Of all the current classical composers, Iceland’s Johann Johannsson might be my favorite. He has a deft melodic touch, simple and refined no different than the French minimalists at the turn of the 20th century. It is this great efficiency that made IBM 1401 such a revelation, a digital mingle, and Virðulegu Forsetar’s an anthemic symphonic feast. Fordlandia is an exceptional concept record, a blend of the analog and digital. As he states:
For the structure and themes of the album I was influenced by the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Herzog and Kenneth Anger. I was interested in a kind of poetic juxtaposition and an alchemical fusion of themes and ideas, which I feel is similar to the way Anger uses montage as an alchemical technique – as a way of casting a spell. During the making of the album, I also had in mind the Andre Breton quote about convulsive beauty, which he saw in the image of “an abandoned locomotive overgrown by luxurious vegetation”.
Melodia (iii) is one of my favorite of his little melodic ditties. The roar of strings hit in the background like watching a storm come in from your porch. In his reference to the surrealist demigod Breton, the song becomes clear: it is the human creation overcome by forces of nature, intelligence conquered by emotion, the mechanical conquered by the organic.