Hildur Guðnadóttir: Under Takes Over

Hildur Guðnadóttir (b. 1982) has received great acclaim for her work in various musical genres. She studied cello and composition in Reykjavík and Berlin, and has worked in both experimental pop and contemporary classical music, including the band múm. Among her theater work was an acclaimed score for King Lear, for which she won the Gríma Award in 2011, and Under Takes Over earned her a nomination for the Nordic Council Music Prize. She is also a prolific film and television composer, including music for Sicario (2015), The Revenant (2015), and The Handmaid's Tale.

Hildur wrote the following for the premiere of Under Takes Over: “In summer 2012 I had the experience of losing consciousness. I didn’t actually lose anything; my subconscious took over from my typical conscious state. Shortly before this incident, Ilan Volkov had asked if I would write a piece for the Iceland Symphony, and in July 2012 I had a dream where I visualized the work in the form of a drawing. I dont particularly recommend losing consciousness, but it can be very effective to move ones consciousness; to focus the sense organs in a different way. Under Takes Over demands that the performers listen and play differently than usual. I would like to ask you, dear listener, to do the same. Take a moment before the concert starts to prepare your listening. When you start hearing sounds, I would like to ask you to notice how you listen, and move your perception. How you do this is up to you: you can move it from your ears down to your shoulders, or you can move sound coming directly at you to a place above. However you decide to listen, do it with concentration while also staying effortless. Thank you for listening. Hildur.”