Like all your soundtracks, this one is integral to the mood and very unpredictable, with everything from Schubert to trippier stuff by bands like Boris.
I was listening to Boris, thinking of it as edited into a score. There’s one piece of music of theirs with Michio Kurihara, who’s a guitarist from the band Ghost, called “Fuzzy Reactor.” When I was writing, I put it on repeat. It had a psychedelic density to it. I was trying to find music that engendered that kind of slightly altered consciousness. Chris Doyle and I talked about making a film that was mildly hallucinogenic in some cumulative way—almost like a drug. As images accumulate, you gradually start looking at mundane things in a different way.
There’s quite a lot of flamenco—at one point the hit man goes to a performance. We started with one song from the fourteenth century, and I wove that lyric throughout the film: “He who thinks he’s bigger than the rest should go to the cemetery. There he’ll find what life really is: It’s a handful of dirt.” And we used Peteneras, which is kind of the flamenco equivalent of blues. The dancing isn’t a lot of foot-stamping, it’s slow motions. Peteneras is taboo among flamenco people; a lot of bad luck is associated with it. But nothing bad has happened yet …
Peteneras looks like t’ai chi.
La Truco, the dancer we worked with, actually teaches a class which she calls t’ai chi flamenco. When she told me that, I started laughing and told her that we have a lot of t’ai chi in the film. The whole film is built on connections that sort of circumstantially presented themselves.