Cliff Martinez

born on 5/2/1954 in Bronx, NY, United States

Cliff Martinez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Cliff Martinez

Cliff Martinez (born February 5, 1954) is an American film score composer and former drummer known for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Captain Beefheart.[1] Martinez's film scores include Drive,[1] Only God Forgives,[1] Contagion, Solaris and Traffic.[2]

On April 14, 2012, Martinez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[2]


Cliff Martinez was born in the Bronx, New York. Raised in Columbus, Ohio, his first job composing was for the popular television show Pee Wee's Playhouse.[3] At the time, however, he was more interested in rock bands, and played drums in a variety of them, mostly in a temporary capacity.

Red Hot Chili Peppers (1983-1986)

After several years drumming for such acts as Captain Beefheart, The Dickies, Lydia Lunch and The Weirdos, in late 1983, he and Jack Sherman were drafted in to join the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the recording of their eponymous first album after Jack Irons and Hillel Slovak left the band to concentrate on their other project at the time, What Is This? Martinez again played on the recording of the band's second album Freaky Styley and its subsequent tour.

In 2012 Martinez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[4] Martinez performed with the band for the first time in 26 years when he joined them along with former drummer Jack Irons on their song, "Give it Away" during the ceremony.[5]

Film composing

Eventually, Martinez' interests shifted and he focused his attention toward film scoring. A tape Martinez had put together using new technologies made its rounds, leading him to score an episode of Pee-Wees Playhouse. The same recording also ended up in Steven Soderberghs hands and Martinez was hired to score the famed directors first theatrical release 1989s sex, lies, and videotape. Martinezs longstanding relationship with Soderbergh has continued through the years and they have worked together on ten theatrical releases including Kafka, The Limey, Traffic, Solaris and 2011s Contagion.

Perhaps it is because of his time in the punk scene that Martinezs approach to scoring is nontraditional. His scores tend towards being stark and sparse, utilizing a modern tonal palette to paint the backdrop for films that are often dark, psychological stories like Pump Up the Volume (1990), The Limey (2009) Wonderland (2003), Wicker Park (2004), and Drive (2011). Martinez has been nominated for a Grammy Award (Steven Soderberghs Traffic), a Cesar Award (Xavier Giannolis A Lorigine), and a Broadcast Film Critics Award (Drive). He earned a Robert Award (Danish Academy Award) for his work on Only God Forgives.[6]

Still the drummer at heart, Martinezs use of audio manipulations, particularly for percussive sounds, has been evolving through the years and is evident by the hammered dulcimer of Kafka (1991), the gray-areas between sound design and score for Traffic (2000), the steel drums and textures of Solaris (2002), what Martinez called rhythmi-tizing pitched, ambient textures of Narc (2002), and using percussion performances to trigger and shape the rhythmic and tonal characteristics of those ambient textures, as he described his score for 2011s The Lincoln Lawyer.

Martinez served as a juror for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and served on the International Feature nominating committee for 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Martinez recent films include Robert Redfords The Company You Keep, Nicholas Jareckis Arbitrage, Harmony Korines Spring Breakers (co-composed with Skrillex), and Nicolas Winding Refns Only God Forgives. [7]

Video game composing

Martinez composed the main menu Galaxy theme track for the Spore video game released in 2008. Being more than 16 minutes long it might be Martinez's longest released composition.[8] Solar System (13 mins.), Timeline (6 mins.) and a few other tracks on Sporeperhaps Late Anthropocene (7 mins.), Religious Vehicle Editor (7.30 mins.), and Sporepedia (10.40 mins.)might also be the work of Martinez rather than of Brian Eno.

Composer discography

  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
  • Pump Up the Volume (1990)
  • Kafka (1991)
  • Black Magic (1992)
  • King of the Hill (1993)
  • Underneath (1995)
  • Gray's Anatomy (1996)
  • Schizopolis (1996)(Uncredited)
  • Wicked (1998)
  • The Limey (1999)
  • Traffic (2000)
  • Narc (2002)
  • Solaris (2002)
  • Wonderland (2003)
  • Wicker Park (2004)
  • Havoc (2005)
  • First Snow (2006)
  • Espion(s) (2009)
  • In the Beginning (2009)
  • The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
  • Drive (2011)
  • Contagion (2011)
  • Arbitrage (2012)
  • The Company You Keep (2012)
  • Only God Forgives (2013)
  • Spring Breakers (2013)


The Weirdos

  • Weird World (compilation)

Lydia Lunch

  • 13.13 (1982)
  • Stinkfist (1986)

Captain Beefheart

  • Ice Cream for Crow (1982)

Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984)
  • Freaky Styley (1985)
  • The Abbey Road E.P. - (1988)
  • What Hits!? - (1992)
  • Out in L.A. - (1994)
  • Under the Covers: Essential Red Hot Chili Peppers - (1998)

The Dickies

  • Killer Clowns From Outer Space (1988)
  • The Second Coming (1989)
  • Locked N' Loaded Live in London (1991)
  • Idjit Savant (1994)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ezell, Brice (4 September 2013). Getting Good at Getting Dark: An Interview with Cliff Martinez. PopMatters.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Romero, Angie (July 22, 2013). 10 Questions With Cliff Martinez. BMI.
  3. Composer for Film TV and Multimedia | Official Website. Cliff Martinez. Retrieved on 2011-08-24.
  7. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.. Retrieved on 30 December 2013.

External links

  • Official Website
  • Cliff Martinez at MySpace
  • Cliff Martinez at the Internet Movie Database
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Anthony Kiedis | John Frusciante | Flea | Chad Smith
Hillel Slovak | Jack Irons | Dave Navarro | Cliff Martinez | Jack Sherman | Arik Marshall | Jesse Tobias | Dix Denney | D.H. Peligro
Albums and EPs
Red Hot Chili Peppers | Freaky Styley | The Uplift Mofo Party Plan | The Abbey Road E.P. | Mother's Milk | Blood Sugar Sex Magik | What Hits!? | Out in L.A. | One Hot Minute | Californication | By the Way | Greatest Hits | Live in Hyde Park | Stadium Arcadium
True Men Don't Kill Coyotes | Get Up and Jump | Jungle Man | American Ghost Dance | Catholic School Girls Rule | Hollywood (Africa) | Fight Like a Brave | Me & My Friends | Behind The Sun | Knock Me Down | Higher Ground | Taste the Pain | Show Me Your Soul | Give It Away | Breaking the Girl | Under the Bridge | Suck My Kiss | If You Have To Ask | Soul To Squeeze | Warped | My Friends | Aeroplane | Coffee Shop | Walkabout | Shallow Be Thy Game | Love Rollercoaster | Scar Tissue | Around the World | Otherside | Californication | Road Trippin' | Parallel Universe | By the Way | The Zephyr Song | Can't Stop | Dosed | Universally Speaking | Fortune Faded | Dani California
Other related articles
Chain Reaction | What Is This? | Jane's Addiction | Pearl Jam | Beavis and Butt-head | Coneheads
This page was last modified 26.03.2014 06:35:05

This article uses material from the article Cliff Martinez from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.