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Englabörn, Jóhann's first solo album, is derived from music he originally wrote for an Icelandic play of the same name. For the CD release, the music was revised and restructured to make it stand as a work on its own and not simply function as a collection of cues. Performed by string quartet, piano, organ, glockenspiel and percussion, these elements were processed and manipulated, with him adding delicate electronic backgrounds to the otherwise entirely acoustic recordings. One song, ‘Odi et Amo’, is a setting of Catullus's famous poem and the album received a very strong critical reaction… “This first solo album from Jóhann Jóhannsson is absolutely beautiful, and it has only become more so over the past few months, sustaining me for long periods of time when other music just wouldn't do the trick.”– Pitchfork Media “Jóhannsson’s score is a set of sixteen delicate miniatures, whose variations are amazingly complex despite their simple, descending melodies for strings, glockenspiel, harmonium, piano, organ and electronics. its precise use of metaphor, its exceptional balance (digital/analogue, harsh/soft, violent/tender etc.) and its expressive leitmotifs that unveil a profound sadness without ever wallowing in pathos.”– The Wire
Englabörn, Johann's first solo album, is derived from music he originally wrote for an Icelandic play of the same name. For the CD release, the music was revised and restructured to make it stand as a work on its own and not simply function as a collection of cues. Performed by string quartet, piano, organ, glockenspiel and percussion, these elements were processed and manipulated, with him adding delicate electronic backgrounds to the otherwise entirely acoustic recordings. One song, "Odi et Amo", is a setting of Catullus's famous poem and the album received a very strong critical reaction. "This first solo album from Johann Johannsson is absolutely beautiful, and it has only become more so over the past few months, sustaining me for long periods of time when other music just wouldn't do the trick." - Pitchfork Media "Johannsson's score is a set of sixteen delicate miniatures, whose variations are amazingly complex despite their simple, descending melodies for strings, glockenspiel, harmonium, piano, organ and electronics. its precise use of metaphor, its exceptional balance (digital/analogue, harsh/soft, violent/tender etc.) and its expressive leitmotifs that unveil a profound sadness without ever wallowing in pathos." - The Wire