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Cliff Martinez on Reddit.com

Plus: Solaris, Drive, Refn, Soderbergh, and many many "influence" questions

20130725-cliffreddit

Film composer Cliff Martinez (Solaris, Contagion) did a reddit.com IAmA (“ask me anything”) crowd interview yesterday. As of this count, there were 649 comments, many of them unanswered questions, and he weighed in on a lot of topics, from his favorite music, to playing drums with Captain Beefheart, to his ongoing collaboration with director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives). Below are some highlights.

On the Cristal Baschet, pictured below:

[”“]vincentmusic: You use a lot of Cristal Baschet on your scores. Where did you come across this instrument and how did you come to own one? permalink

[”“]cliffmartinez: I first saw the Cristal at the Museum of Modern Art in 1965 when I was a little kid. It was one of those mind altering early experiences that reupholstered my brain and turned me, not only into a musician….but into a weird musician.

20130725-cliffmartinez2

On musical tributes:

[”“]Roton7: Hi Cliff, I love your work! I really enjoyed the Only God Forgives soundtrack, especially “Wanna Fight”, which is just phenomenal. Were there any particular artists or songs that inspired that track?

[”“]cliffmartinez: Yes. WANNA FIGHT is my impersonation of Philip Glass, Goblin and Ennio Morricone.

“Wanna Fight” starts 53 seconds into this YouTube clip:

Another on influence melding:

[”“]sweextin: How do you handle the (sometimes blatant) plagiarism that goes on in the composing world? Does it bother you or flatter you?

[”“]cliffmartinez: I think that’s part of the biz. My recipe for avoiding plagiarism is to rip off two artists at once. i.e. Gyorgy Ligeti + Tangerine Dream = SOLARIS

How his score to Solaris helps cheer him up:

[”“]splooshy: The SOLARIS score is one of the most hauntingly brilliant things I’ve ever heard, and paired perfectly with Soderbergh’s vastly underrated version of the story. Just want to say thank you. SOLARIS was part of what drove me to enter film school.

[”“]cliffmartinez: Thank you, it’s my favorite. Whenever I feel depressed, I go to Amazon and read some of the testimonials on SOLARIS….”I held my blind dog up to the speakers and SOLARIS gave him back his sight….SOLARIS cured my arthritis, my razor blades stay sharp when I play them SOLARIS etc.”

Full interview at reddit.com. Read on for getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and not having slept with Lydia Lunch, among other topics. (Image of Cristal Bachet via wikipedia.org.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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