föstudagur, nóvember 23, 2007

Jóhann G. Jóhannsson

Johann G. Jóhannsson
Born 22. February 1947 in Keflavík, Iceland.
Musical Education: Mostly self-taught.
In 1995 he began his studies at Kópavogur School of Music (TTK) of utilizing computer and electronic media in the composing process.
A member of following bands: Straumar (1995), Óðmenn (1966-68), Musica Prima (1968-69), Óðmenn II (1969-70), Náttúra (1972) and Póker (1978).
In the relatively obscure tradition of Icelandic songwriters, Jóhann G. Jóhannsson is emerging as one of the country’s best kept secrets. He is revered by his prodigious Icelandic composers come international contemporaries such as Daniel Agust of Gus Gus and Emiliana Torrini, and artists from Björk to Sigur Rós could surely recall his number one hits on Icelandic radio throughout the years. In 1988, he received an Icelandic gold record for his song “Help Them” or “Hjálpum theim” which he performed with a chorus of the country’s premier artists as Iceland’s contribution to the Live Aid relief movement. As with diamond in the rough songwriter Nick Drake, Jóhann G. Jóhannsson’s 30-year discography has just begun its steep ascent into the ears of music listeners and collectors the world over. His masterpieces include “Hard To Be Alone,” “One Wish,” and the recently covered “Don’t Try to Fool Me” which has gone on to become a hit single for the second time. The latest version by Icelandic pop singer Regina Osk sprung to the top of the Scandinavian charts last summer. The prolific and timeless Jóhann G. Jóhannsson has written over 200 songs in the last four decades. Thirty-seven of his most important compositions have been published in the “Gullkorn”, or songbook, together with a CD of 19 songs with piano accompaniment from that collection, published by Skífan (IS) in 1991. Throughout his tenure as a mastermind of pop, rock and tender ballads in both English and Icelandic, Jóhann G. Jóhannsson has founded several influential bands such as Straumar, Ódmenn, Music Prima, Náttura and Poker. They have left an imprint in the lexicon of Iceland’s art-driven, often considered avant-garde, musicians. Ódmenn’s music has been re-released on a double album entitled Ódmenn II as its predecessor reached collectors status in fetching $400.00 USD a copy in Europe. Several musicians have lauded Jóhannsson for his craftsmanship as a songwriter. Ken Thomas, producer of Sigur Rós, likened him to Paul McCartney for his sense of melody and hooks. Thomas called the solo project and 1974 album titled “Langspil” one of the finest Icelandic pop records he’s heard. Jakob Frímann Magnússon, the first Icelandic recording artist to secure a major international record deal in 1979 with Warner Brothers (US), and later Affinity and Capitol Records, says "Jóhann G. Jóhannsson is without doubt one of the most successful and influential songwriters in the history of Icelandic popular music. His soulful and distinguished songwriting has secured him a status unlikely to be matched by anyone for years to come. With all this in mind, Johannsson’s discography is a treasure chest waiting to be explored by listeners, artists and publishers in search of eternal songs and sounds. His music is the harmony of creativity we strive for in our daily lives and discovering it is like finding that treasure that will forever fill your soul with riches.

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