Johann Johannsson – The Miner’s Hymns

Miner's Hymns

Created as a soundtrack for the Bill Morrison movie depicting the disembling of the North East England’s mining community (the movie DVD will be released in june), this CD version is recorded live at the Durham Cathedral with a surprising cast of a 16-piece brass ensemble, church organ, percussion and electronics (the latter pre-recorded to catch the reverberation of the cathedral itself and use it in the recording).
No string section – in instrumentation and style Johannsson returns to the time of “Virthulegu Forsetar” (Touch, 2004).

But The Miner’s Hyms is much less static and more dynamic than Virthulegu Forsetar. It starts dark and gloomy but gradually builds to a very dynamic piece (therefore playing it with appropriate volume is recommended!)

The movie’s basic theme (the disembling of the English mining industry, but also the strength of its community) can be found in the cover image and in the titles (which are taken from trade union banners), but also in the constantly raising and decending notes.

Although the CD starts very dark, it ends in a more positive, maybe even optimistic scale.
The trailer (below) raises interest in seeing the complete film, but also without the accompanying images this is a fascinating and deeply moving composition.

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