The rise of Clint Mansell

Mansell with the Sonus Quartet

If you are a movie enthusiast, the name Clint Mansell should definitely ring a bell or two in your head. There are very few people who have seen movies like ‘Black Swan’, ‘A Requeim for a Dream’, ‘The Wrestler’, ‘Moon’ and do not know Clint Mansell.

This English Music composer started off his career as the lead singer and guitarist for the band “Pop Will Eat Itself”. The young Mansell showed a lot of promise right from the start. When the band officially disbanded in 1996 Mansell started composing music for movies.

Clint Mansell’s first break trough came when his close friend Darren Aronofsky hired him to compose music for “Requeim for a Dream”.  Soon the beautiful track “Lux Aeterna” wowed the audiences all over the world but also brought some critical acclaim to Mansell. The “Lux Aeterna”  sound track has been used in various other compositions . Critics have been mesmerized by the uniqueness of the soundtrack in Clint’s first movie.
Clint has proved time and again that when it comes to music composition , he is a cut above the rest.

The Fountain

After “Requeim for a Dream” was released the director composer duo of Darren Aronofsky and Clint Mansell went on to give other famous movies. Later on Clint Mansell composed the music for the American movie ” The Fountain” starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz.

The soundtrack of this movie also one of our favourites  was nominated for the “Best Original Score” in the 64th Golden Globe Awards. The Fountain was a offbeat Romantic drama that dealt with the complex idea of love from different perspectives. The film had a nice mix of science fiction, religion, history and a degree of fantasy.

The soundtrack of this movie had to be a bit different to set the mood for the ideas depicted by the director (Darren Aronofsky).  The soundtrack of this movie set the entire mood and helped the audience understand the undercurrent of symbolism depicted in it.

The Fountain trailer with the background music from Clint Mansell

Also one of the great soundtracks from the movie the Fountain composed by Clint Mansell

– Music sound track Death is the Road to Awe
– The great piano piece The last Man

Pop career

Clint was the lead singer of the band “Pop Will eat itself”. When his band was signed up by the “Nothing Records”. Clint met Trent Reznor at the office of Nothing Records and the two became friends. During his stint as the lead singer and guitarist at “Pop will Eat Itself” Clint performed the back-up vocals of the famous album “The Fragile” by Nine Inch Nails.

Though Mansell’s pop career did not last long but he left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the music enthusiasts all over the world with his own style. Although Mansell is no longer associated with the pop scenario but we can get a glimpse of his musical genius through his incredible work as a music composer. Although Mansell has given music to only a few movies, his talent has not gone unnoticed.

Soundtrack composer

Since “Requiem for a Dream” became a runaway success, Darren Aronofsky has not worked with any other music composer other than Clint Mansell. The understanding between the director and the composer was just perfect. Apart from composing music for all of the Aronofsky movies, Clint Mansell has composed the background score for the pilot episode of “CSI:NY”.

The career of Clint Mansell is on a upward curve right now and it shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. The duo of Darren Aronofsky and Clint Mansell is all set to usher in a new era of film making.  The position of Clint Mansell as a prolific music director has been sealed after the release of the movie “Black Swan(2010)”.

Then came the wonderful opportunity for Clint to compose the theme for “The Hole”. Once again Clint wowed the audience and received accolades for his good work. Then once again he was approached Darren Aronofsky approached Clint to score the music for his new movie “The Wrestler”. “The Wrestler” was a movie depicting the human side of the wrestlers who fight to entertain people. The film had a plethora of soundtracks that captured the mood in every single frame.
Recently Mansell scored the track for HBOs “Voyeur” the song has been used by famous singer lil Jon in “Throw it up”. Thanks to his trendsetting work, Mansell has a huge following of fans who love his style of work. Movies like “Requiem for a Dream”, “The Fountain” and “Black Swan” have simply increased the number of his fans over the years. Clint Mansell prefers to understand each and every frame of the movie before he sits down to score the soundtrack.

Clint Mansell is perhaps one of the most sought after music composers of this age. Although Mansell does not have too many movies in his basket, he has shown a lot of promise.
Now let us highlight some  individual films on which Mansell has worked on.

Requiem for a Dream

This Cult 2000 drama based on Hubert Selby Jr.’s novel of the same name was directed by Darren Aronofsky. The movie is based on different types of addiction from the perspective of different people.

Darren Aronofsky chose to hire Clint Mansell to score the soundtrack for this movie. The movie was so surreal that the audience was a thrust right into the depths of addiction. The movie has tinges of loneliness and what it can do to people. The movie also showed what the urge to fit into the public image and how it affects people.

Mansell did a great job in this movie and prepared an awe-inspiring score. The different undertones in this movie were so well represented that they formed the perfect symphony around each other.

Watch the trailer here. (Be advised: Contains some shocking scenes)


“Moon” is a science-fiction movie that deals with the convictions of a man who has been sent to the moon to harvest helium-3 on the far side of man. While on his 3 year stint on the moon the man experiences a mid-life crisis and starts to hallucinate. In his loneliness the protagonist questions his own existence and starts to wonder what if he is not alone. The loneliness that the character feels throughout the movie and the fight against his inner anxieties play the central theme of movie.

Mansell made the perfect soundtrack for this movie. The soundtrack has a personality of its own in this film because it provides the base for the monologue and the thoughts of the protagonist throughout.

The film starred Sam Rockwell as the space miner and Kevin Spacey lent his voice to the role of the robot which acted as the constant companion of the human space explorer. The movie asked some intriguing question about the human consciousness and the dilemma of the human existence.

The sound track upheld the cause of the movie beautifully and gave it another dimension altogether. The loneliness of the protagonist far away from his family in the vastness of the space gets the proper platform .

Moon movie trailer with the background music from Clint Mansell

The Wrestler

Clint Mansell composed the score for another Darren Aronofsky movie “The Wrestler”. This movie dealt with the life of a wrestler whose personal life has suffered a setback because of his career. Mickey Rourke played the protagonist, an aging wrestler who continues to play wrestling matches in a bid to connect with his glory days. Slash played the guitar solos for the movie’s soundtrack. A new soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen called “ The Wrestler” was used for the film’s closing credits.

The Movie had a lot of scope for Clint Mansell to show his prowess as a superb composer. The movie had songs from Axl Rose and Guns N’Roses at critical junctures. Some of the musicians like Axl Rose worked for free due to the movie’s budget constraints. Clint Mansell once again won accolades for his tremendous work in this movie. “ The Wrestler” once again proved to the world that Clint Mansell is going to turn into one of the Goliaths of the music Industry.

Black Swan

Starring Natalie Portman in the Lead role, this psychological thriller revolves around the famous Tchaikovsky’s Swan lake. This movie had shades of black and white which was accentuated by Mansell.

Although Mansell scored the film based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet, but he made drastic changes to the original to fit the dark aura of the movie. Although Clint Mansell’s composition was declared ineligible for nomination at the 2010 Academy Awards for Best Original Score, but the audiences loved his music. The English production duo Chemical Brothers was featured in the “club scene” in the movie but it was omitted from the official soundtrack of the movie. Clint Mansell has previously collaborated with the Chemical Borthers in the past and they created magic onscreen.

Clint Mansell

Clint Mansell

Clint Mansell has a natural talent to understand the deep undertones of a movie, which along with his off-beat approach to music composition makes him the most sought after music composer. His work sets him eons apart from his contemporaries.

We are sure there is a lot more to come from Clint Mansell and he will keep on mesmerizing us with his creations in the years to come.

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