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 Posted:   Sep 18, 2013 - 4:57 PM   
 By:   Krakower Group   (Member)


“Icelandic composer and keyboardist Jóhann Jóhannsson’s most significant works have been film scores, a context well suited to his artful blend of contemporary classical, electronica, and indie pop” – The New Yorker

(September 13, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA) – WaterTower Music announced today the September 17 release of the soundtrack to the Alcon Entertainment thriller “Prisoners,” a Warner Bros. Pictures’ release starring Oscar® nominees Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”), and directed by Denis Villeneuve (the Oscar®-nominated “Incendies”). The film was scored by acclaimed Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The album will be available at all digital retailers, and a CD will be made available through The soundtrack will also be released on vinyl via Jóhannsson’s own NTOV Records label this October.

Jóhannsson and Villeneuve decided to try something radical for the soundtrack. “Denis wanted the music to be a poetic voice that worked in counterpoint to the action of the film,” Jóhannsson says. “Even though the film is a thriller, the music is lyrical and beautiful, in stark contrast to the intensity that the film depicts.” Jóhannsson composed the score watching an early cut of the film, reacting to the images on screen.

He scored the music for an orchestra with large string and woodwind sections and also featured the sounds of two little known instruments: The Cristal Baschet,an instrument similar to a glass harmonica, with huge metallic resonators; and the Ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument similar to a Theremin, but with a softer sound. By blending those unfamiliar sounds with string instruments, Jóhannsson created music with a delicate, glassy surface. Despite its ambient sound, his tranquil music serves to heighten the tension of the film.

“My ideal is music where the electronic and the acoustic sounds blend seamlessly,” says Jóhannsson, who has scored more than a dozen movies. His approach to film music is informed by influences as diverse as Pergolesi, Wojciech Kilar, Steve Reich, Einstürzende Neubauten, Swans, Coil, Arvo Pärt, Ennio Morricone, Morton Feldman and Bernard Herrmann.

Track list:

1. The Lord’s Prayer
2. I Can’t Find Them
3. The Search Party
4. Surveillance Video
5. The Candlelight Vigil
6. Escape
7. The Tall Man
8. The Everyday Bible
9. Following Keller
10. Through Falling Snow
11. The Keeper
12. The Intruder
13. The Priest’s Basement
14. The Snakes
15. The Trans Am
16. Prisoners

Led by Oscar® nominees Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”), the dramatic thriller “Prisoners” features an all-star cast, including Oscar® nominee Viola Davis (“The Help,” “Doubt”), Golden Globe Award nominee Maria Bello (“A History of Violence,” “The Cooler”) and Oscar® nominee Terrence Howard (“Hustle & Flow”), with Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) and Paul Dano.

Denis Villeneuve directs the film from an original screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski. Oscar® nominee Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”), Kira Davis, Oscar® nominee Andrew A. Kosove (“The Blind Side”), and Adam Kolbrenner are the producers, with Edward L. McDonnell, John H. Starke, Robyn Meisinger, Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson serving as executive producers.

Alcon Entertainment presents, an 8:38 Productions/Madhouse Entertainment production, “Prisoners.” The film opens September 20, 2013 and will be distributed domestically and in select international territories by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film has been rated R by the MPAA for disturbing violent content including torture, and language throughout.

WaterTower Music has been releasing recorded music since 2001. Distributed through InGrooves Fontana, WTM has released over 150 titles, including the film soundtracks to “Man of Steel,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Project X,” “Rock of Ages,” “Hairspray,” “Sex and the City,” “Elf,” “The Notebook,” and “Love and Basketball,” among others. Its 2013 schedule includes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

For more information, contact: or @cinemediapromo on Twitter

 Posted:   Sep 19, 2013 - 7:15 AM   
 By:   WillGoldNewtonBarryGrusin   (Member)

Listening to it right now. Sombre, moody, atmospheric. Thankfully, nothing hectic or ambience-driven.

 Posted:   Oct 9, 2013 - 9:38 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

My review of PRISONERS, for anyone who is interested:


 Posted:   Oct 9, 2013 - 10:00 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

My review of PRISONERS, for anyone who is interested:


Appreciate your thoughts. Sounds like something I'll pass on.

 Posted:   Feb 20, 2015 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Just saw this film. Beautifully shot by Roger Deakins and beautifully scored by Johann Johannsson, the score and the visuals work very well in tandem to bring a tense, spare and almost monochrome feel to the film.

Not sure how well the music would stand up on its own, but I'd be willing to give it a shot in case it catches me in a languorous and philosophical mood. The solo cello moments gave me a sort of "Protecting Veil" feeling - very appropriate for a film with some religious undercurrents.


 Posted:   Feb 21, 2015 - 3:36 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

It stands up fantastic alone -- one of my favourite scores of 2013, both in and out of the movie.

 Posted:   Apr 29, 2017 - 5:07 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

It stands up fantastic alone -- one of my favourite scores of 2013, both in and out of the movie.

I just saw the film. I really liked it.

The score...nothing I could listen to without the film, but I guess it worked in the picture.

 Posted:   Apr 30, 2017 - 3:54 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Give the score a try on Spotify, FB. I think you might like it better than you expect.

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