Today’s post is a groundbreaker for Audio Intimacy. The original score written for the 2011 film Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling, has officially become the first soundtrack album to be featured on the site. This summer, I am in Los Angeles interning with a composer for films and TV shows, so it seems only fitting that I expand the blog to include this particular brand of musical expression. Now that the floodgates have been opened, be on the lookout for more soundtracks to follow this one! With that said, let’s move on to the main event. The score for this movie was written by Cliff Martinez, former drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and current film composer who’s been tearing up the scene for several years now. What makes Drive unique is the sole use of electronic music in the soundtrack, capitalizing on the strengths for which Martinez has been gaining widespread influence throughout the film industry.
Film music has certainly come a long way since its formative years in the early 20th century, when cinemas would employ in-house pianists, organists, or even orchestras to play live music overtop the mechanical noise of the projector. It has evolved into a formidable job that fuses together evocative composition, collaboration with the movie’s production crew, and the highly refined skills of syncing audio cues to picture – choosing the exact frame at which to start and stop the music. Nowadays, just like in any other professional industry, we have developed technology to assist us in accomplishing such a massive undertaking. Electronic music, being a reflection of human society’s adaptation to the digital revolution, has inevitably started to blend with traditional approaches to film scoring, and it is the work of visionaries like Cliff Martinez that has paved the way towards this new period of musical innovation.