Hildur Gudnadottir

Joker (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Limited LP: Purple vinyl

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One of things that makes Todd Phillips' Joker feel markedly different from the slew of other popular films with comic-book origins is its simmering, relatively minimalist score. While she relied primarily on the traditional orchestral instrumentation of John Williams, Danny Elfman, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hildur Guðnadóttir's take on the category was something more intimate and internal. Using Phillips' screenplay as her inspiration, her ominous score dwells in the lower pitch range, with the cello representing Arthur Fleck, and tympani among a small handful of other highlighted timbres. Recurring themes include pounding heartbeats and footsteps, as in early track "Following Sophie," the pulsing "Meeting Bruce Wayne," and about halfway through, the more expansive "Arthur Comes to Sophie," which adds pitch-bending dissonance as well as instruments.

Along with its unsettling combination of percussive effects and plodding, sagging sustained pitches (as well as Foley and field recordings also in play), Guðnadóttir's fresh approach and inspired mixing technique make Joker's score not only effective but distinctive.

  1. Hoyt's Office
  2. Defeated Clown
  3. Following Sophie
  4. Penny In The Hospital
  5. Young Penny
  6. Meeting Bruce Wayne
  7. Hiding In The Fridge
  8. A Bad Comedian
  9. Arthur Comes To Sophie
  10. Looking For Answers
  11. Penny Taken To The Hospital
  12. Subway
  13. Bathroom Dance
  14. Learning How To Act Normal
  15. Confession
  16. Escape From The Train
  17. Call Me Joker