Jóhann Jóhannsson has died at the age of 48

James McCarthy Mon 12th February 2018

The Golden Globe winning composer has died in Berlin

Jóhann Jóhannsson, who has died in Berlin at the age of 48, was in many ways the model of a successful modern composer. He was as original and creative in his works for the concert hall and in his solo projects as he was for the cinema. 

Jóhannsson was nominated for an Academy Award twice, for the score to The Theory of Everything in 2014 (a score for which he won a Golden Globe) and for Sicario the following year. He signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon in 2016, and his Orphée was released by the label in the same year.

DG released a statement saying: 'We are speechless and take comfort in the memory of Jóhann’s warm, enigmatic personality, his intelligent dry sense of humour and his relentless uncompromising search for new sounds and concepts. Jóhann’s sonic scapes are unique and the void left by his passing can never be filled.'

Jóhannsson imaginately explored the relationship between acoustic music and electronica. He said: 'My ideal is music where the electronic and the acoustic sounds blend seamlessly.' 

On Twitter, fellow Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds recalled a story which perfectly encapsulated Jóhannsson's seriousness and integrity as an artist: 'My favourite Jóhann story is when he had spent a year writing the score for Darren Aronofsky's "Mother" and at some point realised that the film was better with no music at all. He proceeded to convince Darren to delete everything. It takes a real, selfless artist to do that. To realise the piece is better without you ... In my view, "Mother" still has a score by Jóhann. The score is just silence ... deafening, genius silence.'

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