Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson was found dead in his apartment in Berlin on Friday, 9 Feb. 2018. Yet, the cause of death has not been made public.
Despite, between 2002 and 2016, the composer having released nine solo albums inclusive of Englabörn (2002), Fordlandia (2008) and Orphée (2016), Jóhannsson’s contribution to soundtrack albums ranks highly in the minds of people that knew his work.
With nominations for work done on several films, the composer picked up awards for his work on the Ye Lou directed crime drama “Fu cheng mi shi” (2012), the James Marsh directed “The Theory of Everything” (2014) and the Denis Villeneuve directed “Arrival” (2016).
Beginning in 2012 with the Golden Horse’s Best Original Film Score award for the Ye Lou directed crime drama “Fu cheng mi shi,” the composer picked up the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for “The Theory of Everything” and the 2016 World Soundtrack Awards for Best Film Composer of the Year for “Arrival.”
Even though Jóhannsson’s music can be heard used in Amazon Prime’s “The Grand Tour,” the entertainment industry’s use of the composer’s music stems back to at least 1995 when he performed “Karma” for the Friðrik Þór Friðriksson written and directed “Á köldum klaka.”
Further to his work with television and film production, it would be remiss to not mention the composer was also responsible for adding his style of music to various Icelandic staged performances. Beginning in 1996 with the Icelandic Take-away Theatre staged “Margrét Mikla,” Jóhannsson wrote music for no fewer than 11 plays and two contemporary dance performances.
Born in Reykjavík, Iceland on Friday, 19 Sept. 1969, Jóhannsson is known to have studied languages and literature during his academic career. In the mid-1990s, with an interest in music, Jóhannsson could be seen performing as a guitarist in Icelandic indie rock bands, such as Olympia, Unun and Ham.
With his musical interests intensifying, in 1999, Jóhannsson co-founded Kitchen Motors with Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir and Hilmar Jensson. Kitchen Motors, if you are unfamiliar with the company, is an Iceland based think tank, record label and an art collective.
The principle reasoning for the founding of Kitchen Motors was the encouragement of interdisciplinary collaborations between artists from punk, jazz, classical, metal and electronic music.
With the composer’s sudden death, many members of the entertainment community has expressed its thoughts…
We’re extremely saddened to learn of the death of Jóhann Jóhannsson. He was BAFTA nominated three times – for his scores for The Theory of Everything, Sicario and Arrival https://t.co/s07L229JuL
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) February 10, 2018
One of the greatest artists of our time… And a huge influence on me. I hope you are in a good place Jóhann ❤https://t.co/9cHmvu8qdk
— Ólafur Arnalds (@OlafurArnalds) February 10, 2018
I'm saddned to hear of the passing of Johann Johannson. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and loved ones. https://t.co/7YmgoGBZ89
— Clint Mansell (@iamclintmansell) February 10, 2018
RIP Jóhann Jóhannson. 48 is way too young. If you haven’t already heard it, the episode of Song Exploder where he dissects his terrific score for Arrival is really good. https://t.co/Wq3S6f94Aa
— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) February 10, 2018
— The Playlist 🎬 (@ThePlaylist) February 10, 2018
Awful and tragic news. I can’t even process this. https://t.co/DnfmQ3AwZJ
— Bear McCreary (@bearmccreary) February 10, 2018
WTF is going on lately? I play THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING score all the time… https://t.co/9s0dIZC9Zc
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) February 10, 2018
Sad to learn of the passing of Jóhann Jóhannsson, a composer we loved on Saturday Night at the Movies @ClassicFM: Arrival, Theory of Everything, Prisoners, The Mercy … innovative, experimental, ambient and yet widely appreciated. pic.twitter.com/CnWLSSmVS0
— Andrew Collins (@AndrewCollins) February 10, 2018