Jóhann Jóhannsson Live on KCRW — Flight From the City (U.S. Debut)

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About a year and a half ago Jason Bentley and I snuck into a show together. It wasn’t a big rock show. Or even a big pop show. It was Jóhann Jóhannsson at the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax Blvd in LA.

Jason started off today’s live session by telling the Icelandic composer about sneaking in. He said the event, in a small, standing room only theater, felt like “what life would have been like during war time”, where people had to gather in secret spots to enjoy the arts together.

Jóhann said he prefers unconventional venues and that the sound of the room is “almost like an instrument” itself.

It’s rare to experience classical music as if it’s an underground event but Jóhann seems to seek out that atmosphere for his cinematic music. Jason drew connections between his work and ambient electronica, and the artist mentioned that he grew up listening to German electronic music of the 70’s like Tangerine Dream. Listening to his classical compositions, that makes total sense!

Enjoy the set in our archives here.


Jóhann Jóhannsson Live on KCRW Set List


Flight From the City (First time playing this song in the U.S.!)

The Sun’s Gone Dim And The Sky’s Turned Black

Corpus Camera

The Cause Of Labour Is The Hope Of The World

Odi Et Amo

Joi And Karen