The selection of early works that have been chosen for Deutsche Grammophon’s “RETROSPECTIVE I”, the first part of a two-volume project in celebration of his legacy, show Jóhann Jóhannsson to have been a composer of imagination and versatility in equal measure. Jóhannsson wrote “Dís” based on music written for the film of the same name by director Silja Hauksdottir. Like “Englabörn”, which was based on music originally written for the theatre, “Dís” elaborates and expands on themes used in the film. Jóhannsson had asked members of the bands Funerals, Singapore Sling, Slowblow and Trabant to join him, along with fellow Kitchen Motors founder Hilmar Jensson and Ragnheidur Grondal, one of Iceland’s best beloved singers. This gives the album a loose and intricate feel, with the mood veering from joyous to sad, on the surface buoyant and playful, but revealing a strong melancholic undercurrent. “Dís”
is now available for download and streaming.