A little while ago I picked up the soundtrack to the film ‘Black Swan’ by Clint Mansell and recently I picked up another of his, from the movie ‘Moon’. I watched the film a while back but had no idea that Mansell had done the music, so the plan now is to watch the film again and pay a little more attention to it in context.
If you haven’t seen the film then I highly recommend it as it has a lot going for it. Firstly, it’s a British Sci-fi film, which you don’t see many of, it’s considered to be scientifically possible rather than far fetched flying through space faster than light speed and shooting lasers at each other and suchlike. It’s also a good story and has a great performance from Sam Rockwell who goes through a bit of a personal crisis towards the end of his three year solitary shift mining Helium-3 on the far side of the moon.
This was a modestly budgeted film that grossed under $10 million worldwide, but that same year The Pink Panther 2 grossed over $75 Million, which actually proves nothing other than how much a film grosses is not a measure of it’s quality. The Pink Panther 2 was bloody abysmal.
Just in case you didn’t know, The script for Moon was written by Duncan Jones, who is the son of David Bowie. Here is a trailer for the film so that you can get an idea of what it is all about and there’s a bit of the music by Mansell in it as well:
The soundtrack is subtle, repetitively simple even, with piano appearing throughout and with a repeating theme, sometimes in glimpses and sometimes not but with each piece evoking what has past and what is to come. I like Mansell’s soundtrack work, well, the tow I’ve heard so far anyway. ‘Black Swan’ is a lot more intricate, which it would be, being based on ‘Swan Lake’, but there’s a lovely ambience around the Moon soundtrack and it is a good listen regardless of being a soundtrack.
||Welcome To Lunar Industries
||Two Weeks & Counting…
||I’m Sam Bell
||I’m Sam Bell, Too…
||Memories (Someone We’ll Never Know)
||Are You Receiving?
||Can’t Get There From Here
||“We’re Not Programs, Gerty, We’re People”
||We’re Going Home
||Welcome To Lunar Industries (Three Year Stretch…)
Here is the entire soundtrack:
The actual reason for me going to Seismic Records on Saturday was to pick up a Limited Edition copy of the OST for ‘Black Swan’. This one is on white vinyl and limited to 500 copies. I’d seen what I think was the original release but it was prohibitively expensive, so much so that I took a picture of it:
That’s right, £40, which is way more than I was prepared to pay but the limited edition was half that, for the same music and it’s an interesting artefact.
The music itself is based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, though heavily reworked, and in the film there is some new Chemical Brothers music, but that isn’t on the official soundtrack. The score is by Clint Mansell, who once upon a time was the lead singer of Pop Will Eat Itself and he does a great job. I can listen to this album as a piece of classical music, and it helps that there is some framework there from Swan Lake as it makes elements of it immediately recognisable.
The film itself is synopsised as follows: BLACK SWAN follows the story of Nina (Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.
||“The New Season”
||“A Room of Her Own”
||“A New Swan Queen”
||“Power, Seduction, Cries”
||“Night of Terror”
||“It’s My Time”
||“A Swan Is Born”
||“A Swan Song (For Nina)”
Listen to the whole soundtrack below, if you like Swan Lake then you should enjoy this too I think: