Cliff Martinez Sundance/Rock And Roll Hall of Fame

January 17, 2012 by  

Kicks of New Year As Sundance Juror, Announces South By Southwest (SXSW) Engagement

(January 17, 2011- Los Angeles, CA) – Film composer Cliff Martinez (Drive, Contagion) kicks off 2012 in exciting fashion. As the drummer on the first two Red Hot Chili Peppers albums, Martinez will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Martinez will kick off 2012 as a juror for The Sundance Film Festival.

With ‘awards season’ in full swing, Martinez’s original music for Nicolas Refn’s Drive was recently recognized by the Chicago Film Critics Association (Best Original Score), the Boston Society of Film Critics (Best Use of Music in a Film), and LA Film Critics (Best Music/Score Runner-up), with nominations for Best Original Score by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, International Press Academy (Satellite Awards), London Critics Circle (Technical Achievement For Original Score), and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association. Rolling Stone named Drive the #1 movie of 2011.

Martinez, who recently served on The International Feature Nominating Committee for the Independent Spirit Awards and was a panelist at the Billboard and Hollywood Reporter Film and TV Music Conference, will also be participating at the South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX in March.

Cliff Martinez moved to California just in time for the punk movement. He had stints as drummer for the Weirdos, Lydia Lunch and Foetus frontman Jim Thirlwell, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Dickies, and was also the drummer in the final incarnation of legendary iconoclasts Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band.

Martinez’s entrée into music for film happened somewhat inadvertently, when a tape collage he had constructed led to an opportunity to score an episode of comedian Paul Reuben’s mid-‘80s TV hit, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. That collage was also heard by Steven Soderbergh, who tapped Martinez to provide the music for his first theatrical release sex, lies and videotape.

Martinez has since received compositional credit on many of Steven Soderbergh’s projects including Kafka, The Limey, Solaris, Gray’s Anatomy, Schizopolis, Traffic (which earned four Oscars and earned Martinez a Grammy nomination), and Contagion. He also composed the music for Espion(s) and A L’Origine, two French films released in 2009–the latter earned a Cesar Award nomination for best original score. His other credits include Narc, Pump Up The Volume, Wicker Park, Wonderland, and The Lincoln Lawyer.

Nicolas Refn’s Drive took to the streets in September. The soundtrack, featuring Martinez’s score raced to the top of the iTunes album charts, hitting #4 within a week of its digital release and peaking at #35 on the Billboard Top 200.

“I knew that Nicolas [Refn, director] was in love with that [80s electronic pop style] sound,” said Martinez, “and I saw a way to acknowledge it with vintage synth sounds and cover most of the dramatic food groups while referencing that style.”

Variety’s Laura Ferreiro writes, “while a synthetic electronica score may seem an unusual choice for a cerebral action thriller, it plays a pivotal role in setting Drive apart from other heist-gone-awry films, and arguably helped it become one of this year’s critical darlings.”

In an article about the sales success of the soundtrack, The Hollywood Reporter writes, “It was No. 5 Monday morning as fans touted it on Twitter: ‘Listening to the Drive soundtrack actually makes you 40% cooler than you were before.’”

Martinez recently completed the score for Arbitrage, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (the film is not in competition) and has signed on to score Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to Drive, Only God Forgives.

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