Born in Freiburg (Germany), Johannes Contag is a Wellington-based artist currently active in large-ensemble composition, soundtrack production, and live band performance. His interest in experimental film stems largely from his compositional concerns, aiming for the visuals to be an extension of the sound and vice versa. The Twilight Drone is Contag’s only major video work, and is largely informed by his series of instrumental Sleepytime albums.
Contag was a core member of Cloudboy, an electro-acoustic ensemble that delivered a series of pioneering live soundtrack events in the late 1990s/early 2000s. These included an international tour of Shape of the Land, a collaboration with the New Zealand Film Archive that saw the band interact with a selection of short documentary films from the 1920s.
Contag has recently completed postgraduate studies in composition and orchestration at the New Zealand School of Music, where his large-ensemble works – including the programmatic Starting the Robot (for full orchestra) – attracted several competition prizes, the David Farquhar Award and the 2009 Wellington City Council Music Prize. Contag is currently working on a number of live and recorded soundtrack projects, one of which is a chamber orchestra work to accompany a feature-length silent film.
2016 Variety, New Zealand International Film Festival
2009 Notions of Passage, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington