On 10-FEB-2018, Icelandic musician and film score composer Jóhann Jóhannsson passed away at the young age of 48.  Words are still failing to describe the atmospheres his music created and the depths in which I would be lost within them.  I was able to attend two concerts that came through MN over the years and must now be content with their lasting impressions.

  • 6/30/2009 at the Southern Theatre
  • 5/8/2010 at The Cedar

Of the 15 albums and musical scores I have had the privilege of listening to, these are my favorites and ones that provide inspiration when writing or putting an end to the day.

  • And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees
  • Arrival
  • Englaborn
  • Orphee
  • The Theory of Everything

More information and complete music catalog is on the official website at: http://www.johannjohannsson.com

It has been 14-years since we visited Iceland, and I finally have posted photos!

Through the open window
a voice whispering garbled
words drifted in with the
autumn breeze filled with the sea.

Through the morning light
reflecting off floating dust
I walked to the window
overlooking the center of town.

Empty fountain, streets, and cafe tables
sat in the mountain shadows.

In the distance a church steeple
rises sharply atop the hill
and I struggle with mixed emotions
until I see you walk from the light.

Some recent music, delving into new music and artists, as well as favorites, including a release by Hildur Gudnadottir, one of my favorite Icelandic musicians.

  1. Seven Lions – Worlds Apart (2014)
  2. Seven Lions – The Throes of Winter (2015)
  3. Celldweller – End of an Empire (Chapter 03: Dreams) (2015)
  4. Celldweller – Transmissions: Volume 01 (2014)
  5. Porter Robinson – Worlds (2014)
  6. Hildur Gudnadottir – Saman (2014)
  7. Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now (2013)
  8. Eraldo Bernocchi, Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie – Winter Garden (2011)
  9. Animattronic – Pirates of the Galaxy (2015)

This is somewhat of a belated review of the movie “Oblivion” starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, and Andrea Riseborough that was released in 2013.

I first watched this movie 3 or 4 months ago and while it was “good”, it did not make much of an impression or stick with me. I wrote nothing about it at the time and did not delve further into the soundtrack. If somebody would have asked have you seen any good movies lately, I would have responded with a flat “no” and disregarded this movie completely.

Until now.

Recently, I have had random images of lost and abandoned ships in the desert or the sky empty except for “them”. As everything happens for a reason, I worked to figure out where these images and thoughts came from, and determined it was from “Oblivion”.

This is why it has become my favorite movie and the reason I am listening to the soundtrack while trying to find the right words.  It seeped into my thoughts and subconcious.

For me the synopsis of the movie is clutching to memories, no matter how distant or esoteric, and knowing they are part of you from somewhere.  To have the determination to find your roots and follow what consumes you, be it your dreams, a face, something unknown.  Through the isolation, the desolation, and rawness we live within, we are born within, we are forced into simplicity, into ourselves to find the answers and the path.  The dream from each evening bleeds into each day and we begin to see faces, moments, and fragments that over time we start piecing together.  We think maybe this is a part of myself, this is who I was and now who I am.

This landscape is my empty field.

The aliens in his movie are never shown, but are implied based on the events and the narrative.  They are in control, they have covered eyes with a veil, and wiped clean the mind, the memories, the spirit.  But that spirit can only be suppressed, not deleted forever, and over time, it will come back, it will return home.

 

Oblivion Movie
Oblivion Movie

While I have been away from blogging way more than I would like, the music keeps on flowing as there is so much out there.  Found a nice treat with an Icelandic group that I had not heard of, and some other stuff.

An Indie-folk / classical band from Iceland that I heard of as a recommendation from Olafur Arnalds.  The classical elements are excellent and the singing is in English and Icelandic.  Really a great find.  I have been listening to both disks everyday since picking these up.

While watching the movie recently, I became really hooked on the music which is mostly electronic with some heavy guitars thrown in.  Providing an atmosphere that matches the gritty, no holds-barred, get-out-of-my-way action and cinematography, the music is treat, and a better experience than the movie itself.

  • Dredd – Judgment is Coming(2009)

Find this one by accident while searching for the movie soundtrack and am very happy with the electronic experience this provides.

As a follow-up to the recent Ólafur Arnalds concert we attended, here is a list of Icelandic musicians in the playlist.

  1. Siggi Ármann
  2. Ólafur Arnalds
  3. Ólöf Arnalds
  4. Hildur Gudnadóttir
  5. Jóhann Jóhannsson
  6. Sigur Rós
  7. Valgeir Sigurdsson
  8. Skuli Sverrisson

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