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Johann Johannsson - Englaborn
CD Album
£12.49
Out Of Stock

Johann Johannsson

Englaborn

Touch

Released: 16th September 2002 | 16 track album
Johann Johannsson is one of the most active participants in the new Icelandic music scene. He has one of the founders of Kitchen Motors, the art organization/think tank/record label which specializes in instigating collaborations, promoting concerts and exhibitions, performances, chamber operas, producing films, books and radio shows based on the ideals of experimentation, collaboration and the search for new art forms. Johann has produced and written music with artists as diverse as Marc Almond ('Stranger Things' album), Barry Adamson and Pan Sonic, The Hafler Trio, Magga Stina and many others. He has also written music for the theatre, documentaries and soundtrack music for 3 feature films. Englaborn is Johann's first solo album. It is derived from music he wrote for an Icelandic play of the same name. For the cd release on Touch, the music was revised and restructured to make it stand as a work on its own and not simply function as a collection of cues. The music is written for string quartet, piano, organ, glockenspiel and percussion. These elements were processed and manipulated, adding delicate electronic backgrounds to the otherwise entirely acoustic recordings. One song, 'Odi et Amo', is a setting of Catullus's famous poem. He says 'This was a happy accident; I'd written the music and wanted a computerized counter-tenor vocal singing a Latin text and was looking through a collection of Latin poetry when I remembered this poem from college and it did fit the melody perfectly and was also thematically perfect for the play. It's in the final scene. What I really like about it is the harsh contrast of the computer voice and the strings, the alchemy of total opposites, the sewing machine and umbrella on a dissecting table'. Johannsson continues: 'The plays is extremely violent and disturbing and basically when faced with the script I decided to work against it as much as possible and just try to write the most beautiful music I could. That approach seems to have worked, at any rate, the music got really good reviews, the leading drama critic calling it 'the most beautiful I've heard in Icelandic theatre.' I must say I've never had such a strong reaction to anything I've done before; strangers have actually stopped me in the street and hugged me because of it...! Bizarre.. It is gratifying though, because it's probably the most personal thing I've done. This stuff is very very close to me.''