A Conversation with Cliff Martinez – SXSW Film 2012

Cliff Martinez began as a drummer for unconventional bands such as The Weirdos, The Dickies, Captain Beefheart & The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The desire to not wear a sock on his genitals at age 40 and an interest in new technologies led Martinez toward the world of film music. His first film was Steven Soderbergh’s first theatrical release (sex, lies, and videotape) and led to a longstanding collaboration with the director on films such as Kafka, The Limey, Traffic, Solaris & 2011’s Contagion.

Perhaps it is because of his time in the punk rock scene that Martinez’s scoring approach is nontraditional. His scores tend towards the sparse, utilizing a modern tonal palette to paint the backdrop for films that are often dark & psychological like Pump Up the Volume, Narc, Wonderland, Wicker Park, & Drive. Join Cliff as he discusses his body of work and techniques for keeping the sock from slipping off.