Gergely Wootsch
Animation & Illustration

A Song for Europa

Music video for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s A Song for Europa.

Animated at Studio Aka, A Song for Europa is the official music video for the late, and dearly missed, Jóhann Jóhannsson.

The watercolor and charcoal textures used in making the clip.

About the composition

Typically for Jóhann, the work is a beautifully atmospheric composition, one that immerses the listener into the strange recordings of the 'Numbers Stations': a category of shortwave radio station broadcasts characterized by readings of number lists, letters and coded messages from a forgotten era.

Jóhann's main inspiration came from Jean Cocteau's film Orphée, which shows the main character, played by Jean Marais, listening intently on his car radio to cryptic, repetitive sequences of words and phrases, interrupted by short wave bursts of static and noise. These scenes were in turn inspired by Cocteau's experiences of the BBC's broadcasts of coded messages during the second world war. These cryptic broadcasts were direct antecedents of the 'Numbers Stations', which were most prevalent during the Cold War and provided Johann with a connection to the album's overarching theme of Orpheus and that myth's themes of thresholds and crossing borders. The lonely girl's voice reciting seemingly random numbers became the voice of Euridyce, a voice from beyond, from elsewhere.


Director Gergely Wootsch
Creative Director: Marc Craste
Addittional Compositing: Will Eager
Production Company Studio AKA

Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson
Repertoire: A Song For Europa, Orphée
Conductor: Anthony Weeden
Artists: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Air Lyndhurst String Orchestra
Orchestration: Anthony Weeden, John Godfrey Owen Roberts

Music video for A Song For Europa. (C) 2016 Jóhann Jóhannsson, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin