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Published on Oct 18, 2006
Jóhann Jóhannsson is Icelandic - he lives in Reykjavík - and is a musician, composer, producer and an active member of the country’s artistic community (as the founder of the Kitchen Motors label / think tank / art collective and also as a serial collaborator).
Jóhann’s stately and hauntingly melodic music has been quietly bewitching listeners for some time and his 2006 album 'IBM 1401, A User’s Manual' - was his most ambitiously-orchestrated composition.
Inspired by a recording of an IBM mainframe computer which Jóhann’s father, Jóhann Gunnarsson, made on a reel-to-reel tape machine more than 30 years ago, the piece was originally written to be performed by a string quartet as the accompaniment to a dance piece by the choreographer Erna Ómarsdóttir. For the album version, Johann rewrote the entire score, and it was recorded by a sixty-piece string orchestra. He also added a new final movement - a version of which makes up this single - and incorporated electronics alongside those original tape recordings of the singing computer.