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Music / Hildur Guðnadóttir

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"To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices."
Hildur in her Best Original Score Academy Award acceptance speech for Joker

Hildur Ingveldardóttir Guðnadóttir (born 4 September 1982) is an Icelandic musician and composer.

Coming from a family of musicians, Hildur is a classically trained cellist as well as a singer, and she has collaborated with the likes of Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle, Múm, Stórsveit Nix Noltes, Animal Collective and Sunn O))) on albums and/or concerts.

She has also composed or performed music for films and television series since 2011, which is how she has gained the lion's share of her international recognition. Her scoring work on Joker (2019) and Chernobyl were particularly acclaimed and popular; the latter won her a Primetime Emmy, BAFTA and Grammy, and the former won her a BAFTA, Golden Globe, Grammy, and Oscar. With her Joker accolades, she is the first solo female composer to win an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA in the original music/score categoriesnote  and the first person from Iceland to win an Oscar.

Hildur was also friends and collaborated with a fellow Icelandic musician and composer, the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, on films of Denis Villeneuve.

Her solo albums include:

  • Mount A (2006)
  • Without Sinking (2009)
  • Leyfðu Ljósinu (2012)
  • Saman (2014)

Notable soundtracks of hers include:

Tropes & Trivia in her works:

  • Everything Is an Instrument: She actually put a hazmat suit on, went into the decommissioned Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania that would be used to film Chernobyl, and recorded sounds there, including pumps, reactors and turbines. She then arranged them alongside classical instruments into a haunting soundtrack for the series.