VIDEO: 'Chernobyl' Score Composer Used Only Sounds From An Actual Nuclear Plant - The Reykjavik Grapevine

VIDEO: ‘Chernobyl’ Score Composer Used Only Sounds From An Actual Nuclear Plant

Published May 29, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Timothée Lambrecq

In a recent interview, composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, who composed the score for the HBO miniseries ‘Chernobyl’, revealed how the score came together. Namely: every sound in the score is recorded from sounds from inside a nuclear power plant.

In the interview, conducted by Score: The Podcast, Hildur went into fascinating detail about the creative process.

“They filmed most of the series in Lithuania, in a power plant that’s been decommissioned,” she said. “So right before they went there to shoot, I went there to record. I went there with my score producer, Chris Watson, who records all the David Attenborough films and episodes. So he’s a master field recording engineer. We went in [the nuclear plant] in full hazmat suits and everything. We went there to record the power plant, and we worked the score from those recordings. Every single sound in the score is made from those power plant recordings.”

When asked to clarify by the interviewers as to whether she meant they banged on things in the plant or played instruments in there, Hildur reiterated: “No, I was observing the power plant. I didn’t really want to play it as such, but I wanted to go there and experience what it’s like to be in a power plant.”

You can watch a portion of the podcast in the video below:

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