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In September 1984 Peter Gabriel was called by the director Alan Parker to write the music for the film Birdy - The wings of freedom, Special Jury Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
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Here is the original trailer:
And the one in Italian:
Peter made a small foray into soundtracks earlier, in 1984, with Against All Odds and Gremlins. In both films participating with a song. In the first, which also contains songs by Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, there is "Walk Through The Fire", also released as a single and also contained in the recent "Rated PG":
In Gremlins Peter's song is called "Out Out".
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The Birdy soundtrack is the first composed exclusively by Peter. It includes unreleased songs and instrumental reinterpretations of songs already contained in the third and fourth album.
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Alan Parker wanted to use existing songs. Instead Peter gets excited and enthusiastic, so he would like to compose new material. "But there was very little time since the film was due out in December, so I mixed old and new. It was a wonderful experience for me to learn to orchestrate», Gabriel tells Armando Gallo, quoted in "Peter Gabriel. Not one of us" by Mario Giammetti.
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The project marks the beginning of the collaboration with sound engineer Daniel Lanois, who will musically characterize this and the next two albums. "We got along right away, he instinctively reacts to my musicSaid Gabriel, quoted in "Without Borders. Life and Music of Peter Gabriel" by Daryl Easlea.
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Peter Gabriel thus remembers the making of Birdy:
All the songs are written by Peter Gabriel. About half of the material is new. Here's what he picked up instead:
1. "At Night" (with reference to "Wallflower") 2: 38
2. "Floating Dogs" 2:55
3. "Quiet and Alone" 2:30
4. "Close Up" (has "Family Snapshot" keyboards) 0: 55
5. "Slow Water" 2:51
6. "Dressing the Wound" 4:06
No. Title Length
7. "Birdy's Flight" (based on "Not One of Us") 2: 58
8. "Slow Marimbas" 3:21
9. "The Heat" (has the drumming of "The Rhythm of the Heat") 4: 41
10. "Sketch Pad with Trumpet and Voice" 3:05
11. "Under Lock and Key" (comes from "Wallflower") 2: 28
12. "Powerhouse at the Foot of the Mountain" (from "San Jacinto").
For the film's American premiere on December 19, the soundtrack isn't ready yet. It was mixed in January 1985 and the album was released in March.
The film is screened at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20 and, as already mentioned, gets the Special Jury Grand Prix.
«I am proud to have worked on Birdy as a first experience in soundtrack, because Birdy is a special film ", wrote Peter Gabriel in the album's liner notes.
And here's how Peter paid tribute to Alan Parker on the occasion of his death.
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