IBM 1401 introduction
IBM 1401 data"
IBM 1401 Stage
IBM 1401 bookings
IBM 1401 credits

IBM 1401, a User´s Manual:
[click on the titles for streaming mp3 samples]

Part 1 - IBM 1401 Processing Unit
Part 2 - IBM 1403 Printer
Part 3 - IBM 1402 Card Read-Punch
Part 4 - IBM 729 II Magnetic Tape Unit
Part 5 - The Sun´s Gone Dim and the Sky´s Turned Black


IBM 1401, a User´s Manual was written, arranged and produced by Jóhann Jóhannsson. It was orchestrated by Jóhann Jóhannsson and Arnar Bjarnason

The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Mario Klemens. The Concertmaster was Bohumil Kotmel. The orchestra was recorded at Barrandov Studios, Smecky Soundstage in Prague in September 2005. The recording engineer was Jan Holzner. The orchestra contractor was James Fitzpatrick.

Additional recordings were made in Reykjavik, Skálholt, Florence, Madrid, Zurich, Piran and Rennes during the period 2003-2006. Mixed in Sýrland, Reykjavik in February 2006. The mixing engineer was Finnur Hákonarsson. Mastered in Abbey Road. The mastering engineer was Nick Webb.

Hammond B3 organ, piano, celeste and bells were played by Jóhann Jóhannsson. Voices were provided by Erna Ómarsdóttir (4), Jóhann Jóhannsson, (5) and an unknown instructor from an IBM 1401 Data Processing System maintenance instruction tape found in my father´s attic (2 & 3).

All electronic sounds were derived from the IBM 1401 Data Processing System and the Hammond B3 organ with Ring Modulator, Distortion and Filter pedals. The music and sounds of the IBM 1401 Data Processing System were recorded by Jóhann Gunnarsson, Örn Kaldalóns and Elías Davíðsson in Reykjavik in 1971. The musical fragment played by the computer is from the hymn “Ísland Ögrum Skorið” by Sigvaldi Kaldalóns, used by kind permission. The text in 5 is from a poem by Dorothy Parker.

Art direction and design: Chris Bigg & Vaughan Oliver at v23
Photography: Chris Bigg by

Jóhann Jóhannson:

To download Jóhann Jóhannsson's biography [.doc] click here.

Thank you:

Erna Ómarsdóttir, Jóhann Gunnarsson, Elías Davíðsson, Örn Kaldalóns, Ómar Kristinsson, Karen María Jónsdóttir, Jói, Lárus, Einar, Jonni, Helgi og Ingi í 12 Tónum, Anna Marín Schram, Esther Welger-Barboza, Sylvain Rausa, André Béja, Jean-Marc Montera, Orri Jónsson, Tónlistarsjóður, Menningarborgarsjóður, Andri Snær Magnason, Úlfhildur Dagsdóttir, Arnar Geir Ómarsson, A. M. Mckenziel, Kira Kira & Kitchen Motors, Apparat Organ Quartet, Matthías M.D. Hemstock, EÞos Kvartettinnl, Massimo Michelotti, Snorri Sigfús Birgisson, Skálholtskirkja, Arnar Bjarnason, Birgir Jón Birgisson, Arni & Kinski, The Staff of NTOV, Georges Perec, Charles Babbage, Alan Turing, Hans Moravec, Henry Adams

Thanks to the people who have welcomed the piece IBM 1401, a User´s Manual in these cities during the years 2002-2006: Esther & Cristiano, Marseille, France. Marie-Therese, Paris, France. Andre & Karl, Vienna, Austria. Dragan, Piran, Slovenia. Umberto, Milan, Italy. François, Rennes, France. Jerome, Caen, France. Mateo, Madrid, Spain. Valérie, Chamberry, France. Michel, Pau, France. Annemie, Rotterdam, Holland. fiórunn, Reykjavik, Iceland. Gilles, Creteil, France. Stefan, Dusseldorf, Germany. Barbara, Modena, Italy. Gilles & Audrey, Maubeuge, France. Wim, Jan & Barbara, Ghent, Belgium. Rick, Aachen, Germany. Stéphane, St. Brieux, France. Wilfrid, Linz, Austria. Claude, Geneva, Switzerland. Dominique, Arles, France. Maurizzia, Florence, Italy, Pavel, Prague, Czech Republic. John, London, England. Simona, Barcelona, Spain. Jean-Philippe, St. Etienne, France. Rolf, Dortmund, Germany. Christian, Grenoble, France. Kadir & Marcel, Rotterdam, Holland. Gigi, Torino, Italy Eric & Virginie, Bordeaux, France. Sara, Cagliari, Sardegna. Samme, Brugge, Belgium. Murielle, Zurich, Switzerland. Zoltan, Budapest, Hungary. Wolfgang, Freiburg, Germany. Priit, Tallinn, Estonia. Jean-Paul, Decines, France. Corinne, Nantes, France. Barbara & Dino, Dro, Italy.

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