Award-winning composer Johann Johannsson dies at 48

A file photo of Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson posing with his award for Best Original Score for The Theory Of Everything during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, on Jan 11, 2015.
A file photo of Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson posing with his award for Best Original Score for The Theory Of Everything during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, on Jan 11, 2015.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(WASHINGTON POST) - The film and avant-garde musical communities are mourning Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson, who was found dead on Friday (Feb 9) at age 48.

The Oscar-nominated composer, who helped score The Theory Of Everything and Arrival, was found dead in his Berlin apartment, his manager Tim Husom confirmed."Today, I lost my friend who was one of the most talented musicians and intelligent people I knew," Husom said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

Police are investigating his cause of death, which is currently unknown, Rosalie Voss of Redbird Music Management told AP.

"We have lost one of the most talented and brilliant people who we had the privilege of knowing and working with," a company statement reads. "May his music continue to inspire us."

An electronic musician who began film composing in 2000, Johannsson became known for creating unique soundscapes by combining classical and experimental elements. With 2014's The Theory Of Everything, which earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination, Johannsson broke into an elite group of composers.

He received another Oscar nomination for 2015's Sicario and a Golden Globe nomination for 2016's Arrival. His upcoming work included the Nicolas Cage horror film Mandy, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival last month, and The Mercy starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz.

"I try to approach a project with a blank slate and just let things emerge," he explained in a 2016 interview with the Guardian. "I start very early in the process because it takes a lot of time to work in this way. It takes time to find a mood and feel that has some character and individuality, and is not weird for weirdness's sake."

Johannsson viewed his music as "a way of communicating very directly with people and with people's emotions," he said in a 2015 interview with the Talks. "I try to make music that doesn't need layers of complexity or obfuscation to speak to people. Music should resonate with people on an emotional level. That's one of the criterions I use for an idea. Does it speak simply and directly without obfuscation and without being unnecessarily complex or obscure?

Johannsson also released several of his own studio albums, including his last, 2016's Orphee."Goodbye dear Johann Johannsson," German composer and musician Nils Frahm tweeted. "Thanks for all you brought into this world. You will be greatly missed by all of us." Director Darren Aronofsky, who worked with Johannsson on 2017's Mother!, said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter that Johannsson was "a brilliant collaborator with a wholly unique approach to sound and music. This is a terrible loss."

Johannsson had also signed on to score the upcoming HBO and Sky miniseries Chernobyl. Writer-producer Craig Mazin tweeted that it "meant the world to me. He was brilliant, and I miss the music we will never get to hear for so many movies and shows and everything else he would have dreamed.

Mazin added: "A genius, gone too soon."