“[Gabriel] transforms familiar melodies into emotionally evocative mood pieces” – Rolling Stone
Recorded in 1985, Birdy marks the first occasion that Peter worked with French-Canadian producer-multi-instrumentalist Daniel Lanois who was fresh from working on The Unforgettable Fire with U2. The soundtrack to the Alan Parker movie of the same name – the tale of a Vietnam vet who harbours Icarus-like ambitions to fly – it finds Peter flexing his creative muscles free of the pressure of ensuring it includes a hit single or three.
Completely instrumental, the soundtrack features – alongside new material – motifs, melodies and rhythms from Peter’s previous two albums (his third and fourth LPs). Repurposed for the requirements of cinema, these revised soundscapes match Parker’s intense film perfectly. “I won’t mention all the sources,” Peter coyly writes in the sleevenotes.
“I’ve always loved film music and, aged 17, I had a choice of going to the London School of Film Technique or following a career as a musician. So when I had an invitation for Alan Parker to work on Birdy, that was exciting. Both he and Scorsese, who I worked with on The Last Temptation Of Christ, are musical director who really care and feel the music they work with.
“Birdy is not a very well-known film. It’s quite claustrophobic at times and very atmospheric, so it was a great opportunity to work with different textures and moods.”