“Very often a tension can happen between music and picture that is about chance and a kind of unknowingness that can be really amazing. Just by putting together two things that were created in isolation, music and film, suddenly something quite magical can happen."

Those words come from the great Nick Cave about the new film, Far From Men. Alongside Warren Ellis (The Bad Seeds, Dirty Three, Grinderman), Cave created the soundtrack for the David Olehoffen-directed movie.

Cave says that Ellis brought a new angle on the film's compositions, employing a variety of looped violin motifs which help color the cinematic instrumentals in a unique way. “It was suddenly an amazing way to write because you didn’t have to do things from scratch,” he explained in a recent statement. “Warren would put on a loop that would create this instant atmosphere, and we could go off and work on top of that. To sit at a piano, put chords onto a linear loop and make something out of that is just an easy and very pleasurable way to work.”

Most of those atmospheres are built around the intertwined piano and violin melodies from the duo, but they also feature a minimal use of guitar, flute, mandolin, celeste, percussion and other instruments to shape the sound.

Working together in this context couldn't help but spill over into their day job. “Initially with The Proposition we would sit there and make hours and hours of music,” Ellis recalls about the 2005 Australian western. “Then that sprawled into the way we started doing the Grinderman stuff. It felt like there was a way to take that stuff into the bands, or form a band based around that approach. The score work always felt like it was asking to go to places that the bands weren’t.”

In addition to Far From Men and The Proposition, Cave and Ellis' collaborations include Woyzeck (2006), Metamorphosis (2006), The Road (2009) and West of Memphis (2012).

The soundtrack for Far From Men will hit the streets on on May 19 via Bad Seeds Ltd. You can pre-order the album here.

Bad Seeds Ltd.
Bad Seeds Ltd.

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