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Clint Mansell

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Clint Mansell
Mansell with the Sonus Quartet, playing at the Union Chapel, London, 20 July 2009
Mansell with the Sonus Quartet, playing at the Union Chapel, London, 20 July 2009
Background information
Birth nameClinton Darryl Mansell
Born (1963-11-07) 7 November 1963 (age 60)
OriginCoventry, Warwickshire, England
GenresFilm score, alternative rock, grebo rock, electronic, industrial rock, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, composer
Instrument(s)Vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass
Years active1981–present

Clinton Darryl Mansell (/ˈmænsəl/; born 7 November 1963)[1][2] is an English musician, singer, and composer. He served as the lead vocalist of alt-rock band Pop Will Eat Itself. After the band's dissolution, Mansell moved to the United States and embarked on a career as a film score composer.

Mansell partnered with American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and composed the scores for his films Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan, and Noah. Mansell is best known for the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack, particularly the film's composition "Lux Aeterna" and a re-orchestrated version titled "Requiem for a Tower" that was created for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers trailer, both of which have been featured in multiple advertisements, films, film trailers, video games and other media.

He provided the scores for the Ben Wheatley films High-Rise, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, Rebecca and In the Earth. Other films featuring Mansell's scores include Sahara, Moon and Stoker. He has also composed music for television and video games.

Mansell's work on The Fountain was nominated for a Golden Globe and he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his work on Black Swan.

Early life[edit]

Mansell was born in Coventry, England.[1] His father worked for the electricity board and his mother was a preparer of school meals.[3]

Inspired by David Bowie's performance of Starman on the television series Top of the Pops, he started to play guitar at the age of nine.[4] His foray into punk-inspired music was influenced by the Ramones.[5] In 2014 he told Beat Magazine "I heard the Ramones and punk rock changed my life."[5] While living in Stourbridge, Mansell played in rock bands as a youth, and at 19 years of age he joined the band that became Pop Will Eat Itself.[6]


Alt-rock career[edit]

From the band's inception in 1986 until their dissolution in 1996, Mansell was a member of grebo/alt-rock band Pop Will Eat Itself (PWEI).[3] He served as the band's lead vocalist, guitarist and one of the band's main songwriters.[1][3][7] The band was first introduced to computer-based music in 1988 while working with producer Flood on their album This Is the Day...This Is the Hour...This Is This!.[8] Their sound evolved to include sampling and electronic music, bringing influences from hip hop, industrial music and other dance genres into their music.[6] After the band was dropped by RCA, PWEI were signed in 1994 to Nothing Records, a label owned by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.[8][6]

Following PWEI's break-up in 1996, Mansell moved to New York, where he hoped to start a solo career, but struggled creatively.[5] He was invited by Reznor to move to an apartment in New Orleans owned by Reznor, where Mansell lived for three years, prior to settling in Los Angeles.[6][9][10] It was there that Reznor mentored Mansell and introduced him to Pro Tools.[6][9] Mansell also performed backing vocals on Nine Inch Nails' 1999 album The Fragile.[1]

Mansell reunited with PWEI in 2005 for their "Reformation" tour, which included performances in Nottingham, Birmingham and London, England.[11]

Film score career[edit]

While still living in New York, Mansell was introduced to director Darren Aronofsky by a mutual friend.[12] Aronofsky was unaware of Mansell's previous work with Pop Will Eat Itself, however the two men bonded over their love of hip hop and their belief that "film music at the time was terrible."[13]

Aronofsky suggested that Mansell write the opening title piece for Pi, Aronfsky's feature film directorial debut.[12] Aronofsky had intended to use pre-existing electronic music in the rest of the film, but due to a lack of funds, he found it difficult to acquire the rights to much of the music that interested him and Mansell was hired to provide music for the entire film.[12] Mansell's score for the film won him the City of Birmingham award at the Birmingham Film Festival in 2000.[3]

Mansell wrote the score for Aronofsky's next film, Requiem for a Dream, which became a cult hit.[1] The film's primary composition "Lux Aeterna" became a favorite in its own right.[14] A re-orchestrated version of the song, titled "Requiem for a Tower", was arranged by composers Simone Benyacar, Dan Nielsen and Veigar Margeirsson for the trailer of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.[6]

