It's hard to find a piece of music that reflects these themes, these feelings, as consistently or as beautifully as Clint Mansell's music for the strange and surreal film Moon does. From beginning to end, the score for Moon tells the story of the film not so much through events or specific cues, but through emotion, through feeling.
It's a progression, from a stable rhythmic foundation at the beginning ("Welcome to Lunar Industries") to the introduction of uncertainty and tension ("I'm Sam Bell, Too...") where familiar rhythms break down and are overwhelmed.
From quiet and soulful thoughts of a home long unseen ("Memories") to doubts made real ("Can't Get There From Here") through the slow introduction of chaos, white noise, and subtle underlying menace.
From strange, powerful, and heart-rending realization ("The Nursery") to diehard conviction ("We're Going Home") and a full-circle return to strong rhythm and focus and purpose.
The only music I can think of that compares to Mansell's here is Cliff Martinez's score for the recent version of Solaris - though the two scores are unique and original in sound, the similarity is in the feeling. Martinez also skillfully weaved emotion and loneliness and theme into his work, creating waves of music that swept the listener away into a new world. Mansell's music for Moon has a similar, and possibly even more striking effect of recreating the full journey of the film.
Moon is a complex film with ideas that challenge notions of reality and identity. Somehow, Clint Mansell's music for Moon manages to be just as complex, just as subtle, just as moving. It not only enhances those ideas, they're given new shape and form in these pure notes, in these pure rises and falls of sound.
Can music really do all this? Listen for yourself - really listen - and find out.
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Rich Stoehr (GlassIsland)
I often hide behind a pithy Douglas Adams quote or maybe some song lyrics. I guess it makes sense that much of what I share is reviews of things I like (or don't). People … more
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