the Roes, and by the Hinds of the Field" dance between joy and sorrow. Similarly, Jóhannsson makes the album's chiaroscuro qualities explicit on "De Luce et Umbra," where a shadowy, almost subliminal pulse adds tension to the skyward strings, and on the Emily Dickinson-inspired diptych "Good Morning, Midnight" and "Good Night, Day," where subtle transitions evoke standing between ends and beginnings. On Orphée, Jóhannsson expresses the need to let some things and people go to let new ones in with remarkable nuance, as well as the affecting beauty fans have come to know and love. © Heather Phares /TiVo
CD$14.99

Film Soundtracks - Released September 18, 2015 | Varese Sarabande

Booklet
Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who crafted the Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated piano-and-strings-centered score for the 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything, created a very different type of score for the action/crime film Sicario, released in 2015. A mix of quietly emotive, violin-led symphonic song and distorted, dissonant, percussive orchestral noise, Sicario [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] delivers tension and off-kilter anxiety in both hushed and hyper musical moments. Jóhannsson and film director Denis Villeneuve previously collaborated on 2013's Prisoners. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
CD$12.99

Film Soundtracks - Released April 12, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

CD$12.99

Film Soundtracks - Released March 22, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Like many composers and musicians who make primarily instrumental music, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s work has been described as filmic, and he has in fact scored several films. Still, And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees occupies a special place in his body of work. This music was written for Marc Craste’s 2008 short animated film Varmints -- which was adapted from Helen Ward’s Craste's illustrated book of the same name -- and it’s a story that fits the concerns Jóhannsson explored in works like IBM: A User’s Manual and Fordlandia with almost eerie perfection. Technology, hubris, overconsumption, and the environment all factor into Varmints’ tale of a little animal who must find a way to protect life as he knows it from an encroaching city. With the help of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir, Jóhannsson covers purity and corruption, hope and despair, and the natural and mechanical worlds over the course of 37 minutes; a short-form work compared to some of his other albums. But while the massiveness of works like Fordlandia was part of what made them so stunning, And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees’ strength comes from its small size -- much like the varmint the film follows. In just over three minutes, “Theme” sketches out the fragile beauty of the animal’s bee-filled meadow and the first hints of the coming devastation; “The Flat”’s industrial drones and electronic vapor trails evoke its aftermath in just a few minutes more. Even if this isn’t among Jóhannsson’s bleakest music, it’s among his most emotional, and much more somber than most scores for animated films. Yet his approach is never cartoonish. If anything, “Entering the City”’s muted strings and harp and the beckoning pipe organ and choir of “Siren Song” are some of his subtlest pieces, making the glimpses of light and hope in “Pods” and “Rainwater” -- which sounds so fresh that it seems to carry a breeze -- all the more tantalizing. As always, Jóhannsson conveys these shifts in mood effortlessly but with great nuance. The album’s most hopeless moments, such as the almost weeping soprano vocals on “City Building (Alt. Version)” and the vast bleakness of “Escape,” come before the sunrise of “Inside the Pods”’ strings and “End Theme”’s wide-open joy, but it feels far from clichéd. And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees was originally available as a 1000-copy vinyl release on Jóhannsson’s 2009 North American tour, but many more people than that need to hear this intimate album from a composer who expresses himself more exquisitely with each work. © Heather Phares /TiVo
CD$12.99