Both "Lux Aeterna" and "Requiem for a Tower" have been used in multiple forms of media, including the film trailers for The Da Vinci Code, I Am Legend, Sunshine and Babylon A.D.; trailers for the video games Assassin's Creed and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; advertising campaigns for such products as Canon PowerShot cameras, Molson Canadian beer; and on television such as in the series America's Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance as well as a promo spot the series Flash Forward.[1][14]

In 2006, Mansell provided the score for the film Smokin' Aces and he received a BMI Film & TV Award for his work on the film Sahara that same year.[1][15] The following year, his score for the Aronofsky film The Fountain was awarded Best Original Film Score of the Year and the Public Choice Award at the 7th World Soundtrack Awards.[16] The Fountain's score was also nominated for Best Score in a Motion Picture at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards.[17]

Mansell's score for Aronofsky's Black Swan garnered him multiple nominations and awards. He was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media as well as for Best Original Soundtrack (for Black Swan) and Soundtrack Composer of the Year (for Black Swan, Last Night and Faster) at the 11th World Soundtrack Awards. The score was deemed ineligible for the Academy Award for Best Original Score due to its use of Tchaikovsky's original music from Swan Lake.[13]

Mansell created the film score for Moon, Duncan Jones's feature film directorial debut. Mansell won Best Technical Achievement at the British Independent Film Awards for Moon's score. In 2011 Mansell was hired to provide the score for The Iron Lady, but he was later replaced by composer Thomas Newman.[18] Nevertheless, Mansell's music from the film Moon was used in the film's trailer and was also used in the 2012 trailer of the computer game Aliens: Colonial Marines.[19][20]

Mansell provided the scores for the films Stoker (also featuring music by Philip Glass) and Filth, which were both released in 2013.[1]

Filmmaker Ben Wheatley, who was a fan of Mansell's music for the films Requiem for a Dream and Moon, approached Mansell about providing the score for his 2015 film High-Rise. Mansell also provided the music for Wheatley's subsequent works Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018) and Rebecca (2020) and In the Earth (2021).[6][21]

Mansell's film scores have been sampled by such musical artists as Lil Jon, A$AP Rocky, Bastille and Paul Oakenfold.[14][22]

Having no formal training in musical notation, Mansell constructs his film scores using the method he employs for writing rock music — drums, bass, guitar and vocal lines — in addition to employing an orchestrator.[11] Some of his influences include Philip Glass, Trevor Jones, David Holmes, and bands such as Death in Vegas, Mogwai and Unkle.[9]

Symphonic performances[edit]

Mansell has performed some of his film compositions live with the Sonus Quartet in the US, the UK and Australia.[4][10][12] The Kronos Quartet, who performed "Lux Aeterna" for the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack, have also performed some of Mansell's work live.[6][11]

Publishing deal[edit]

In February 2019, Mansell signed a publishing deal with Decca Publishing, a division of Decca Records.[22] This deal brought his catalogue of more than 650 original pieces, including his Pop Will Eat Itself work, under a single umbrella for the first time.[22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2000 Birmingham Film and Television Festival City of Birmingham Award Pi Won
2006 BMI Film & TV Awards Film Music award Sahara Won
2006 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Score The Fountain Nominated
2007 Golden Globe Best Original Score The Fountain Nominated
2007 World Soundtrack Award Best Original Film Score The Fountain Won
2009 British Independent Film Awards Best Technical Achievement Moon Nominated
2010 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Best Original Score Black Swan Won
2010 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Score Black Swan Nominated
2010 Satellite Awards Best Original Score Black Swan Nominated
2011 World Soundtrack Award Best Original Score of the Year Black Swan Nominated
2011 World Soundtrack Award Soundtrack Composer of the Year Black Swan, Last Night and Faster Nominated
2011 BMI Film & TV Awards Film Music award Black Swan Won
2012 Grammy Award Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Black Swan Nominated
2014 Hollywood Music in Media Awards Best Original Score in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film Noah Nominated
2017 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement for Music in a Feature Production Loving Vincent Nominated


