Press Reaction: Jóhann’s ‘Arrival’ score

“Johann Johannsson’s menacing, melancholy score, creates a heady, sensual atmosphere in which the boundaries between thinking and feeling are artfully blurred.” – The New York Times 

“Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score is so integral to the images that it may as well be their heartbeat—it’s spooky and sonorous, a spectral hum.” – Time 

"Johann Johannsson's unsettling music — an ominous drone punctuated by horn blasts that sound like other-worldly whale calls — underscores their strange majesty." – The Hollywood Reporter

"The gaunt score by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who also soundtracked Villeneuve’s drug-cartel thriller Sicario, is little more than a chest-tightening bass note – think scraped piano wire – and a half-sung, half-blown melody line that seems to exist outside of any earthly time signature. It makes the Close Encounters of the Third Kind musical motif sound like the Macarena:" The Telegraph

“Instead Bradford Young's visuals do a great deal of the storytelling, along with Adams’ exceptional performance, the evocative sound design and Jóhann Jóhannsson‘s insta-classic strings-based score.” – The Playlist

“In this case, two of the film’s undeniable MVPs are cinematographer Bradford Young, the genius who shot 'Selma' and 'A Most Violent Year' and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The latter’s compositions here are essential to every emotional beat of the film, defining the air of tension in the first half of the film and the moving undercurrents of the final act.” – Roger Ebert 

Watch the trailer for ‘Arrival’

Watch the full-length trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s new science-fiction feature 'Arrival'. An excerpt from Jóhann's score is featured during the first half (00:37 - 1:18). Based on a 1998 short story by Ted Chiang and starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, the film will arrive in theaters on November 11th. 

Jóhann announces new album ‘Orphée’ along with a North American & EU Tour

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s first album for Deutsche Grammophon is a meditation on beauty and the process of creation.

Orphée traces a path from darkness into light, inspired by the various re-tellings of the ancient tale of the poet Orpheus, from Ovid’s to Jean Cocteau’s. A many-layered story about death, rebirth, change and the ephemeral nature of memory, the myth can also be read as a metaphor for artistic creation, dealing with the elusive nature of beauty and its relationship to the artist, as well as the idea that art is created through transgression – by the poet defying the gods who have forbidden him to turn back towards his beloved as he leaves the Underworld.

Orphée’s sonic palette is varied, combining acoustic instruments both solo and in ensemble with electronics and the mesmeric sounds of shortwave radio “numbers stations”. It draws on many facets of his previous albums, incorporating music for solo cello, organ, string quartet, string orchestra and unaccompanied voices.

Orphée shows the full range of the Icelandic composer’s remarkable invention and uncanny feeling for atmosphere. The music of the entire album is tied together structurally by recurring harmonic and melodic elements, yet each track sounds fresh, evocative and unique. Orphée reconciles ambitious orchestral and vocal writing with influences ranging from the Baroque to minimalism and electronic music.

Along with this momentous release, Jóhann will kick off his North American and European tour on the 16th of October. Click here for all DATES.

Pre-order 'Orphée'. -