This is a follow up to my previous post about Clint Mansell’s influence on myself and my approach to art. I caught the “Clint Mansell Experience” live at the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles this weekend and thought I’d post what went down!
It’s Clint, Somos Quartet, Chris Vrenna on drums, a bass player, a guitar player, and a piano player. So 8 people on stage. He has a big video playing for most tracks. Clint now sports a shaved head and goatee.
The show involves chunks of his major soundtracks played with monologues between each one a la VH1’s “Storytellers.” It went something like:
introduction by Duncan Jones, the director of Moon
Moon (around 3 or 4 tracks blended- introducing the music he says “you’ll note the progression from playing with one finger (in Pi) to playing with two fingers (for Moon)”)
Stoker (about 10 min of this)
a song I don’t know performed by the piano player and quartet because “Grandpa forgot his glasses and I have to go fetch those, so I’ll leave you in the capable hands of (forgot the player’s names but he names them)”
Last Night (with singing by the singer who did the credits song, singer appearing via video)
Requiem For A Dream (Meltdown + Lux Aeterna)
The Fountain (3 songs, ending with “Death is The Road to Awe”)
Clint is center of the stage with a keyboard and only plays the simplest of notes- only one song did he use a guitar and (I think) an ebow. A couple tracks he sits back and plays nothing, like during a track from The Fountain.
Some choice quotes:
He described Stoker as coming about because the director saw him play a similar live show a year back. Coming off of Black Swan, Clint says he moved to a different category where he could choose his projects more carefully and only do special things. Clint says both he and the director lost their cat companions around that time, Clint says his cat had been with him for 15 years and he visibly tears up, and that’s why he doesn’t really remember much of the music from Stoker.
Clint’s mom and dad are in the audience and he dedicates the Fountain pieces to them.
Clint talks about NY kicking his ass and throwing him out, and moving to New Orleans.
Clint says writing music for a great film is the easist job, and writing for a shit film is the hardest job.
Clint says the Wrestler is Aronofsky’s reaction to how the Fountain was slaughtered. Drunken Aronofsky told Clint “I proved I could do it without you!”, referring to how minimal the soundtrack is to the Wrestler. Clint says Wrestler has so little music because Mickey Rourke’s performance was so strong music ruined it.
He thanks everyone for coming to hear “sound wallpaper for failed films.” A harsh description for some of the most touching and visceral music ever but Mansell is nothing if not humble.