with Pop Will Eat Itself[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Weird's Bar and Grill (Live) (1993) UK No. 44
  • The Radio 1 Sessions 1986-87 (1997)
  • Reformation: Nottingham Rock City 20.01.05 (2005)
  • Reformation: Birmingham Carling Academy 22.01.05 (2005)
  • Reformation: Birmingham Carling Academy 23.01.05 (2005)
  • Reformation: London Shepherds Bush Empire 24.01.05 (2005)
  • Reformation: London Shepherds Bush Empire 25.01.05 (2005)

Film scores and soundtracks[edit]


Year Title Director Studio / Publisher Notes
1998 Pi Darren Aronofsky Protozoa Pictures
2000 Requiem for a Dream
2001 World Traveler Bart Freundlich
The Hole Nick Hamm
  • Canal+
  • Cowboy Films
  • Film Council
  • Granada Film Productions
  • Impact Pictures
  • Pathé
Knockaround Guys
Rain Katherine Lindberg
2002 Abandon Stephen Gaghan
Murder by Numbers Barbet Schroeder Warner Bros. Pictures
Castle Rock Entertainment
Sonny Nicolas Cage
2003 11:14 Greg Marcks
2004 Suspect Zero E. Elias Merhige
2005 Sahara Breck Eisner BMI Film Music Award
Doom Andrzej Bartkowiak
2006 The Fountain Darren Aronofsky
Trust the Man Bart Freundlich Fox Searchlight Pictures
Smokin' Aces Joe Carnahan
2007 Wind Chill Gregory Jacobs
2008 Definitely, Maybe Adam Brooks
The Wrestler Darren Aronofsky
Dream from Leaving
wonderwheel, llc
2009 Blood: The Last Vampire Chris Nahon
Moon Duncan Jones Nominated: British Independent Film Award for Best Technical Achievement
Farewell Christian Carion
The Rebound Bart Freundlich
2010 Black Swan Darren Aronofsky
Last Night Massy Tadjedin Nominated: World Soundtrack Award for Soundtrack Composer of the Year (with Black Swan & Faster)
Faster George Tillman, Jr.
Nominated: World Soundtrack Award for Soundtrack Composer of the Year (with Black Swan & Last Night)
2013 Stoker Park Chan-wook
Filth Jon S. Baird
2014 Noah Darren Aronofsky Nominated: Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film
2015 Man Down Dito Montiel
High-Rise Ben Wheatley
2017 Ghost in the Shell Rupert Sanders Composed with Lorne Balfe
Loving Vincent
  • Dorota Kobiela
  • Hugh Welchman
2018 Mute Duncan Jones
  • Liberty Films UK
  • Studio Babelsberg
  • Netflix
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead Ben Wheatley
Out of Blue Carol Morley
2020 Rebecca Ben Wheatley
2021 In the Earth
  • Rook Films
  • Neon
  • Protagonist Pictures
She Will Charlotte Colbert Vertigo Releasing
2023 Sharper Benjamin Caron
2024 Love Lies Bleeding Rose Glass


Year Title Director Studio / Network Notes
2004 CSI: Miami Danny Cannon Episode: "MIA/NYC NonStop"
2011 United James Strong
Television film
2016 Black Mirror Owen Harris
Episode: San Junipero
2018–present Titans Various
2019–present Doom Patrol
  • Theme music & 13 episodes
  • Composed with Kevin Kiner
2022 Peacemaker Composed with Kevin Kiner

Video games[edit]

Year Title Director Studio / Publisher Notes
2012 Mass Effect 3 Casey Hudson Composed with Sascha Dikiciyan, Sam Hulick, Christopher Lennertz & Cris Velasco

Short films[edit]

