I awoke this morning and decided that given it looked like rain, I would postpone my planned bike ride for a little later and, instead, take a nice 3k walk instead. I mean, really? How often do I ever get to just take a nice, leisurely walk? Like…never. So after a breakfast of french toast, bacon and coffee and I left our Pondview Trailer for my morning constitutional at the “Bath House” and…just kept walking. I did, however, remember to bring my iPod and so listening to another album I brought that I thought might be akin to a good camping listen, the newest album by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, the ‘Far From Men‘ soundtrack.
‘Far from Men’ (French: ‘Loin des hommes’) is a 2014 French drama film directed by David Oelhoffen. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival and was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Set in rural Algeria during the country’s war of independence, two men (Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb) must overcome their differences and take an impossible journey to escape the growing violence. My interest though is with this soundtrack.
With existentialism and unforgiving landscapes in check (not unlike this morning’s menacing overcast sky while walking along the Dead End Cayuga Lake Rd.), the pair return to Ellis’ familiar but hypnotic collection of violin loops and build gently on from there. There’s less of Cave’s piano work on offer here and instead the listener is treated to a more pensive and drone-heavy compilation. Occasionally, the material almost reminds of a toned-down Vangelis, only to be hit with some arresting Arabic vocals on the following track. It’s the pair’s most experimental soundtrack to date, one that seems to have been composed in a late night haze – but all the better for it.
I will admit though that it was a bit more eerie and apocalyptic than I originally had in mind, especially as I really should be getting into a positive mindset given what I’m doing in three days time (the Musselman Triathlon) but, hey, it did provide the perfect ambiance for this mornings conditions. I thought about my dad a bit as it would also have been his birthday today and how I hope that some of his ‘never quit’ work ethic will inspire me this coming Sunday.