This Week in the Mercury


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Laptop Scores of Cliff Martinez

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM

The biggest story in this week's Film section is on Only God Forgives, the latest from Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn; as with Drive, the film's score is by Cliff Martinez, a dude who used to be the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and has become one of the best composers working in film—he's scored a ton of Steven Soderbergh's stuff, and just this year has handled the scores for The Company You Keep, Only God Forgives, and—along with Skrillex—Spring Breakers. And if that's not impressive enough, here's what he does it with. Via Badass Digest:



click to enlarge cm_hotel_studio_556.jpg


Cliff is utilizing a pair of Genelec 8020B monitors, a (relatively older) MacBook Pro, an Edirol FA-66 6-channel portable firewire audio interface, a pair of Beats studio headphones, and a CME M-Key 49-note USB MIDI controller. Everything else is software inside the MacBook.



Whenever possible, the globetrotting Martinez likes to work in close proximity with the director during production. He hunkers down in a hotel room, whips out his rig and lets the composition flow. In one instance he even used discarded beer cans as impromptu stands for his Genelec monitors. (Via.)




Each of the movies that Martinez has scored this year aren't necessarily films I'd just recommend to anybody on the street—all of them, shall we say, will probably only appeal to some pretty specific audiences (baby boomers for Company You Keep, Refn fans for Only God Forgives, and people you might not want to be stuck in an elevator with for Spring Breakers). But I will say that being able to hear Martinez's scores coming out of movie theater speakers is a strong argument for seeing each of those films. Hit the jump for a couple of tracks.











(Don't tell Ned, but my favorite song off of Spring Breakers—after the Britney one, obviously—is actually a solo Skrillex track: "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.")




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