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Baker's Dozen

Immersion Through Disturbance: Clint Mansell's Favourite Film Soundtracks
Kiran Acharya , May 14th, 2014 11:46

The former Pop Will Eat Itself singer turned film score maestro tells Kiran Acharya about the 13 soundtracks that have inspired him most


Michael Small - The Parallax View
Michael Small is a great composer. He did Klute as well. His piano work particularly has this brittle quality - and dissonance is probably too strong a word - but again it's just a little bit off. It might just be in the tone of it, the way it hits your ear. It keeps you off-kilter. You're almost starting to feel the paranoia and the tension building up, and you're wanting to creep around while the music's playing because you don't want to draw any attention to yourself. Psychologically, he does that to brilliant effect.

I find a lot of film music is about pastiche, particularly the bigger and the more mainstream the movie becomes. You've got to hit certain beats and things that people are comfortable with. That's the essence of a lot of film scoring, for me. I'm not much of a musician, so being able to mimic is really something I can't do. For ages after I left the band and was writing my own music, I was probably trying to emulate the music of the day, asking, "Why doesn't my music sound as good as The Prodigy or The Chemical Brothers?" The bottom line is that I can't do that sort of music. I didn't start finding my own thing until I said: "Fuck it: I'm gonna do what I want." I'm sure I probably stumbled upon ideas that somebody could easily have told me over the phone, but you explore and experiment and find your own way. For better or worse, that becomes your voice.