Staggering depth, blast-furnace heat, and unending blackness—these are the sensations evoked by Jóhann Jóhannsson’s somber and bombastic score for The Miners’ Hymns, an experimental film documenting hardships of the U.K.’s pit mine laborers. Historically, these miners often passed time and bolstered solidarity playing in “colliery”—or coal mine—brass bands. Paying homage to the sooty musicians, Jóhannsson unearths epic compositions by adding resilient horns to his blend of ambient and modern classical music.
Have something to say? Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article first appeared in the July-August 2011 issue of Utne Reader.