Cliff Martinez: Drummer As A Composer

Cliff Martinez by © Robert Charles Mann
Cliff Martinez by Robert Charles Mann

The art of film music made a quantum jump when composer Cliff Martinez made his big-screen scoring debut with the pulsing rhythms and otherworldly tones of Steven Soderbergh’s 1989 Sex, Lies And Videotape. Martinez, who’d previously served as a drummer with rock and punk bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers; The Weirdos; and Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, brought a pleasingly strange new tonality to his soon-to-be heavily influential scores, often derived from a plethora of exotic percussion instruments such as giant steel drums and Indonesian gamelans. His artfully minimal aesthetic of simple, haunting melodies and subtly dense harmonic textures has graced a legion of other high-profile Hollywood films, including Soderbergh’s TrafficWonderlandSolaris, and Contagion, and recent releases including Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, scored in collaboration with Skrillex.  – by John Payne

Read the full interview at DRUM!