Johann Johannsson – IBM 1401, A user’s manual

Johann Johannsson

CD – 4AD
An intense and nostalgic album, orchestral and classic in its symphonies (worth the best Morricone), whose assumption, transforming peculiar emotions in sound, is not related to human love or the usual complex human feelings so often articulated in music, and evoked referring to abstract butmeaningful concepts. Here, the celebration is dedicated to the IBM 1401 (a calculator from the late fifties) and to its user manual, with a ‘reprinted’ punched card inside the package. The album testifies the work Johannsson made with the Dutch choreographer Erna Omarsdottir, with which he realized an organic and ambitious opera, rationing the recitative parts, taken from the above mentioned manual, and synthesizing vintage sounds that permeate the composition only tangentially. Academic music culture, new and old electronic technologies, interwoven through the 4AD, a historical indie label (in charge of some of the ethereal and goth aesthetic of the eighties), are then positively impressing.