Staff Pick: Go classic with Johann Johannsson and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble

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From the February 13, 2014 edition

As contrived as it might be, Sigur Ros’ epically sweeping music is still regularly described as glacial. It’s hard, I guess, to resist projecting the surreal landscapes of the band’s native Iceland onto its music.

But the country’s most cinematic musician (and, surprise surprise, an inspiration to Sigur Ros), is Johann Johannsson, a composer and producer who combines elements of ambient, drone, electronic and classical into perfect little drops of melancholy that wash over you with the refreshing ease of a spring shower.

Johannsson will be accompanied by The American Contemporary Music Ensemble, a group that’s worked with bands like Grizzly Bear and Low, for choice cuts from the composer’s catalog.

The Wex’s intimate Performance Space should provide the ideal acoustics.