Pin It
Johann Johannsson

Award-winning electronica film composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has died

He worked on The Theory of Everything, mother! and was set to score Blade Runner 2049

Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has passed away at the age of 48.

Tributes have poured in for the composer, who scored films including The Theory of Everything, and Denis Villeneuve’s films SicarioPrisoners, and Arrival.

Tim Husom, Jóhannsson’s manager, said in a statement: “I’m so very sad. Today, I lost my friend who was one of the most talented musicians and intelligent people I knew. We came a long way together.”

Jóhannsson was known for his unique blend of classical music and electronica and often went above and beyond to develop scores for his movies.

In an interview with Indiewire, Craig Henighan – one of Jóhannsson’s collaborators on Darren Aronofsky’s mother! – spoke about his innovative approach: “He records all these really interesting musicians and interesting instruments and we’d take those and manipulate them in different ways,” said Henighan. “When you go into the movie you aren’t going to hear a classic score by any stretch of the imagination.”

Speaking of his work on mother!, Jóhannsson described his innovative creative approach to its music – removing the score entirely. “mother! is a film where half measures have no place and after Darren and I had explored many different approaches, my instinct was to eliminate the score entirely,” the composer said. “Erasure is a big part of the creative process and in this case, we knew we had to take this approach to its logical extreme.”

The composer was also set to score Blade Runner 2049, before being removed from the project after reports surfaced in July 2017 that suggested Jóhannsson’s role had been downsized, with Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch taking over the music duties. Jóhannsson reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement which meant that he could not discuss the film at all.

He is survived by his parents, three sisters and daughter.