Exclusive: listen to three melancholic tracks that director Jason Reitman calls ‘dream come true stuff’
Jason Reitman's tale of technological malaise – Men, Women & Children – is a generations-spanning survey of how we interact, sext, and cheat in our relationships. We're celebrating his digital spectacle through in-depth interviews with cast members Ansel Elgort and Judy Greer; Bibio walks us through three melancholic melodies from the soundtrack, and we look at how cinema is slowly reverting to silence on screen.
How do you soundtrack a film that tangos with sexting and flirts with questions of existentialism? Find someone abstract. When it comes to creating emotional electronica, Warp producer Bibio (real name Stephen Wilkinson) knows how to play the game. Mixing electric modernity with the ache of nostalgia, he was the perfect man to soundtrack Men, Women & Children’s tale of technological malaise. Here, Bibio speaks about being cherry-picked for the project and the seamless marriage of his aural melancholy with director Jason Reitman's digitally-focussed drama:
Bibio: “Jason Reitman said he discovered my music during yoga class in LA. I was up for it in principle, then didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks. Then I got a phone call from his music supervisor (on a Thursday) asking 'Can you come to New York on Monday to see the movie and meet Jason?' I asked to hear a bit more information as it all seemed a bit abrupt, so Jason himself phoned me and explained a bit about the film. There was a genuine warmth and enthusiasm in his voice so I just agreed and flew over, stayed one night then flew back home. It was a great experience though, we sat in his hotel lobby eating various pasta dishes. I took my Bose speaker and had a playlist of unreleased tracks on my phone and we went through them as he watched clips on his laptop. He seemed to like everything I played; it all felt very perfect, like dream come true stuff.
“Jason Reitman seemed to like everything I played; it all felt very perfect, like dream come true stuff” – Bibio
If I had to pick one song to sum up the album, it would be 'The First Daffodils'. Jason said to me on the phone before I went to New York that there's something tragic yet hopeful in my music. That's something I've been aware of, it's what I like in other people's music too. I like music that tells a story without using words. Music can say things words struggle to express. In elementary musical terms, I hear innocent joy in a major chord, seriousness or melancholy in a minor chord and then you have the major 7 chord, which has an extra note, seems to have a sad past with a hopeful future; that's how my brain hears it, it's not an exact science. So you can imagine that combinations or sequences of chords, melodies and harmonies can tell rich complex stories that can simply not be described with words. I've played with the bittersweet 'mix' or with ambivalence for a long time in my music, I'm kind of obsessed with it, but when I make music it's not an intellectual consciousness, it's often all about feeling and maybe more weirdly, my visual imagination.”
Men, Women & Children is out in cinemas December 5