English composer and former Pop Will Eat Itself frontman Clint Mansell is working on the soundtrack for Mass Effect 3. Mansell is perhaps best known for his work in movies, where he's scored a number of films by director Darren Aronofsky, including Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and, most recently, Black Swan. The guy has a real knack for producing stirring music, as evidenced by Requiem for a Dream's Lux Æterna, variations of which have been used in commercials, sporting events, and the official trailer for the second Lord of the Rings movie. A decade after hearing it for the first time, that track still sends shivers up my spine.
Mansell revealed his work on Mass Effect 3 in an interview with The Quietus. As he explains, putting together the soundtrack for a movie is quite a bit different than composing one for a game.
With something like Mass Effect you're more like a DJ, with all these elements. You've got the holding pattern, then the big explosion where you need the score to kick in. Then you need to take it off on a tangent. You've got all these different elements that change depending on what the player does. You have to figure out an overall symphony, but be able to break it down into component parts. You can bring the pain when required.
Although I haven't yet been bitten by the Mass Effect bug, I'm more likely to check out the third iteration with Mansell on board. The Mass Effect 2 soundtrack was popular enough to get its own release, and I'm curious to see if Mansell can top it. Kudos to BioWare for bringing in top-shelf musical talent.
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