Icelandic composer Högni‘s score for the much-acclaimed Netflix’s series Katla will see its full release on July 28.
The series takes place in Iceland, after the subglacial volcano Katla has been erupting constantly for a whole year, the main character Gríma is still looking for her missing sister who disappeared the day the eruption started. As her hope of ever finding her body is fading, the residents of the surrounding area start to have visits from unexpected guests. There might be something hidden under the glacier no one could ever have foreseen.
Speaking about the score, Högni says: “when I was asked by Baltasar [Kormákur] – the director and show creator – I started writing so when the filming was finished, I had already written a number of pieces for the show. As relatively inexperienced in the field I imagined that my work was finished and the rest was a matter of post-production and music editing. However it immediately became clear that my ambitions and the nature of the project called for second, third and fourth wind in order to fulfil the auditory architecture that needed to be built.”
Realising it was a monumental task, Högni kept a strict schedule every day – writing and arranging in the morning; recording and mixing in the afternoon; presenting to the producer each evening – to then repeat the process the following day.
The score was written and partly recorded in Högni’s own studio, where he and his collaborators consisting of Tóti Guðnason, Inga Magnes, Petter Ekman, Þórunn Ósk and Sigurgeir found themselves working in a completely different way than they’ve done before, due to the nature of the project: “we worked the music out of my studio in Reykjavík, where a healthy number of musicians rotated through at the pace of an average ice cream parlour on a long summers evening in Reykjavík. The urgency of delivering cues and material left one in the state of instinctual execution at all hours without hesitation.”
The score was recorded with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daníel Bjarnason at Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík.
Music for Katla is released on July 28 as a limited edition vinyl on Erased Tapes, and digitally via Netflix.