Pop - Released March 29, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

HI-RES$12.99
CD$8.99

Film Soundtracks - Released September 14, 2018 | Lakeshore Records

Hi-Res
Far from his uplifting music for The Theory of Everything and more abstract than his Arrival or Sicario scores, Mandy is a departure from the other soundtracks that dominated Jóhann Jóhannsson's career prior to his untimely death in 2018. Jóhannsson was a fan of director Panos Cosmatos' previous film Beyond the Black Rainbow -- and also a big metal fan, both of which made the composer the perfect choice to score this '80s revenge story full of supersaturated visuals and utterly committed performances by Nick Cage and Linus Roache. Despite the film's over-the-top nature, Jóhannsson doesn't try to match the onscreen insanity. Instead, he supports it brilliantly. Working with acclaimed producer Randall Dunn and Sunn O))) guitarist Stephen O’Malley, Jóhannsson's final completed score uses metal, electronic, and orchestral elements with precision, cunningly drawing listeners into Mandy's world of ever-building dread. Subtle, spacious early cues like "Seeker of the Serpent's Eye," "Horns of Abraxas," and "Starling" signal the stirring of a great evil that surfaces on "Black Skulls," where brass and woodwinds howl like panicked animals in the face of sheets of scraping metallic noise. Mandy doesn't really let loose until its second half -- and even when it does, it's not gonzo. When O'Malley's guitars finally erupt on "Sand," they're surrounded by plenty of space to let their doom unfurl; on "Burning Church," the seething distortion and feedback suggest the scene's chaos instead of competing with it. Likewise, "Dive-Bomb Blues" and "Waste" unfold at an agonizingly slow pace, building from thudding riffs to skull-crushing beats and brass squalls in a deliberate fashion that's more terrifying than a frenzy. Jóhannsson balances the score's aggression with the solemnly graceful "Mandy Love Theme," a remembrance of tenderness driven by rippling, Durutti Column-like guitars that later float through "Death and Ashes" and "Memories." However, the most intriguing track here might be "Children of the New Dawn," a dreamy electro-pop number that sounds like a more elegant version of early '80s soundtrack music; like the rest of the score, it's not quite like anything else in Jóhannsson's body of work. Another triumph, Mandy reaffirms his mastery and hints at how much more he had to contribute. © Heather Phares /TiVo
CD$25.49

Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
CD$12.99

Film Soundtracks - Released April 19, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

CD$3.49

Electronic/Dance - Released December 4, 2015 | Sonic Pieces

Released in 2014, End of Summer is an unnarrated black-and-white documentary short that captures landscape images of the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby island of South Georgia. Its soundtrack consists of Jóhann Jóhannsson's original score and field recordings from the Icelandic composer's visit to the region; he's also the film's director. With collaborators Hildur Gudnadottir (voice, cello) and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (voice, synthesizer), both of whom contributed to writing parts of the score, Jóhannsson sculpts a droning, doleful ambience that blends cello, sustained vocals, and electronics to elegant effect. The score has a playing time just short of 30 minutes, corresponding to the length of the documentary. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
CD$12.99

Film Soundtracks - Released March 15, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

On his 2005 album, Jóhann Jóhannsson continued his style-scrambling mix of impulses with the gusto evident on earlier work. The opening "Banlol Northursins" crosses everything from winsome lo-fi organ pop to space rock zone to slow and steady funk breaks and more, with an aesthetic that can best be summed up as beholden to none of these styles in particular. It makes even more sense as a result that the immediately following song, "10 Rokkstig," is a sharp, peppy electro-rock number that should be concluding a triumphant teen dramedy epic in space. The album's flow of often short, discrete songs further emphasizes a sense of the soundtrack-for-the-unfilmed movie, mood setters that work all over the map in the best of ways. There's elegant piano-led moodiness like "Já, Hemmi Minn" and "Ónefnt" that Wong Kar-Wai might kill for (especially when the latter breaks into a slow waltz groove). Meantime, songs like "Eíripídes, Og Neðtipídel," with its brawling drum punch, and deep bass growls against softer tones and bells toward the end add a peppy tinge to the tune. There's a revisiting of sounds as the album continues, but sometimes in unexpected ways -- if "Ljósrit" is the first song over again, it's a shorter and even moodier version. Perhaps the most enjoyable thing about Dis is how clearly Jóhannsson embraces and then reuses so many elements of what was labeled as glitch or experimental techno for his own particular ends. It would be a disservice to say he adds heart to such music, but the more immediate embrace of sonic melancholia and sweetness on songs like "Pynnkudagur" -- yet another roll-the-credits song of the highest quality -- as piano, subharmonics, soft electronic melodies, and distant voices combine, can't be denied. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
CD$11.99

Electronic/Dance - Released November 4, 2008 | 4AD

CD$14.99

Film Soundtracks - Released May 29, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

CD$1.49

Classical - Released July 15, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

CD$11.99

Electronic/Dance - Released October 30, 2006 | 4AD

CD$2.49

Electronic/Dance - Released October 9, 2006 | 4AD