Copenhagen Dreams: Music from the Film
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||Eleven Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty-Nine Died of Natural Causes||Jóhann Jóhannsson||0:54||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||They Leave Everything Behind||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:09||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||They Fed the Sparrows Leftovers and Offered Grass to Scherfig’s Turtle||Jóhann Jóhannsson||2:30||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||An Eiffel Tower by the Lakes||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:08||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Three Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety One Benches||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:48||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Jewish Cemetery on Moellegade||Jóhann Jóhannsson||2:32||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||They Dream They’ll Get There||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:26||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||A Memorial Garden on Enghavevej||Jóhann Jóhannsson||4:10||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||A Six-Lane Highway||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:36||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||It Will Take Some Time||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:36||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||He Hit Her on the Head With the Wind in the Willows||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:58||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||He Says it’s the Future||Jóhann Jóhannsson||2:09||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Song About the Hyacinths||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:08||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||There’s No Harm Done||Jóhann Jóhannsson||2:14||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||They Had to Work it Out Between Them||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:47||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||She Loves to Ride the Port Ferry When it Rains||Jóhann Jóhannsson||3:00||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||A French School on Vaernedamsvej||Jóhann Jóhannsson||1:27||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Here, They Used to Build Ships||Jóhann Jóhannsson||3:37||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||They Imagine the City Growing out Into the Ocean||Jóhann Jóhannsson||4:29||$0.99||View in iTunes|
Headphone Commute Review
Jóhann Jóhannsson almost snuck past me last year. If it wasn’t for this release appearing on his very own NTOV label, I would have thought that he stopped composing scores altogether. It’s not always that a soundtrack gets printed and marketed as an album, so I am incredibly grateful to Jóhannsson for sharing his works. But Copenhagen Dreams is not the first score for Jóhannsson. What may have started as ‘imaginary’ soundtracks with IBM 1401, A User’s Manual (4AD, 2006) and Fordlandia (4AD, 2008) eventually culminated into a release of a score for The Miners’ Hymns (130701, 2011), and now Copenhagen Dreams, a documentary film portrait of Denmark’s capital by Max Kestner. But did you know that Jóhannsson has recently won the prize for best composer (shared with Peyman Yazdanian) for his score for Lou Ye’s film Mystery? And what about his theater piece for Ganesh Versus The Third Reich?
The story of Copenhagen Dreams is that of a lonely city. Perhaps being populated with half a million dwellers is only a shadow of the its mysteries and secrets. Alone it watches and observes as busy commuters rush for errands through its morning streets. Alone it listens to the sounds when everyone’s asleep. Alone it deeply sighs as life within unfolds. But this soundtrack may not reflect the thoughts of Denmark’s capital alone. There are other lonely cities, all over the world. And when you walk the streets of your own hometown perhaps you’ll listen to its story with these sounds.
On Copenhagen Dreams we hear gentle orchestral arrangement swaying in between the note drops of a singing piano. There are the city’s bells, and the city’s lights reflected in the music. There is the melancholy of the people’s fragile lives. There is the sadness of the passing time. As when we all grow up to be alone, our fate is finally accepted. These inescapable thoughts are echoed in nineteen short pieces of the album. Sometimes in solo piano songs, sometimes in cinematic tracks with voices. And although Copenhagen Dreams is undeniably heartbroken, it’s not a requiem for the city’s soul. Because its life goes on through us. As your hometown’s heartbeat runs with yours.
If this is your first acquaintance with Jóhann Jóhannsson, I highly recommend you dive into his past works. Feel free to start with Englabörn (Touch, 2002) and work your way forward. But if you’re long time fan already, be sure to seek out yet another soundtrack, Free The Mind, released on Jóhannsson’s NTOV this past August of 2012. No wonder this album made it on my Best of 2012 lists. Jóhannsson can’t go wrong!
What an amazing work of art. Johann never ceases to astound me with his music.
Born: September 19, 1969 in Reykjavik, Iceland
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s