'Chernobyl' Composer Featured in Hollywood Reporter's 'Behind the Screen' Podcast

Chernobyl Inset Composer Hildur Guonadottir - Getty - H 2019
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Icelandic composer Hildur Guonadottir discusses her haunting, Emmy-nominated score on Chernobyl in a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter podcast Behind the Screen.

The HBO limited series, which chronicles the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Plant disaster and its aftermath, is nominated for 19 Emmys, including for outstanding limited series and direction. It also delivered the first Emmy nomination to Guonadottir.

To capture the experience of Chernobyl, the composer actually recorded sounds at a power plant in Lithuania, where much of the filming took place. “There weren’t any traditional instruments used. I made instruments out of these sounds that I found," Guonadottir explains. "I spend a lot of time recording room tones, the hums… …. My favorite solo 'instrument' of the score was a door leading to the engine room next to the pump room that had a symphony of sounds."

She also talks about safety, explaining that after recording at the plant "some cables were dangerously radiated, so we couldn’t take all of the cables out with us."

During the conversation, Guonadottir discusses working with Todd Phillips and her "playful" score for the upcoming film Joker.

Hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, Behind the Screen features conversations with directors, composers, cinematographers and other artists behind the making of motion pictures and episode series.

Hear it all below on Behind the Screen — and be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode.