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Posts Tagged ‘Cliff Martinez’

olden days medicine

Coral has been all over the Cinemax show The Knick. A TV show about surgeons studying and practising medicine in the early 1900s New York City. (and starring one of my favourites Clive Owen)

I’ve been able to absorb a bunch of the show while she binge watches season one to catch up with season two currently on HBO. And it has pulled me in now.

One of my favourite parts of the show is the spooky electronic music they use to heighten tension. Though the show is a period drama set at the dawn of the 20th century, the music is synth based.

That is done on purpose by former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez and director Steven Soderberg.

This is from Rolling Stone last yearBut one of the few things that was far too ghastly to replicate was the music. “Oh, it was horrible,” he says with a laugh. “Aesthetically, it’s a really cool period, but the music was absolutely boring and not interesting. Ragtime had just started – and there’s a tiny bit of that in the background of some scenes – but other than that, there was nothing good.”

I had some reservations about it at first,” (Cliff) Martinez says. “You’re trying so hard to place the viewer in this time and this place, and the music is really fighting something that everyone else in the show is trying to achieve. But as the episodes started coming in, and seeing that it had all this electronic stuff that was mine, I realized that it was working. So it gave me the confidence to do it.”

A complete anachronism, the composer constructed a postmodern and curious through-line for the series with droning, minimalistic synthesizer and guitar lines, warbling bass and chimes that seem to swoop down from nowhere. When accompanying images of hustling, bustling turn-of-the-century Manhattan, as well as the occasional blood-sopped aortic aneurysm operating-room scene, it makes for hyperrealism and a sense of urgency that the era’s hits, like “I Want to Be a Military Man” or “Ma Tiger Lily,” would ruin.

I wish I was paying closer attention to one particular song (that got me thinking about the soundtrack) from season two. Sounded kinda like a Theremin in there….but I can’t be sure. All I know is that the song pierced through the TV to me, and then got me thinking about the soundtrack.

I might have to go back and try to find the episode and see if the song is on the season two soundtrack.

The show is brilliant and I love the tunes.

Oh I think this is the song that I was saying might have a Theremin in it? Maybe? You guys are smarter than me, leave a comment if you know.

Ahhh maybe it’s not.

Go with yourself.

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