“Icelandic composer and keyboardist Jóhann Jóhannsson’s most significant works have been film scores, a context well suited to his artful blend of contemporary classical, electronica, and indie pop” – The New Yorker
(September 13, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA) – WaterTower Music announced today the September 17 release of the soundtrack to the Alcon Entertainment thriller “Prisoners,” a Warner Bros. Pictures’ release starring Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”), and directed by Denis Villeneuve (the Oscar-nominated “Incendies”). The film was scored by acclaimed Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The album will be available at all digital retailers, and a CD will be made available through Amazon.com. The soundtrack will also be released on vinyl via Jóhannsson’s own NTOV Records label this October.
Jóhannsson and Villeneuve decided to try something radical for the soundtrack. “Denis wanted the music to be a poetic voice that worked in counterpoint to the action of the film,” Jóhannsson says. “Even though the film is a thriller, the music is lyrical and beautiful, in stark contrast to the intensity that the film depicts.” Jóhannsson composed the score watching an early cut of the film, reacting to the images on screen.
He scored the music for an orchestra with large string and woodwind sections and also featured the sounds of two little known instruments: The Cristal Baschet,an instrument similar to a glass harmonica, with huge metallic resonators; and the Ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument similar to a Theremin, but with a softer sound. By blending those unfamiliar sounds with string instruments, Jóhannsson created music with a delicate, glassy surface. Despite its ambient sound, his tranquil music serves to heighten the tension of the film. “My ideal is music where the electronic and the acoustic sounds blend seamlessly,” says Jóhannsson, who has scored more than a dozen movies. His approach to film music is informed by influences as diverse as Pergolesi, Wojciech Kilar, Steve Reich, Einstürzende Neubauten, Swans, Coil, Arvo Pärt, Ennio Morricone, Morton Feldman and Bernard Herrmann.
WaterTower Music has been releasing recorded music since 2001. Distributed through InGrooves Fontana, WTM has released over 150 titles, including the film soundtracks to “Man of Steel,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Project X,” “Rock of Ages,” “Hairspray,” “Sex and the City,” “Elf,” “The Notebook,” and “Love and Basketball,” among others. Its 2013 schedule includes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”