Requiem for a Dream (soundtrack)

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Requiem for a Dream
Kronos requiem.jpg
Soundtrack album by
LabelNonesuch Records
Singles from Requiem for a Dream
  1. "Lux Aeterna"
    Released: 2000

Requiem for a Dream is the soundtrack album from the 2000 film Requiem for a Dream. It was composed by Clint Mansell and performed by the Kronos Quartet. The music for the film is noted for its minimalist qualities in which it uses constant harmonies, a steady pulse, and often variation of musical phrases to drive a point. The album is best known for the track "Lux Aeterna."


With the success of the film also came a successful soundtrack. Composer of the soundtrack Clint Mansell has worked very closely with Darren Aronofsky throughout his movie career. Mansell also has worked on Aronofsky's first film π. Both Pi and Requiem for a Dream are noted for their off notes and range of tenebrous emotions. In the opening credits before the title of the movie appears we can hear the quartet tuning their instruments, before hearing a conductor tap on his music stand to ready the quartet for a performance. The maestro bringing them to attention is Aronofsky.[1] Aronofsky and Mansell both grew up listening to Hiphop which they based a lot of their decision making on that type of music. Mansell took a classic hiphop record and reworked it with the score.[2] Aronofsky saw Requiem as a "monster movie, only when something goes bad you hear the music."[3] All of the music in the film is influenced by the characters and goes with the drugs in the film. Even though none of the characters actually say the word "Heroin", they still base the music around heroin and cravings.

The soundtrack has been widely praised, and in particular the track "Lux Aeterna" (which itself is much used in the film) has subsequently been used in various forms of media. The theme was reorchestrated for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers trailer[4] and is known by the name "Requiem for a Tower", presented by "Corner Stone Cues". The theme has been featured in trailers for other films, including Babylon A.D.,[5] The Da Vinci Code,[6] I Am Legend,[7] Sunshine,[8] and Valley of Flowers.[9] It also appeared in the video games "Total Miner: Forge" (Xbox Live Indie Game 2011), Assassin's Creed[citation needed], and in numerous TV spots and advertisements, and at sporting events. Use of the theme has extended to the point where it is interchangeable with the name "Requiem for a Dream."

A remix album, Requiem for a Dream: Remixed, contained new mixes of the music by Paul Oakenfold, Josh Wink, Jagz Kooner, and Delerium, among others.[10]

The Kronos Quartet[edit]

The Kronos Quartet is the string quartet that performed the soundtrack for Requiem for a Dream. The quartet was founded in 1973 by David Harrington in Seattle. The members were David Harrington and John Sherba, violins; Hank Dutt, viola; and Joan Jeanrenaud, cello. The group was chosen for its minimalist approach.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[11]

Reviews have generally been very favorable. Allmusic gave the album four stars, saying that the score "manages to be appropriately dark and disturbing, as well as compulsively listenable";[12] Salon praised the "terrific musical score";[13] and The Observer of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College called the score "heart-stopping".[14], in a negative review of the score, spoke of "the driving, thumping, angry, brutal violin score which drums like a hammer and chain beating you into submission."[15]


The novel Requiem for a Dream was written by Hubert Selby Jr. who was inspired to write it when he lived in LA. He wanted to write about something in the real world rather than something from the fantasy genre. One of the main influences of his work was his life experiences. Hubert’s life was very unfortunate; at the age of 18, he was a merchant seaman during World War II. During that time he was hospitalized for three years for treatment of tuberculosis and other illnesses or injuries he acquired.

Six months before Hubert wrote Requiem for a Dream, he was sick with pneumonia, going in and out of comas. His wife was worried about his health but he refused to go to a hospital. One night, his wife woke up from a dream about two spirits that had opened the door in their room; she says that she could tell that they were male and female. The two spirits told her that if Hubert did not get medical attention, he might die. She eventually called a friend, who happened to be a respiratory therapist. She told him about all the things that have been happening with Hubert and he scolded him about his health and told her to take him to the hospital.[16]


Clint Mansell, the composer of this soundtrack, is an English musician, composer, and former lead singer and guitarist of the band Pop Will Eat Itself (1996). Aronofsky, the director of the film, hired him to score his film Pi. He scored Requiem for a Dream in 2000, and all of Aronofsky's films since.

