News & Events > Nick Cave & Warren Ellis The Road – Original Film Score

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis The Road – Original Film Score

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have been creating music together for more than fifteen years with The Bad Seeds, Grinderman and The Dirty Three. More recently, the duo have collaborated on soundtracks for The Proposition (2005) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), and released White Lunar, a two CD set (2009) featuring music from the aforementioned films along with rare and previously unavailable material. Adding to this impressive catalogue, the pair will release through Mute on January 12, 2010 their soundtrack to The Road, a new movie directed by John Hillcoat.

This highly anticipated big screen adaptation of the beloved, bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy (author of No Country For Old Men) sees Academy Award-nominee Viggo Mortensen leading an all-star cast featuring Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and young newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee. An epic post-apocalyptic tale of survival of a father and his young son journeying across a barren America destroyed by a mysterious cataclysm, The Road boldly imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of -- a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love.

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have created an evocative score featuring violin and piano with beautiful fleeting melodies and eerie sound loops filled with terror and suspense. The threat of all-too-real cannibal gangs is heightened by disturbing loops and frenetic percussion. A small ensemble of wind instruments adds further scope. At key moments in the movie, scenes between the father and son are set to musical passages that are light, lyrical and elegiac.

“The movie is about the loss of things, the absence of things, the lack of things. The lack of the wife/mother is present in every frame of the film. The delicate edifice of the film holds the ache of her absence, tenderly and by the tips of the fingers,” explains Cave. “The music was composed as a direct response to the film. A light, haunting, simple score with a sense of absence and loss at its heart.”

For Hillcoat and his team, the mission was to convey the horrific aspect of a ravaged world without resorting to well-worn clichés from the end-of-the earth genre. This required delicacy on all fronts -- it meant creating a score without a big orchestral sound or melodrama or sentimentality. The Road is an adventure story, a horror story, a road movie and ultimately a love story between a father and his son, between a man and his wife, as it is a celebration of the inextinguishable will to live. The music of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis found just the right balance.

Cave and Ellis have previously scored John Hillcoat's critically acclaimed 2005 Australian 'Western', The Proposition. Cave (who also provided the script for The Proposition) and Ellis' unsettling soundtrack music received universal critical praise.

 

Courtesy of : Leslie Hermelin: Mute