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clints notes

los angeles 2016

I saw The Clash play at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, December 10, 1978. I was 15 years old. It was the classic line-up of Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simenon, and Topper Headon. It snowed heavier than I’ve ever seen that night, but it didn’t stop nearly 3,000 rabid punk rockers packing the Civic to the rafters!

They were incredible, and blew my mind, that night. Infusing my young mind with the how music can connect people. From performer to audience via the shared experience of the music.

Years later, the Clash fell apart. A demise that began with the sacking of Topper, and later, their musical driving force, Mick Jones. In the documentary ‘Westway To the World’, Strummer lamented his decision to fire Topper, saying, and I paraphrase, that its the chemistry of the people involved that makes the magic happen, and you should do everything you can to preserve that magic. You can always get another drummer in, another guitar player, but its the character and personality of those involved that makes the magic. And you can’t replace that.

When we made The Fountain, we were The Clash! The people we were, the creativity we had, we were at the top of our game. But that time, and that team is gone now, never to be recaptured, I’d imagine. Things change, but the work remains.

The Fountain, i think, is the best of the work we did from Pi, to Noah. The Fountain is our ‘London Calling’, our ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’, our ‘Check Your Head’. It was savaged by the critics, and audience alike. But thats OK. as artists, its our responsibility to push things forward, to challenge, to confront. And, I believe, we did that with The Fountain.

Darren Aronofsky, Eric Watson, Jay Rabinowitz, Matthew Libatique, Ari Handel, Brian Emrich, Justin Skomarovsky, Geoff Foster, Mogwai, Kronos Quartet, I salute you! We all gave our everything, as well we should, but its a moment in time, when you capture that magic. Through hard work, through application, through belief in ourselves and one another.

Over the years, I’ve heard from many people how much this music, and the film, have helped them through very difficult times of their lives. Darrens story, the actors performances, Mattys photography, the special FX, the music, all combined to speak to people, those who were listening, anyway, those who were looking for something, needing something..a connection, perhaps..

For me, too..this music has taken on new depths. Performing this music earlier this year, I felt that connection between the audience and the music, performing it with my wonderful band in Los Angeles, London, Birmingham, Gateshead, and most of all, in Glasgow, helped me, and lifted me, through a stage of grief, from which I saw no way out.

I hadn’t know loss when I saw the Clash, or when I wrote this music, it was all borne out of Darrens film..but when i was in the darkest of places, it was this music that helped me recover-the connection between the music, the performers, the audience, and myself, the writer was palpable to me…

I had reached that place that I had felt back when I saw the Clash.

I dedicate this music to everyone of us who has suffered loss, everyone who has known pain, everyone who is struggling, everyone.

Clint Mansell, Los Angeles. 2016