Feb 1, 2011

Trailer of the Month — Battle: Los Angeles

The Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has made what seems to me an important and possibly groundbreaking discovery: if you compose a chamber piece for a string quintet, plus organ, in the austere, minimalist style of the Kronos quartet and then use that as backing for a solo vocalist, singing Latin through a vocoder, the effect is to induce in the listener a feeling of heartrending celestial melancholy such as might envelop a robot who has woken up to find its human masters extinct, all that remains of the whiskery old professor who built him now covering the surface of his lab in the form of a fine, grey alkaline dust. It inspires those feelings in this listener, anyway. I first discovered this remarkable property in Johansson's music while watching the trailer for the new movie, Battle: Los Angeles. The music starts about halfway through, during a sequence in which the human race appears to be getting it's ass handed to it on a paper plate. The effect is unusually sombre for an action movie — funereal, humbling, elegaic. If the film captures a fraction of this mood we could be in for a treat. Either way, I'm now clued into the work of Johannsson and will not be letting him out of my sight any time soon. The music for the trailer is entitled The Sun’s Gone Dim and the Sky’s Turned Black and comes from Johnasson's 2006 album of the same name. Odi et amo, below, from the 2010 album Screaming Masterpiece, is also highly recommended.


  1. This is an awesome post. Just so you know.

  2. Agreed, on all of above.

    That part in the trailer always reminds me of this, too:

  3. His is actually one of the few movies i remember the movie "Independence Day" now that I'm really excited about these days. I hope it's as good as it looks like a great alien invasion movie. Entertainment, Sports, Movies, TV Series