Clint Mansell’s made some of the
best music I’ve ever heard. Some of the
greatest film cues – and scores. And he
was in the band Pop Will Eat Itself.
I first really got to know his work when
I watched Requiem For A Dream, a film
that stays with me still. Its music, scored by
Mansell and performed by the Kronos Quartet,
is a character in the movie. And maybe I’ve
listened to that score more than any other
soundtrack to any other film.
But there are more works of staggering beauty,
of heartbreaking genius: The Fountain, The Wrestler,
Moon, Black Swan, Noah and High-Rise.
Even shitty films sound magical when Mansell paints
the background sounds with his music brush.
He scored one of the favourite episodes of
Black Mirror. I didn’t think it was that special – but I
sure did love the music.
He has made beautiful music for films I might never
even see (Loving Vincent, Out of Blue) and he has
made not-very-good films better with his musical vision and
ideas (Doom, Smokin’ Aces).
Most recently he created a song-by-song cover of
Lou Reed’s Berlin album. He’s reinvented it, all but
rewritten it. The album was created out of his own grief.
It’s amazing. And yes, I’ve already reviewed it – and
will speak about it on the radio soon, no doubt. But
also, when I’m not listening to it I can’t stop thinking
This is what I want from music. Not all the time. Not every
time, but this is how I chart the very best. The work made
by the absolute greatest. It stays with you.
It burns itself into your soul.