July 12, 2018 Los Angeles, CA – Lakeshore Records in conjunction with Invada Records will release Jóhann Jóhannsson’s final work, his original score to the forthcoming film Mandy. The film and soundtrack will be released seven months after his heartbreaking and untimely death in February. Jóhannsson’s manager, Tim Husom, remembers Jóhann and how the project came about: “My friend and client Jóhann Jóhannsson passed away on February 9, 2018. The last music he created before his death was the score to Mandy. We were working on it right up until the film was delivered to Sundance in early January, 2018. Back in August of 2016 we received a call from Daniel Noah at SpectreVision about this crazy new horror film they were starting that starred Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roach, and directed by Panos Cosmatos. Jóhann had just finished his score for Denis Villeneuve’s film, Arrival, when the Mandy mood boards were sent over to us. They were unbelievably cool and scary. Our interest was hooked immediately. Jóhann’s first email response to me about the project was ‘Seriously, his (Panos) Beyond The Black Rainbow film is a masterpiece! I love it. And the way he uses music.’ To Jóhann, the idea of working on Mandy with Panos and SpectreVision was bringing some much needed balance to his score career and a perfect next step.”
Lakeshore Records and Invada Records will release a single from the soundtrack, “Children of the New Dawn,” on July 13th digitally with the full album Mandy—Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to follow on September 14th. The film score was co-produced by Jóhannsson and Randall Dunn (produced Sunn O)))) and features Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley on guitar. The album was assembled posthumously in March 2018 with the help of co-producers Pepijn Caudron (Kreng) and Yair Glotman. The film, directed by Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow) and starring Nicolas Cage, will be released by RLJ Entertainment on September 14th. The film was produced by SpectreVision, XYZ Films, and Umedia with support from Legion M.
Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life (IMDB). In the liner notes Cosmatos states: “Jóhann went above and beyond, and I suspect to the limits of his sanity, to make the music for this movie. His words and his actions made him more than a great collaborator, they made him like a brother to me. I’m sad our time together was so brief but I’m very proud of what he accomplished on Mandy and I believe he was too.”
The Jóhann Jóhannsson Foundation was created by his family and agent Kevin Korn in memory of Jóhannsson to foster and enhance appreciation, education and achievement in the areas of composition, music, and art around the world through educational outreach, a composer scholarship foundation, an annual composer gala event, and international festivals.
About Jóhann Jóhannsson
Jóhann Jóhannsson, born in Iceland in 1969, is an award-winning composer, musician and producer. His work often blends electronics with classical orchestrations and bears the diverse influences of the Baroque, Minimalism, and drone-based and electro-acoustic music. In 2015 Jóhann won the Golden Globe and received Oscar®, BAFTA, Grammy® and Critics’ Choice nominations for his score to The Theory of Everything, James Marsh’s biographical drama based on the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. In 2016 Jóhann was again nominated for Oscar®, BAFTA and Critics’ Choice awards now for the best original score for director Denis Villeneuve’s thriller Sicario.2016 also saw the release of Arrival, Villeneuve’s film on linguists deciphering alien signs made by extraterrestrial beings and yet again Johann was nominated to Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his score to the film.
Jóhannsson began studying piano and trombone at the age of eleven in his native Reykjavík. He abandoned formal musical training while at high school and after studying literature and languages at university, he spent ten years writing music for and playing in indie rock bands, using guitars to compose feedback-drenched pieces and sculpt complex multi-layered soundscapes. By manipulating the resonances of acoustic instruments with digital processing, Jóhannsson created music that integrated acoustic and electronic sounds into something strikingly individual and new.
His first solo album, Englabörn, was released in 2002 on the British Touch label. Its contents reveal influences spanning everything from Erik Satie, Bernard Herrmann, Purcell and Moondog to electronic music issued by labels such as Mille Plateaux and Mego. Later works include Virðulegu Forsetar (2004), scored for brass ensemble, electronic drones and percussion, and the orchestral albums Fordlândia (2008) and IBM 1401 – A User’s Manual (2006), the latter inspired by the sounds of electromagnetic emissions from the first of IBM’s pioneering mainframe computers. In 2010 Jóhannsson collaborated with the American avant-garde filmmaker Bill Morrison on The Miners’ Hymns, a lyrical and reflective response to Britain’s lost industrial past and the heritage of the mining communities of Northeast England. The film’s accompanying score, conceived for live performance and also released as a soundtrack album, combines brass band, pipe organ and electronics. In 2015, Drone Mass, Jóhann’s piece for a string quartet, electronics and vocal ensemble was premiered at the Met Museum in New York.
In addition to his scores for Hollywood, Jóhann has also created soundtracks for several acclaimed works of world cinema and for documentary films, including Lou Ye’sMystery, János Szász’s The Notebook and Max Kestner’s Dreams in Copenhagen. In 2015 he completed his first short film as director, End of Summer, which charts a slow, hypnotic journey across the austere landscapes of the remote island of South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula, its onscreen images accompanied by a haunting soundtrack score. Johann premiered another quite ambitious directorial project at Manchester International Festival in 2017, Last and First Men, where a text based on Olaf Stapledon’s sci-fi novel and read by Tilda Swinton is juxtaposed with startling footage of futuristic monuments shot by Sturla Brandt Grövlen in in form Yugoslavia and Johannsson’s symphonic score .
As an orchestral, chamber and theatre composer, he has written works for, among others, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bang on a Can, Theatre of Voices, Det Norske Teater and the Icelandic National Theatre. Jóhannsson made his Deutsche Grammophon debut with the release of his first studio album in six years, Orphée, in September 2016. Orphée is inspired by a range of readings of the Orpheus myth, draws on a varied sonic palette, both acoustic and electronic, to explore the boundaries between darkness and light. It contemplates impermanence, memory and the elusive nature of beauty, ultimately celebrating art and its power of renewal.
About Panos Cosmatos
Born in Rome in the mid ’70s to a Greek movie director and a Swedish experimental artist mother, Cosmatos spent his early formative years toted all over the globe before settling in western Canada. In 1980, the family lived for a year in Mexico, where exposure to the strange, local interpretations of American pop culture had a profound and lasting effect on his creative life. Growing up in the isolated suburbs of Vancouver Island during the ‘80s, he obsessed over the minutiae of heavy metal, fantasy art, science fiction, and horror films, which he still does to this day. After the death of his mother in the late ‘90s, he descended into a decade-long vortex of madness and self-destruction. He emerged having made the decision to make a movie, or die trying. A year later, “Beyond the Black Rainbow” was born.