A Prayer to the Dynamo
Daníel Bjarnason conducts the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in recordings made at the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavík. With booklet notes by renowned music writer and radio host John Schaefer, in conversation with Jóhannsson’s father, Jóhann Gunnarsson, A Prayer to the Dynamo will be released on CD, vinyl (2 LPs) and digitally on 15 September 2023. Three taster tracks will be shared over the summer: “A Model of the Universe” and “Forces of Attraction” (both from The Theory of Everything) on 30 June and 28 July respectively, with Part 1 of A Prayer to the Dynamo following on 25 August.
A Prayer to the Dynamo was written in response to a commission from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. It received its first, and so far only performance at the orchestra’s New Music Festival on 3 February 2012. As noted by the festival’s curator, composer Matthew Patton, it represented a turning-point in Jóhannsson’s career, having been written without any of the narrative constraints involved in composing for film. “He never wrote a piece for orchestra this big, this long, and with this much freedom.” This recording will turn a much-deserved spotlight on to a work Patton has described as a “lost symphony” and introduce it to audiences worldwide.
1 Suite from The Theory of Everything I_ A Model of the Universe
2 II_ Domestic Pressures
3 III_ The Origins of Time
4 IV_ Forces of Attraction
5 V_ Cambridge, 1963
6 A Prayer to the Dynamo Part 1
7 A Prayer to the Dynamo Part 2
8 A Prayer to the Dynamo Part 3
9 A Prayer to the Dynamo Part 4
10 Suite from Sicario I_ Target
11 II_ Desert Music
12 III_ Melancholia