Reviews of Arrival


“I knew that I wanted to use voices as one of the prime instruments in the score of a film that is primarily about language and communication. But I wanted to use the voice in a different way, so I worked with an ensemble called Theatre Of Voices. They’re masters of both early music and contemporary music, so have a very good command of exotic vocal techniques. I worked with Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe; he is not academically trained, but his voice is an amazing, powerful and flexible instrument.”

Sharon O'Connel, 26th November 2016. Read here

"To help convey the film’s themes on language and communication, Jóhannson enlisted the help of international vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices. On tracks like “Heptapod B,” the sheer strangeness of the arrangement strikes you immediately — where other composers would build tension with violins and cellos, Jóhannson instead floods the track with wordless choruses and chants, creating a piece that sounds like some otherworldly ritual. Even when the score is more traditional in arrangement, it doesn’t ever feel conventional in sound”

Jacob Kuppermann, 30th November 2016. Read here

"The music was so unique to anything that I have heard and it really gave the viewer an alienistic feel. He recorded layers of piano drones at different speeds to slow them down for one track. Then, over the drone, he brought in a singer (Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe) and wrote a piece in which he sang uniquely over it to where it was difficult to distinguish whether it was a human voice or not. In one of the most important parts of the film, where one of the main characters has an epiphany that changes his view on life, Johann did a stellar job of capturing this moment by adding harmonic singing and overtone singing by Theater of Voices."

Vid Monster Production. Read here

"The film’s focus on communication is reflected in the composer’s extensive use of the human voice, an instrument he hasn’t properly utilised since his work with the Prague Philharmonic Choir on 2009’s ‘And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees’. Working with the revered Danish collective Theatre of Voices, Jóhannsson draws on his knowledge of electronics to stretch and bend human vocals into new, otherworldly shapes."

Josh Gray, 23th November 2016. Read here