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Dascha Dauenhauer on her unnerving score to Golda
The Russian composer uses everything from Japanese percussion to detuned cowbells to underline the famed Israeli leader's toughest test.

Welcome to Right on Cue, the podcast where we interview film, TV, and video game composers about the origins and nuances of their latest works.

Historical biopics of famous leaders are a very familiar genre at this point: Great Men (or in this case, Women) of history navigating war or struggle or controversy with the stiff-upper-lip resolve history has granted to them. Guy Nattiv‘s Golda is certainly no exception, though it innovates not just with its presentation, but with its subject: Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, played under heavy prosthetics by Helen Mirren. More than that, it’s not a tale of victory, but of defeat — a Pyrrhic victory that nonetheless shakes the public’s confidence in the film’s chain-smoking leader, and damns her to the annals of infamy.

The film covers the three-week period of the Yom Kippur War, in which Egyptian and Syrian forces, among others, launched a concerted attack on Israel during the holy day of Yom Kippur. The attack led to tremendous losses and kicked off a standoff that would rope in both the US and the Soviet Union before it was done.

Dascha Dauenhauer, Golda Soundtrack
Golda Soundtrack (MNRK Music Group)

Nattiv’s approach to the material is stark and haunting, keeping close to Mirren’s wearied, resolved take on Meir through claustrophobic, smoke-filled rooms. And aiding that sense of mystique is Golda‘s score, courtesy of Russian composer Dascha Dauenhauer, utilizing discordant violins and detuned cowbells to build a bleak, atmospheric sound for Golda‘s race against time. (The Spool recently debuted the title track from her score to Golda.)

We’re thrilled to have Dauenhauer on the podcast to talk about her early days as a composer, her boundless sense of experimentation, and the many themes and unusual sounds of her score for Golda.

You can find Dascha Dauenhauer at her official website here.

Golda is currently playing in select theaters. You can also listen to the score on your preferred music streaming service courtesy of MNRK Music Group.

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