Track listings[edit]

Original album[edit]

Requiem for a Tower EP[edit]

  1. "Requiem for a Tower, Movement 2"
  2. "Requiem for a Tower, Movement 3"
  3. "Requiem for a Tower, Movement 4"

Requiem for a Dream: Remixed album[edit]

  1. Clint Mansell – "Tappy's Intro (Film Score)" – 0:51
  2. Plant – "In the End It's All Nice" – 6:17
  3. Psilonaut – "Ghost in the Machine" – 6:56
  4. Paul Oakenfold – "Æternal" – 6:50
  5. Clint Mansell – "Seacoast Towers (Film Score)" – 0:54
  6. Jagz Kooner – "Coney Island Express" – 7:09
  7. Clint Mansell – "Seacoast Alarm (Film Score)" – 0:30
  8. Wish FM – "Haunted Dreams" – 6:36
  9. Kronos Quartet – "Tense" – 0:14
  10. Josh Wink – "Full Tension" – 8:25
  11. Clint Mansell – "Food (Film Score)" – 1:21
  12. Delerium – "Deluxed" – 7:20
  13. Clint Mansell – "Island (Film Score)" – 0:16
  14. A Guy Called Gerald – "Body and Fear – 5:48
  15. Clint Mansell – "112 (Film Score)" – 1:13
  16. Ils – "Overturned" – 5:41
  17. Clint Mansell – "Sara (Film Score)" – 1:08
  18. Hive – "Hand Jive" – 3:27
  19. Sleepland – "Requiem for a dream (Bonus)" – 6:51
  20. Clint Mansell – "Arnold (Film Score)" – 0:44
  21. Clint Mansell – "Ghosts (Vocal Version)" – 4:22

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Greece (IFPI Greece)[17] Gold 15,000^
United States (RIAA)[19] N/A 158,000[18]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Did you know?". IMDB. IMDB.
  2. ^ Kiran, Acharya. "Unspoilt by progress: A Conversation With Black Swan Composer Clint Manseell". The Quietus.
  3. ^ Kiran, Acharya. "Unspoilt by progress: A Conversation With Black Swan Composer Clint Manseell". The Quietus.
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger (2002-11-17). "Movie Answer Man". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  5. ^ Babylon A.D. Official Trailer. YouTube (2008-08-29). Retrieved on 2010-12-15.
  6. ^ The Da Vinci Code official trailer. YouTube (2007-09-05). Retrieved on 2010-12-15.
  7. ^ I AM LEGEND – Movie Trailer. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-12-15.
  8. ^ Sunshine Trailer. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-12-15.
  9. ^ Valley Of Flowers Trailer. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-12-15.
  10. ^ Track listing on Allmusic
  11. ^ Allmusic review
  12. ^ Phares, Heather. "Requiem for a Dream – Review". Allmusic. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  13. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (October 20, 2000). "Requiem for a Dream: Darren Aronofsky doesn't make movies about drugs. They are drugs". Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  14. ^ DePrez, Stephanie (March 27, 2009). "The Quirky Kronos Quartet". The Observer. Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  15. ^ Kipp, Jeremiah (2000). "Review of Requiem for a Dream". Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  16. ^ "Hubert Selby Jr and near-death experience". The Guardian. London. 2001-01-12.
  17. ^ "Greek album certifications – Clint Mansell – Requeim for a dream (soundtrack)" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  18. ^ Peters, Mitchell (3 April 2010). "Notes From The Underground". Billboard. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  19. ^ "American album certifications – Clint Mansell – Requeim for a dream (soundtrack)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]