Durham Miners' Association pays tribute to composer Johann Johannsson

Johann Johannsson, who has died aged 48.
Johann Johannsson, who has died aged 48.

Colliery union leaders have spoken of their sadness after the death of Johann Johannsson.

The composer wrote the music for The Miners' Hymn, a film by Bill Morrison which helped mark the 30 years since the pit strikes and was first performed inside Durham Cathedral in 2010 as part oft he Durham Miners' Gala celebrations.

The piece is a testament to the lost industrial culture of the Durham coalfields, including Silksworth and Ryhope, and revisited the sites using aerial shots, with Hylton Colliery, now a business park, and the former Monkwearmouth Colliery, which is where the Stadium of Light now stands.

A spokesman for Durham Miners' Association said: "We’re saddened to learn that the composer Johann Johannsson has died at the age of just 48.

"Johann created the wonderful and powerful music for the film The Miners’ Hymns, Bill Morrison’s testament to the Durham Coalfield."

It has also shared a clip from the film showing Johann’s The Cause of Labour is the Hope of the World.

He is also well known for his work as the composer on The Theory Of Everything.

The Icelandic musician and producer, who won a Golden Globe for his score to the 2014 Stephen Hawking biopic starring Eddie Redmayne, was found dead in Berlin on Friday.

His representatives, Redbird Music Management, announced the news on Facebook, writing: "It is with profound sadness that we confirm the passing of our dear friend Johann."

"We have lost one of the most talented and brilliant people who we had the privilege of knowing and working with.

"May his music continue to inspire us."

Known for blending electronic with classical orchestrations,Johannsson was nominated for an Oscar and Bafta for his soundtrack to Denis Villeneuve's 2015 film, Sicario, and collaborated again with the director on 2016's sci-fi film Arrival.

He is survived by his parents, sisters and daughter.

Among those paying tribute following the news were experimental producer Flying Lotus and film director Aaron Moorhead.

Broadcaster Edith Bowman wrote on Twitter: "This is just the saddest of news. RIPJohann, your vision and creations will eternally inspire and influence me. Love and thoughts to all family and friends."

Flying Lotus posted: "Johann Johansson has been such an influence, especially lately. I'm in disbelief. The stuff he did for @panoscosmatos "Mandy" is incredible."

Moorhead tweeted: "We just lost Johann Johannsson, one of the best composers in the world. Died just as he was getting started. Throw on IBM 1401 all day, The Sun's Gone Dim is like he wrote his own requiem. This is devastating."