The Meaning and Music of \"Death is the Road to Awe\" by Clint Mansell
\"Death is the Road to Awe\" is a song composed by Clint Mansell for the 2006 movie The Fountain, directed by Darren Aronofsky. The song is the ninth track on the movie's soundtrack album, and it features the Kronos Quartet and the Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. The song plays during the climax of the movie, when the three parallel stories of a conquistador, a scientist, and a space traveler converge in a transcendent moment of acceptance and enlightenment.
The title of the song is a quote from the movie, spoken by Hugh Jackman's character Tom Creo, who is obsessed with finding a cure for his dying wife Izzi (Rachel Weisz). Izzi is writing a novel called The Fountain, which tells the story of a Spanish conquistador named Tomas (also played by Jackman) who seeks the Tree of Life in the New World for his queen Isabel (also played by Weisz). Tom reads Izzi's unfinished novel and imagines himself as a space traveler named Tommy (again played by Jackman) who travels with a dying tree in a bubble spaceship to a dying star called Xibalba, which Izzi believes is the source of life. Throughout the movie, Tom struggles with his fear of death and his inability to let go of Izzi, while Izzi tries to help him embrace death as a natural part of life.
The song \"Death is the Road to Awe\" reflects the themes and emotions of the movie through its musical structure and motifs. The song begins with a slow and somber piano melody that represents Tom's grief and despair. The melody is accompanied by strings that create a sense of tension and urgency. The song then builds up gradually with more instruments and layers, such as drums, guitars, and synthesizers, that create a contrast between light and dark, life and death, hope and fear. The song reaches its peak at around 6:30 minutes, when a choir joins in with a powerful and uplifting chorus that repeats the words \"death is the road to awe\". The chorus represents Tom's realization that death is not something to be feared or avoided, but rather something to be accepted and embraced as a part of life. The chorus also represents Izzi's belief that death is not an end, but a beginning of a new cycle of existence. The song then ends with a soft piano melody that echoes the beginning, but with a sense of peace and resolution.
\"Death is the Road to Awe\" is widely regarded as one of Clint Mansell's best compositions and one of the most memorable songs from The Fountain. The song has been praised for its emotional impact, its musical complexity, and its integration with the visuals and themes of the movie. The song has also been used in other media, such as trailers, documentaries, video games, and fan-made videos. The song has been described as \"epic\", \"haunting\", \"beautiful\", \"moving\", and \"inspiring\".
The song can be listened to on YouTube[^1^] [^2^] [^3^] or downloaded as a MIDI file from various websites.
The Fountain has been widely discussed and analyzed by critics and fans alike, who have offered various interpretations of its meaning and symbolism. Some have seen the movie as a meditation on the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and the role of spirituality and faith in coping with mortality. Others have focused on the psychological aspects of the movie, and how it depicts Tom's denial, grief, and acceptance of Izzi's death through his imagination and projection. Some have also explored the historical and cultural references of the movie, such as the Mayan mythology, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Buddhist philosophy.
One of the most debated aspects of the movie is its ending, which leaves room for multiple possibilities. Does Tom finally reach Xibalba and reunite with Izzi Does he die in his spaceship, or does he wake up in his lab Is he hallucinating or dreaming Is he writing Izzi's novel, or is he living it Is he immortal, or is he reincarnated The movie does not provide definitive answers to these questions, but rather invites the viewer to form their own conclusions based on their own perspective and experience.
The Fountain is a movie that challenges and rewards its audience with its complex narrative, its stunning visuals, its moving performances, and its haunting music. It is a movie that explores the universal themes of love and death with originality and depth. It is a movie that celebrates the power of storytelling and imagination to transcend the limitations of time and space. It is a movie that asks us to embrace life as a precious gift, and to accept death as a natural part of it. aa16f39245