Jóhann Jóhannsson: Last and First Men

Johan Johannson

Music, film and narration form a poetic meditation on memory and loss in a performance of Jóhannsson's breathtaking multimedia work, Last and First Men.

Based on the cult science fiction novel by Olaf Stapledon, it combines music, film and narration from Tilda Swinton, sitting somewhere between fiction and documentary. Images of a decaying futuristic landscape – filmed in 16mm black and white in the former Yugoslav republics – are placed against Jóhannsson’s haunting orchestral score, crafted over seven years, before its premiere at the 2017 Manchester International Festival.

Having passed away in February, we've made the decision not to replace Jóhann – instead, the performance will go ahead in tribute to him, and recordings that Jóhann made of his own parts will be played live alongside the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daníel Bjarnason.



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