Year Title Director Studio / Publisher Notes
2002 The Hire: Ticker Joe Carnahan BMW films
2006 The Big Forever
  • Robert Glassford
  • Timo Langer
2007 In the Wall Mike Williamson
The Healing Syndrome Michael Sheehan High Tyde Productions
My Mother Elaine Wickham Medb Films
2009 The Odds Paloma Baeza
  • Abbot Vision
  • Slate 9
Blue Knight Mark Anthony Man of Mistery Films
2010 Fragged Devon Avery
2014 A Rose Reborn Park Chan-wook
2015 Gaslighting Elaine Wickham
Deathly Mike Williamson


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hischak, Thomas S. (2015). The Encyclopedia of Film Composers. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 440. ISBN 9781442245501. MANSELL, Clint (b. 1963)...He was born Clinton Darryl Mansell in Coventry, England, and was interested in rock music as a youth, learning the guitar and playing in amateur bands.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. London: Omnibus Press. p. 1988.
  3. ^ a b c d Young, Graham (23 March 2016). "From dreadlocks to no locks - the amazing transformation of pop star turned Hollywood composer Clint Mansell". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  4. ^ a b Greiving, Tim (16 March 2016). "'Moon' and 'Fountain' composer Clint Mansell will perform soundtrack pieces at Theatre at Ace Hotel". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 21 June 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Vogl, Tamara (30 September 2014). "Clint Mansell". Beat Magazine. No. 1442. Furst media. p. 34. Retrieved 24 December 2022 – via Issuu.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Greiving, Tim (16 October 2020). "Requiem For A Theme: Film Composer Clint Mansell On The Sound Of Sadness". NPR. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  7. ^ Clayton-Lea, Tony (8 October 2014). "Clint Mansell: "rock music – or whatever you want to call it – is a young person's game"". The Irish Times. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  8. ^ a b Godfrey, Alex. "Clint Mansell: Aronofsky, Reznor and Me, Part One". Sabotage Times. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Davies, Mike (14 November 2003). "Culture: Follow that dream ; Mike Davies settles scores with Clint Mansell". Birmingham Post. p. 15. Retrieved 24 December 2022 – via ProQuest.
  10. ^ a b Tomich, Matthew (15 September 2015). "Clint Mansell: Eternal Light". Beat Magazine. No. 1491. Furst media. p. 57. Retrieved 10 December 2022 – via Issuu.
  11. ^ a b c Culshaw, Peter (20 January 2005). "From pop joker to serious composer". The Daily Telegraph. p. 16. Retrieved 24 December 2022 – via ProQuest.
  12. ^ a b c d Paphides, Pete (17 July 2009). "Clint Mansell: pop ate itself, and out popped Hollywood". The Times. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  13. ^ a b McNulty, Bernadette (20 January 2011). "Banned from the Oscars: It's all Tchaikovsky's fault: ex-rocker Clint Mansell tells Bernadette McNulty why he won't be nominated for scoring 'Black Swan'". The Daily Telegraph. London, England, United Kingdom. p. 26. Retrieved 24 December 2022 – via ProQuest.
  14. ^ a b c Peters, Mitchell (22 May 2010). "Notes From The Underground". Billboard. p. 22. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  15. ^ "BMI Film & Television Awards Salute Composers of Top Movie, TV, Cable Music". bmi.com. Broadcast Music, Inc. 17 May 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  16. ^ "Clint Mansell Wins Two World Soundtrack Honors". bmi.com. Broadcast Music, Inc. 28 October 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  17. ^ "Aronofsky, Mansell to speak at Film & TV Music conference". Billboard. 18 October 2008. p. 8. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  18. ^ Robey, Tim (6 January 2012). "Iron Lady: The mystery of the replaced composer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  19. ^ Han, Angie (7 July 2011). "'The Iron Lady' Teaser - Meryl Streep Clutches Her Pearls". /Film. Static Media. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  20. ^ Sarkar, Samit (7 February 2013). "Aliens: Colonial Marines video revisits 'Contact' trailer". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  21. ^ Thomas, Lou (17 June 2021). "'In The Earth' review: Ben Wheatley's woodland hallucination delivers gore with gusto". New Musical Express. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  22. ^ a b c Stassen, Murray (14 February 2019). "Decca Publishing signs composer and musician Clint Mansell". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 11 March 2019.

External links[edit]