Tag Archives: Jonsi

Listen: Jónsi’s “Gathering Stories”

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NPR premiered the brand new song from We Bought A Zoo entitled “Gathering Stories”. The song is a collaboration from both Jónsi and Cameron. Have a listen, we hope you like it.Here’s Cameron discussing how Jónsi and his music inspired the film and how he ultimately became involved. These are part of the liner notes for the soundtrack which will be released on December 13th. (Amazon.com or iTunes)

Both with Sigur Rós, and in his solo work, Jónsi has always made music that captured the human adventure. Early on, it was obvious that this music would have a profound effect on the making of “We Bought A Zoo.” In preparation for making the movie, we gave all the actors and crew members a copy of Sigur Rós transcendent documentary, “Heima,” (Icelandic for “home”). We all watched the film and listened to the music, and it quickly seeped into our own journey in filming the real-life story of Benjamin Mee’s book. The actors listened to the music during their takes; it was immediately part of the film’s DNA. Even the signs guiding our crew members to the set revealed our inspiration “Heima.” During filming, I sent Jónsi a photo of one of the signs. He wrote back with characteristic enthusiasm. On our last day of shooting in April, I contacted Jónsi again and asked him if he was interested in scoring the film. I sent him a copy of the script, and a Quicktime of one of the scenes. The story affected him. He’d already begun composing new music for the film when he arrived from Iceland with his toy sampler keyboard and a headful of ideas.

His first theme for the movie fit perfectly. Within a week, Jónsi had composed a series of themes that would reflect everything we’d hoped for. In his music were all the highs and lows and passionate in-betweens of the film itself. Over the course of several visits to Los Angeles, Jónsi sculpted and orchestrated a soundscape with elements I’d never had in a movie before: bells, strings, cymbals, toy pianos, even melodies played through a small Dictaphone. The instinct that began the movie had come full circle. On a warm fall night in October, we finished. The e-mail he sent last night before boarding the plane back to his home in Iceland says it all: “It was such a blast.” And so it was. Here, with thanks from an inspired director, and special gratitude to Alex Somers, who helped shine it through a prism of love and wonder, is Jónsi’s first score for film. This is his music for “We Bought A Zoo.”

Cameron Crowe
October 2011

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Nov 15, 2011

We Bought A Zoo Soundtrack

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We’ve got the details for the We Bought A Zoo soundtrack courtesy of jónsi’s official site.

The soundtrack that comprises of over 30 minutes of brand new music from jónsi – the soundtrack comprises of two new songs from jónsi: “ævin endar” (life ends) & “snærisendar” (end of a rope) as well as nine shorter “theme” pieces, plus reimagining’s of songs from jónsi’s debut solo album “go”. the soundtrack also includes “hopipolla” by sigur rós.

Here is some words about the soundtrack recording process:

“[jónsi] arrived from iceland with a toy sampler keyboard and a headful of ideas,” says cameron. “within a week, [he] had composed a series of themes that would reflect everything we’d hoped for. in his music were all the highs and lows and passionate in-betweens of the film itself. the instinct that made the movie come full circle.”

cameron’s relationship with jónsi and sigur rós goes back almost as far as the band’s position in the international spotlight, to 2001 and the director’s much-noticed inclusion of three of the band’s songs in the hugely successful tom cruise film ‘vanilla sky’. cameron has long heralded the band and their filmwork, to the extent that the secret project name for we bought a zoo was, in fact, ‘heima’ in honor of the band’s 2007 tour film.

“early on it was obvious that [sigur rós’] music would have a profound effect on the making of we bought a zoo,” says cameron. “in preparation for making the movie, we gave all the actors and crew members a copy of sigur rós’ transcendent documentary, ‘heima’.”
even ahead of getting jónsi on board as composer, we bought a zoo was broadly ‘temped’ with jónsi’ solo material. it’s an open secret that cameron would encourage matt damon, scarlett johansson and the other actors on the movie to listen to specific songs by the band to create the right energy for a scene.

“the actors listened to the music during their takes; it quickly became part of the film’s dna,” says the director.

perhaps even more potent is the fact that the closing scene of we bought a zoo is a cinematic homage to a specific moment in ‘heima’ when gleeful crowds stream in a sigur rós show in the far north of iceland or, in this case, the newly opened zoo.

among the original score and new songs is ‘gathering stories’, a song co-written by jónsi and cameron, in something of a collaborative first for the notoriously private icelander. orchestral arrangements on the score have been handled by previous jónsi working partner, and ‘reader’ soundtrack composer, nico muhly, who brings his quixotic genius to the string and brass sections.

here is the tracklisting for the soundtrack:

  • why not?
  • ævin endar – jónsi *new track
  • boy lilikoi – jónsi
  • sun
  • brambles
  • sinking friendships – jónsi
  • we bought a zoo
  • hoppipolla – sigur rós
  • snærisendar
  • sink ships
  • go do – jónsi
  • whole made of pieces
  • humming
  • first day
  • gathering stories – jónsi *new track

The soundtrack will be out on December 13th. The movie hits theaters on December 23rd.

Filed under News
Nov 3, 2011

Crowe’s Nest: Fast Times Book, IFC Zoo Interview & More!

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The Crowe’s Nest is a feature that collects random tidbits, etc. in one blog post. So let’s get started!

  • First off, glad you all enjoyed the Say Anything… deleted scenes. Don’t forget that we’ve already posted some Jerry Maguire and Singles deleted scenes.
  • The Bookfinder has released their 100 Most Sought After Out of Print in 2011 and the Fast Times at Ridgemont High book is ranked at #16. As we’ve previously discussed, Cameron owns the rights to the book, but has no plans to re-release the book at this time. Keep looking for a copy at your local thrift store, used book store or at a garage sale!
  • Cameron chats with Matt Singer over at IFC. The first interview focuses on We Bought A Zoo, Matt Damon and the holiday release date. Part 2 revolves around the Say Anything… sequel (that we’ve previously covered) and Part 3 highlights Jónsi, the music of Zoo and future film plans.
  • Lastly, I wanted to share Scion Magazine‘s quick video interview with Fast Times director Amy Heckerling from a few years back. It’s fun to see her pull Fast Times off her shelf to discuss Cameron’s first book.

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Sep 1, 2011

Social Media Catch Up . . .

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You’re following Cameron on Twitter or Facebook, right? He’s been sharing some pretty cool pics of late from the set of We Bought A Zoo (including a visit from the real Benjamin Mee) and his scoring sessions with Jonsi. Here’s just a few to whet your appetite in case you aren’t yet . . .

    

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Aug 29, 2011

Sigur Rós Frontman Jónsi Scoring We Bought A Zoo

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It’s official! Sigur Rós lead singer/guitarist, Jónsi (Jón Þór Birgisson) is composing the score for We Bought A Zoo.  Here’s Cameron on the choice:

“Jónsi has been a part of the making of We Bought A Zoo from the very beginning, as we played his Go album often for inspiration and scene-setting for the performances.  It seemed only natural to ask him to join us officially, as our composer.  He said yes, and we’ve been cheering our good forture ever since.  The movie is brimming with his new music, and his one-of-a-kind sonic heartbeat.  He’s a natural at film composing, and we can’t wait to share it with you in the coming months.”

What do you think about the news? Are you surprised? Share your thoughts.


Filed under News
Aug 1, 2011


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