Icelandic composer Johann G. Johannsson has passed away at the age of 48, according to his manager, Tim Husom. Johannsson is best known as a solo artist and the composer of Sicario, The Theory of Everything, and Arrival. The Academy Award nominated composer was found dead in his Berlin apartment on Friday. No cause of death was revealed, but authorities are investigating, and an autopsy will be performed in the near future.
His representatives Redbird Music Management released a statement on Johann Johannsson’s Facebook page confirming that the composer had passed away. The statement calls Johannsson one of the most “brilliant” and “talented” people that they had ever worked with. The statement reads.
“It is with profound sadness that we confirm the passing of our dear friend Johann. We have lost one of the most talented and brilliant people who we had the privilege of knowing and working with. May his music continue to inspire us.”
Known for blending electronic with classical orchestrations, Johannsson was nominated for an Academy Award and Bafta for his soundtrack to Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 movie, Sicario. Johannsson collaborated again with Villeneuve on 2016’s Arrival.
Johann Johannsson studied piano and trombone at the age of 11, but he later ditched them because he found them to be to constraining. He studied literature and language as a teenager and then started playing in indie rock bands. He was known for a distinct guitar style that utilized layers of feedback to compose beautiful soundscapes. He later started to experiment with electronics, mixing them with acoustic guitars to create striking juxtapositions. From there, he released solo albums and then began to compose orchestral records.
Some of Johann Johannsson’s other movie credits, besides working with Denis Villeneuve, include James Marsh’s Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and the upcoming biblical drama Mary Magdalene, which Johannsson was scored alongside longtime collaborator Hildur Ingveldardottir Guonadottir. Johann Johannsson’s career was just starting to really take off and he was starting to get more work, rising up with Denis Villeneuve. Johannsson was originally attached to score Blade Runner 2049, but he was later replaced by Hans Zimmer. Villeneuve says that he just wanted to try something different with the movie and the duo planned to work again in the future.
Among those paying tribute following the news of Johann Johannsson’s death were experimental producer Flying Lotus and director Aaron Moorhead. Flying Lotus took to Twitter to speak about Johannsson’s influence. He had this to say.
“Johann Johansson has been such an influence, especially lately. I’m in disbelief. The stuff he did for panoscosmatos Mandy is incredible.”
Aaron Moorhead declared that Johann Johannsson was just getting started while calling him “one of the best composers in the world.” Johann Johannsson is survived by his daughter, parents, and sisters. You can read more about the death of composer Johan Johannsson via The Hollywood Reporter. Rest In Peace, Johann Johannsson.
Johann Johansson has been such an influence, especially lately. I’m in disbelief. The stuff he did for @panoscosmatos “Mandy” is incredible.
— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) February 10, 2018
We just lost Jóhann Jóhannsson, one of the best composers in the world. Died just as he was getting started. Throw on IBM 1401 all day, The Sun’s Gone Dim is like he wrote his own requiem. This is devastating. https://t.co/6b2nr9WcmJ
— Aaron Moorhead (@AaronMoorhead) February 10, 2018