S.O.W.S. “IBM 729 II Magnetic Tape Unit” by Jóhann Jóhannsson

SOWS v.02

MUSIK MODUS (SOWS) pronounced [sohz]


johann johannsson - ibm 1401_a user's manualUsually, I like to share my own ideas about the music I share with others. However, for my first Song of the Week, I would like to quote from the artist’s website. The best, or rather the most valuable opinions about music come straight from the source, the musician. While it is important to form our own ideas about the music that touches our lives, the sentiments that matter most are those of the creator. Jóhann Jóhannsson is one of my favorite contemporary composers, and he reign’s from the beautiful and pure country called Iceland. I received the following from Jóhannsson’s official IBM 1401 website. These are not my words:

“Jóhann’s stately and hauntingly melodic music has been quietly bewitching listeners for some time and his new album, IBM 1401, A User’s Manual – his most ambitiously-orchestrated composition to date – is sure to expand his audience still further.

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, Jóhann rewrote the entire score, and it was recorded by a sixty-piece string orchestra. He also added a new final section and incorporated electronics alongside those original tape recordings of the singing computer.”

–Quoted from www.ausersmanual.org


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