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This is what a nuclear power plant sounds like TIME ONLINE


Hildur Gudnadóttir has just the Golden globe won in the category Best Film Music, as the first solo composer ever. Now a reporter asks her where she came from so suddenly. It is just so overwhelmed with orders and prices – in September the Emmy for the music for the series Chernobyl, now the globe for Joker. But what was the breakthrough, what brought it on the radar?

Gudnadóttir could now say that the Joker-Director Todd Phillips hired her because of her music too Sicario 2 and Maria Magdalena he had liked. And that Craig Mazin, the creator of Chernobyl, had received a tip from someone and just called her – how it works. That would be the honest answer. But she has an even more honest one, you can watch her on YouTube: she has been making film music for 20 years. Actually, it all took a long time. However, she is pleased that the industry's great reluctance to give good orders to women has finally subsided. For the music too joker Gudnadóttir is now also nominated for an Oscar.

After all, the question of where it has been so far is easy to answer: in Berlin. Hildur Gudnadóttir, 37, born in Iceland, studied cello and electroacoustics, hired himself in various bands, released four solo albums that sound as prickly, wild and unplastered as the solo albums of an Icelandic cellist can only be imagined. She wrote music for the Tate Modern and various theaters, played for the soundtracks The Revenant and The Arrival the cello parts. She is also the mother of a seven-year-old son; At home, she once said, mostly Justin Bieber's music was played. And that it is now considered the new hope of film music in Hollywood is of course also due to the two prestigious projects that it has just completed. And the prices she gets for it. But above all, it is, and that is far less self-evident in film music business than it sounds: because of their music.

On Chernobyl and joker Gudnadóttir worked simultaneously: in spring and summer 2018. Two projects, the only thing in common is that both deal with an impending meltdown: one after a Soviet reactor accident, the other in the head of a man named Arthur Fleck, who prefers a normal one It would be a cog in the social gear, which he does not want to succeed. And if you did not know that the two artists are behind the same film music, you would never guess in your life.

For Chernobyl Gudnadóttir traveled with a sound engineer to the far corners of Lithuania to Nuclear power station Ignalina. Because of its construction, the power plant was nicknamed "Chernobyl's sister" during the Soviet era. It has been out of service since 2009, and the decay phase will continue until 2038; for the series it served as a Chernobyl backdrop. The two walked through the corridors in radiation protection suits and collected noises, which Gudnadóttir then put together on the computer in weeks of work to create sound collages. Gudnadóttir calls this work "fact-based music" – it depicts and stages, but it does not invent anything. The soundtrack works almost completely without instruments; the only thing that sounds is the nuclear power plant itself – and the voice of the composer.


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