How did a reserved teenager from isolated 80s Reykjavík grow into a prominent Hollywood composer? Jóhann’s story is an inspiring narrative of a bookworm and self-educated science nerd whose career always relied on relentless curiosity and playful trial-and-error with a community of artistic friends.
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The Creative Space of Jóhann Jóhannsson

38%
  • Support from family and friends
  • Research/archive 1st phase
  • Interviews 1st phase
  • Writing and layout of 1st draft
  • Quotas for print   
  • Research/archive 2nd phase – USA/Europe   
  • Interviews 2nd phase 
  • Collecting/editing texts from others   
  • Scanning
  • Final writing and editing 
  • Design and layout 
  • Printing/distribution 
  • Book launch and delivery

Further Information

> The Creative Space of Jóhann Jóhannsson is a comprehensive and ambitious book about the composer's creative process and artistic career

Few Icelandic artists have reached the artistic heights of Jóhann Jóhannsson. At the time of his passing in 2018, his left-field approach to film scoring had earned him respect and international recognition and many considered him to be a major force in changing the landscape and role of film music. Because of Jóhann's success, many are under the impression that he was a well-educated artist who always knew what he was doing.

This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. For the most part, Jóhann was self-taught; a compulsive artist driven by deep-rooted curiosity and the joy of messy experimentation. Whether it was rock, disco, funk, or mournful string pieces, he set out with his intuition as a compass until he had mastered diverse music genres. Furthermore, Jóhann always relied on close collaboration with a generous group of friends and artists who nurtured each other, one of them being Hildur Guðnadóttir, who has described the two of them as ‘musical soulmates’ with a more fruitful, intimate, and long-standing collaboration than is commonly known.

> With a pledge you get a 1st edition copy of the book (1000 copies)

> Full Support – Unrestricted Access To Resources

The Creative Space of Jóhann Jóhannsson will give unique insight into Jóhann's creative process with texts written by us and other authors, previously unreleased photos, diary entries and texts from Jóhann himself, his colleagues, and his friends.

Our very first step was to have intimate discussions with Jóhann’s family and close friends, ask for their permission and make sure that everyone involved felt good about a project of this nature. With their support we have found a wealth of unreleased material, e.g. videos, photographs, texts and stories, ranging from Jóhann's very first music-making years in Reykjavík's garages to his most recent Hollywood projects.

We are also in close contact with Jóhann’s management teams in Europe and the U.S., as well as his frequent collaborators in Iceland and Berlin. In addition, The Jóhann Jóhannsson Foundation has given the project its official support.

> Clips From Jóhann's 30 Year Music Career (00:40)

> The Roots of The Icelandic Music Phenomenon

Since Jóhann's music career began in the nineties with his band Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, the book also sheds new light on the creative boom in Reykjavík’s music scene during the years 1985–2000; a time where Icelandic music exploded internationally with The Sugarcubes, Björk, Sigur Rós, múm and countless other artists. So far, this period in Icelandic music history – characterized by a DIY approach, punk attitude and collaboration – hasn’t been researched properly and a by-product of our project is a myriad of stories and information that fills important gaps in Icelandic music history.

Your support will allow us to expand Jóhann’s legacy and secure the preservation of his important archive.

Yours sincerely,

> Orri Jónsson
> Davíð Hörgdal Stefánsson
> Eyja Orradóttir

Book size: 18x30 cm, hardcover
Paper: Matt
Length: 250–300 pages
Scheduled release: September 2022

> Texts In The Book

/// A detailed exploration of Jóhann's different life periods and artistic endeavours by the authors /// A myriad of Jóhann’s own texts, e.g. manifestos, synopsis and descriptions of his projects and ideas /// Scanned diary entries /// Anecdotes and stories from Jóhann's friends and colleagues /// Interview transcripts and conversations /// Selected e-mail correspondence, frequently displaying Jóhann's notorious eloquence and philosophical thinking /// Descriptions of Jóhann's unusual working methods and a breakdown of his creative process /// Selected reviews and media coverage about Jóhann and his work

> Visuals In The Book

/// A large number of photographs from Jóhann's career, his formative years in Reykjavík before 2000 and his years in Copenhagen and Berlin /// Super-8 and video stills, visuals from Jóhann's concerts and films, End of Summer and Last and First Men /// Drafts from Jóhann and his colleagues, e.g. of Spomenik monuments from Last And First Men and for the dance piece IBM 1401: A User's Manual /// Scanned material from Jóhann's archives

> Authors / Team

The authors of the book are Orri Jónsson and Davíð Hörgdal Stefánsson. Research assistant and project manager is Eyja Orradóttir. Eyja has a degree in film studies and creative writing and is currently doing her masters in culture and communication.

Orri is a photographer and musician who met Jóhann during his teenage years. They united in a profound interest in various analog audio technologies and a love of old gadgets and stayed in touch as adults. When Jóhann recorded material for big movies such as Arrival and Sicario, he often recorded in Orri's analog studio in Gufunes.

As a recording engineer, Orri has worked with artists such as múm, Skúli Sverrisson, Óskar Guðjónsson, Ragnar Kjartansson and Benni Hemm Hemm, as well as his collaborative project with Dagur Kári, Slowblow. In 2011, the German photobook publisher Steidl released his book, Interiors. Orri is one of the writer/directors of the documentary film Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigríður Níelsdóttir, which won numerous awards internationally.

Davíð is a writer and literary critic who has taught creative writing for years and published poetry and short story collections and teaching material on Icelandic, literature and creativity. He followed Jóhann's music career closely for a long time and a year after his death, Davíð published two comprehensive articles about his career in an Icelandic culture magazine. These articles sparked the collaboration on a documentary and a bookwork between Davíð and Orri.

> Trailer for Jóhann's Feature Film, Last And First Men

Last and First Men is a visionary work about the final days of humankind that stretches the audience’s ability to imagine not only an immense time frame reaching over billions of years, but huge steps in human evolution.
Hollywood Reporter

A ravishing 70-minute audiovisual essay on human mortality, extinction and legacy — all the more poignant for being its maker’s final creative statement.
Variety

Jóhann Jóhannsson – 1969–2018

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In Progress

This project has been successfully funded and is now executing.

€35,105

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0

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117% FUNDED
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