Writer/director Darren Aronofsky follows up his critically-acclaimed feature debut "Pi", with REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, adapted from the 1978 novel by celebrated author Hubert Selby, Jr. (Last Exit to Brooklyn). Set in the rusted mean streets of Coney Island, Brooklyn, the film is a harrowing journey into the psyches of four human beings addicted to their visions of a happier life. The delusions fostered by drug use cause them to deny reality until they are eye to eye with their worst nightmares. The film stars Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans and Jennifer Connally, and is released by Artisan Entertainment (Blair Witch Project, Buena Vista Social Club). The music for REQUIEM is by Clint Mansell - originally the front man for the pioneering English band Pop Will Eat Itself - who composed the noted original score for Pi. Mainly electronic, it includes string quartet performances by the Kronos Quartet.
Mansell previously worked with director Darren Aronofsky on Pi
where the electronica was powerfully raw. Enlisting the Kronos Quartet, this is proof of a far more intellectual process to create a through-scored piece. Both on screen and album, the music undergoes a perceivable development. Here it is given three sections ("Summer", "Fall" and "Winter"), and therefore attempts an almost symphonic form. "Summer Overture" introduces a repeatedly impressive central motif. The quartet excels in its sawing performance of it, and by the time of the first of two congas closing this initial seasonal section, you'll be prepared for the unexpected explosions of dissonance to follow. The final third ("Winter") puts a new motif through inventive stages of growth. From "Southern Hospitality" to "Meltdown" the sampled strings incessantly build in pitch until the desired unnerving effect has been well and truly achieved. This is music to match the most unshakeably nightmarish of dreams. --Paul Tonks