Scoring the new Bladerunner with a master of dramatic tension.
Jóhann Jóhannson is an Icelandic composer best known for his arresting drifts of digitally manipulated acoustic instruments. His musical roots can be traced back to building layers of guitar noise in bands in the '80s and '90s and a long-standing history of writing music for theatre and dance productions. But Jóhannson sees it all as part of a single project of creating emotionally resonant music—indeed, his first solo release on key experimental imprint Touch, 2002's Englabörn, was originally written for the stage. He's since released albums on crossover labels like 4AD and 130701 and has even cracked into the celebrated Deutsche Grammophon catalogue with his latest effort Orphée.
However, Jóhannson has begun tapping into a new audience following his rise into the upper echelons of film soundtrack composers. In particular, his collaborations with Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, namely Prisoner, Sicario and the recently released Arrival, have established Jóhannson as one of the most in-demand players in the field. But perhaps his biggest challenge is yet to come—Jóhannson has been tasked with scoring the forthcoming sequel to Bladerunner, which he discussed with RA's Mark Smith from his Berlin studio last month.
Jóhannson is also performing at the Barbican in London on December 9th.