Monday, February 12, 2018

The Sun’s Gone Dim…

… and the sky’s gone black.

Jóhann Jóhannsson, 19 September 1969 – 9 February 2018.

Photo by Timothée Lambrecq, Reykjavík Grapevine

Oh man, this one hits hard.

Of all the Icelandic musicians I've had the joy of seeing perform, Jóhann was the most challenging. I saw him perform in Iceland—three times in two days—each group was completely different in personnel and material. Apparat Organ Quartet was the most visually stunning, four keyboardists playing vintage electronic instruments in front of a big crowd in the Art Museum:

The following night Jóhann performed with a string quintet at Fríkirkjan,  doing the premiere of his IBM 1401, A Users Manual, album. Later that night he joined his buddies in Evil Madness improvising “soundtracks for an imaginary horror films.”

He came to Minneapolis in 2009, featuring compositions from Fordlandia:

He came back to Minnesota in 2016, with a show featuring songs from his album Orphée as well as a greatest hits "medley" with another string quintet:

There are numerous videos of his work on YouTube; you could spend days exploring them all. The best tribute I found to Jóhann was from Seattle-based KEXP radio, with links to his excellent performances on their shows.

BTW, he was an award-winning film composer, as well.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

Gone much too soon.

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