I watched the stunning space madness film, Moon from 2009 last month. Imagine a two-hour film with only one actor… and you’re on the edge of your seat the entire time. What was most memorable about the film was the score – a simple oscillation of two notes on a piano that sticks in your head hours after the film has ended. After researching the film I read that the melody was a metaphor for the conflict between the main character and his clone (both played by the same actor.)
I was surprised to learn that the score was written by Clint Mansell, the former guitarist for Pop Will Eat Itself. He has written the scores for many films, including Black Swan (2010), Doom (2005) and the soundtrack to Pi (1998). His more recent works have entered into modern classical territory, and I’m enjoying them very much.
Of the nearly 700 ambient albums in my archive, Moon ranks among my favorite recordings of the last 5 years.
The #1 slot is firmly held by The Black Dog's Music For Real Airports - a contemporary response to Brian Eno's genre-defining masterpiece from 1978.
The Black Dog’s album was built from over 200 hours of field recordings, and it was my favorite LP of 2010. 353 copies were pressed, and I got #16.
But there is still an ambient holy grail I'm chasing on vinyl. It's the limited edition 9LP + 5CD + DVD + Book Boxed Set of William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops.
If you haven't heard of this incredible album/film yet - sound artist William Basinski was at his Manhattan studio capturing the decaying sound from old loops of analog tape when the Sept 11th attacks took place. He brought his gear to the roof and filmed the billowing smoke and set the slow death of the tape loops as the score to the film.
On the 10th anniversary of this album's release, an orchestra performed the piece live, emulating the disintegrating loops by altering the notes ever so slightly, over long stretches of time. Both the original album and the live performance are essential examples of drone music.
Here's the original film.
Wow that Disintegration Loops sounds epic. I have yet to watch Moon but I am a huge Sam Rockwell fan and will try to pick the blu ray up after I recoup my Record Store Day loses.
KTRU Rice University internet radio emits The Genetic Memory Show every monday night from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. I have discovered some truly weird shit on that program and highly recommend it to the adventurous yet refined audiophile.
Glad you liked it! Rockwell does a magnificent job in Moon, and the film made SO much more sense when I learned that it was directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son!)
I will most definitely check out TGMS. The weirder the better, in my book.