Knowing that I have a 90 minute hotter-n-shit spin in the ‘Environmental Chamber’ prior to a 20k time trial this evening as part of my involvement in the ongoing ‘Separate and Combined Effects of Hydration Status and Thirst on Voluntary Exercise’ (say that three times fast!) tests at Brock University, I
wanted needed to keep today’s 5k run extremely light. To manage this I loaded up the official soundtrack to ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Cowardly Robert Ford’, by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (2007).
A completely instrumental orchestration of primarily (but not exclusively) string arrangements; this haunting soundtrack is actually the second collaboration between Cave (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) and Ellis (Bad Seeds, Grinderman). It seems that both have proved to be remarkably effective soundtrack composers, mostly because their movie music is not much different from their rock music. Both have their basis in American roots music and Cave’s doleful pianos, mournful acoustic guitars, blend beautifully with Ellis’ keening fiddles. Their predilection for minor keys, sparse textures, yearning melodies, and funereal tempos is likewise similar to their rock music and here, the sorrow, the tragedy, and, in the end, the pity of Jesse’s assassination is amply enhanced by the score.
For my purposes, it served as a great mental distraction while doing my leaping and skipping drills against the colorful autumn landscape here in Ridgeway. At no point did I ever think to myself, ‘Hey, I should pick the pace up a bit’ since, imaginatively eerie as it is, trying to do tempo work to this particular album would rather be like trying to do high intensity intervals to Sergei Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’.