Archive for November, 2011

“gathering stories” first listen

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

update: the song is now available to listen here:

“gathering stories”, an original song from the forthcoming “we bought a zoo” soundtrack, is now available to listen to on the npr show “all songs considered

also on the npr blog post, is the album sleeve notes written by cameron crowe about the recording process, here is an extract:

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

the album is also available to pre-order on itunes (united states) in addition to

“we bought a zoo” soundtrack revealed.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
we bought a zoo - soundtrack


order on order on

order on itunes america


as reported previously, jónsi has spent some time working on the original motion picture soundtrack for the forthcoming cameron crowe movie “we bought a zoo“.

today sees the announcement of details of 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 “hoppípolla” by sigur rós.

the movie is released in america on the 23rd of december – the soundtrack is available to pre-order now from with a release date of december 13th.


01. why not?
02. ævin endar * new full length track
03. boy lilikoi
04. sun
05. brambles
06. sinking friendships
07. we bought a zoo
08. hoppípolla – sigur rós
09. snærisendar
10. sink ships
11. go do
12. whole made of pieces
13. humming
14. first day
15. gathering stories – * new full length track

here is some insight 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.