Manic James thrilled by film soundtrack
One is a filmmaker whose award-winning previous work was a dreamlike meditation on life in rural Ceredigion, the other a rock singer more accustomed to selling out arenas around the world with his impassioned chart-topping anthems.
But there was something about Gideon Koppel's 2008 movie Sleep Furiously - some of the more action-packed sequences from which included a Victoria sponge being made and an old lady having a dead owl stuffed - which, nevertheless, caught the imagination of Manic Street Preachers' frontman James Dean Bradfield.
So much so that the Blackwood musician, famed for penning number one hits like If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, jumped at the chance to ditch his day job and compose the ambient soundtrack to Koppel's new ethereal venture - a gallery-based film installation inspired by the West Wales a town of Borth.
And it was that huge stylistic difference between his usual output and the mandate laid down by the director which provided the 44-year-old r with his biggest incentive to get involved with the project.
"Gideon's brief was that he wanted music, but didn't want it to be too musical," laughed Bradfield.
"So, while I've done a few instrumental B-sides and written stuff for a few plays by Patrick Jones (the poet brother of Manics' bassist Nicky Wire), it represented a real change of gears for me and felt completely divorced from the sort of thing I'd normally do.
"There's piano, cello, harp, feedback, theremin and Chinese percussion instruments called yang chings on there - I doubt any fans of the band circa 1996's Everything Must Go album would be able to detect my presence in the mix at all."
"He added that, having fallen in love with Sleep Furiously's paean to the tiny farming backwater of Trefeurig, Koppel's choice of Borth - a sleepy fishing village sandwiched between Aberystwyth and Aberdovey - hadn't seemed like such an incongruous choice.
"Gideon's first film was unlike anything I'd ever seen before, so when he got in touch about Borth I immediately said 'yes'," said Bradfield.
"It's a place I've been before, although mostly only from passing through - it's a real one-road-in, one-road-out type of place.
"But, after the all-encompassing Olympic spectacle last year and its celebration of huge metropolises like London, this seemed like the perfect antithesis."
Indeed, in consisting solely of a single slow-motion tracking shot of the village's ramshackle sea-front properties shown on a continuous and seamless loop, Koppel's Borth is probably as far away from the euphoria-inducing, gold medal-winning coverage of the 2012 Games as it's possible to get.
"It's a look outside the cosmopolitan psyche, to a place where the pace of life is very different," added the singer. "And, while Borth doesn't have a narrative and moves so little that it could almost pass for a still-life portrait, I found that the more I stared at it the more I found myself inventing my own little stories about what might be going on inside those houses and what their histories might be.
"Even the facades of the buildings themselves start to look like faces after a while."
However, London-born Koppel, who's Professor of Film at Aberystwyth University,y said he was never in any doubt that Bradfield was the best person to provide the musical accompaniment to his film.
"Although he doesn't sing here, I've always loved the feeling in James' voice," he said.
"And the same goes for his playing - he crams so much emotion and story into just one simple chord that it's quite unbelievable.
"Actually, I can remember going down to his recording studio in Cardiff and being blown away by one particular piece he'd come up with.
"It was truly beautiful and reduced me to tears."
Koppel added that the unlikely pair had originally been slated to work together several years before, but the project never transpired.
"There was a lot of talk about me working on a Niall Griffiths story called Between The Dogs And The Crows, which is set around an 18th-century lead mine," he said.
"Then, one day, I was heading through Borth on a train bound for Aberystwyth when the Manics popped up on my iPod. So I sent James a text asking if he was up for working on another idea I'd just had.
"Luckily for me, he replied straight away," he smiled.