Post-punk/death rocker turned mustachioed Southern Gothic philosopher Nick Cave and his fellow Bad Seed bandmate Warren Ellis* have become standout film composers in the past few years, beginning with their collaboration on The Proposition, a Western from the land Down Under directed by The Road's John Hillcoat and written by Nick Cave. They also created the soundscape for the sadly underseen and somewhat overlong The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Their most recent collaboration on the score for The Road is worthy of an Oscar nomination -- subtle, appropriately dark but not overbearing, and elegant.
However, the two have also written scores for other, lesser-known movies like the documentary The Girls of Phnom Penh, about young Cambodian sex workers, and The English Surgeon, a doc about a brain doc who regularly travels to the Ukraine to perform surgery on the poor, sick, and often desperate.
White Lunar is an upcoming 2-disc compilation of these scores, along with a few extra bits from the vaults:
"Accompanying the soundtracks on the second disc are four pieces drawn from the Cave & Ellis archives, all named after craters: 'Magma' is constructed from a chorus of Warrens singing a pitch-shifted riff, 'Zanstra' swarms like a storm of hornets besieging a submarine, 'Halo' finds pastoral calm in the eager teeth of defeat and 'Daedalus' rises sure as the sun, with dewy flute and fluttering piano motes, before a sudden fade. The sequence is conceived as a suite. 'Listen to it as you might listen to an instrumental album,' recommends Ellis, as 'some kind of trip.'"
So all you Nick Cave completists or diehard melancholics can now add this goody to your wishlist. And who knows? Perhaps Hillcoat's next collab with Cave, which Monika wrote about earlier this September, will also include a Cave/Ellis soundtrack. (IMDb lists the project under the name Death of a Ladies' Man, although Variety referred to it by the same title of Cave's newest novel, The Death of Bunny Munro. Either way, we're all winners here. Right?!
*Ellis is also in the beautifully melancholy band Dirty Three and Cave's side project Grinderman, and is not to be confused with the Warren Ellis who writes graphic novels and greets his legions of Twitter followers each morning with good-natured and colorful insults.