World premiere release of vibrant, powerful Gil Melle score for Jerrold Freedman topical action thriller set amidst U.S. Border Patrol activity with Mexican migrant workers, starring Charles Bronson, Bruno Kirby and very young Ed Harris. Melle creates unusually punchy, vivid score primarily for brass, strings, keyboards, soloists using L.A. session players plus his own "Jazz Electronauts" ensemble. Results are striking, experimental. Then producers requested additional music for large symphony, alterations to numerous cues. Melle re-scored sequences with London Symphony Orchestra, melded both scores into one major work. Results combine dynamic symphonic music with flashes of experimental composition, jazz plus array of solo colors. Wow! Intrada presents full score from 1/4" 15 ips two-track stereo mixes made at both L.A. & London recording sessions, courtesy ITC Entertainment & Granada Ventures, beautifully vaulted at composer's estate. While much of score is mixed with traditional elements in mind (violins on left, cellos on right, so forth), Melle also creates experimental mixes of several cues, sending all strings in one direction, brass in another and panning percussion, electronics, soloists all across audio spectrum. Vivid listening experience! Gil Melle conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities last. SOLD OUT!
11. The Watchdog (1:31) 12. Prepare To Siege (3:19) 13. Busting Karl (5:29) 14. Find The Illegals (3:15) 15. Spotting Hotchkiss (0:18) 16. So Many (1:04) 17. Final Chase (2:13) 18. Matching Shoes (0:38) 19. Borderline Credits (5:45)
Tech Talk From The CD Producer…
Gil Mellé wrote highly experimental music for his film projects, melding orchestral writing with jazz, blending electronics with percussion, utilizing both pleasant and dissonant harmonies— you name it. Yet, even with his history of experimentation, Mellé found Borderline to be an unusual challenge. He composed over an hour of music but considerably less than that was actually used in the finished picture. And, in an unusual turn of events, much of his score was actually recorded twice.
His initial approach was brazen, with an array of unusual ideas that were symphonic as well as jazz-based. It was rich with intense harmonies, full of percussion activity, brimmed with significant electronic keyboard effects and featured a plethora of brass. As it turned out, the producers weren’t fully satisfied with this austere approach and went back to rescore several sequences, bringing in new and more accessible thematic ideas (heard during "Borderline Titles") as well as incorporating a slightly more traditional harmonic language.
The final film draws from sizeable portions of both scoring approaches. Many cues are heavily truncated in the film and several appear in places different from where they were intended to go. Interestingly, the final film does not use the initial main theme that Mellé wrote for the opening, and his re-scored theme became the "Borderline Titles." Yet for the closing "Borderline Credits" the music reverts back to Mellé’s original idea, the accessible theme becoming a late "Final Chase" sequence instead of a finish to the score.
Happily, the complete session elements for both scores were preserved by the composer. Through the kind assistance of Denise Mellé, we had access to his 1/4˝ 15 ips two-track stereo masters and were able to prepare this full presentation of his music for Borderline.
The stereo mixing of Melle’s score is nearly as experimental as the composition itself. While in many cases Melle and his engineer mixed in tradition (with violins on the left and celli on the right), in several instances they spread the instrumental colors with a focus on whole groups instead, often relegating all strings to the left, all brass to the right and panning the array of electronics, keyboards and percussion throughout the audio spectrum to maximize various instrumental solos and effects. The results create unusual balancing of each channel but also allow enormous vibrancy in stereo effects and separation. The mix experimentation is striking and works well in all instances—with the exception of the "Borderline Titles" and "Final Chase" cues. In these two sequences, one wishes for separation of the high and low strings in the virtuoso ostinato driving the music but — alas — with finished two-track stereo mixes in hand, further creative choices at this point were not possible.
Finally, a few words about the sequencing and assembly of this CD are necessary. Since Mellé re-scored much of the film, the masters often included identical slates for totally different cues. Take numbers were sometimes repeated. In particular, many of the session slates were only partially spoken on the masters and in numerous cases the cues were identified only by unique and often cryptic codes. We open our CD with the unused music Mellé intended to play at the beginning (Track 1, "The First Three Thoughts") and then sequence his re-scored opening as track 2 ("Borderline Titles"). For the duration of the CD we have followed the picture order where we could but included the unused cues in positions based on musicality since, without complete verbal slates, literal film sequencing wasn’t possible. For example, one particular cue (Track 10, "The Big Haul Begins") includes a sub-titled segment ("The Tanker") that is verbally slated right next to the cue "Night Moves" but actually ended up underneath a later scene in the film. There were also numerous unused cues written for reel 10 of the film, involving nighttime preparations for a police attack against illegal immigrant smugglers. We have included all these cues but again have assembled them for musicality as opposed to attempting any guesses as to exact picture placement. Finally, the film concludes with the "Borderline Credits" but dials into the cue (admittedly with great skill) two minutes into the piece. We are including the entire composition as originally recorded by Mellé.
Join us now as we present Gil Mellé’s exciting, vibrant and experimental music
Composed and Conducted by Gil Melle.
The Los Angeles Orchestra was recorded on April 29, 30, and May 1 and 5, 1980, at Group IV, Hollywood, California.
VIOLIN Paul C. Shure
CELLO Raphael Kramer
Mary C. Lane
Marie C. Fera
Douglas L. Davis
BASS Peter A. Mercurio
Roger Wade Short
WOODWIND Don Menza
Ernest J. Watts
HORN Vincent N. DeRosa
Arthur N. Maebe
TRUMPET John Audino
Charles B. Findley
Jay J. Daversa
TROMBONE Richard T. Nash
Lloyd E. Ulyate
George M. Roberts
William B. Fowler
TUBA John Thomas Johnson
KEYBOARD Michael A. Lang
David Bryan Benoit
HARP Verlye Mills
DRUMS, PERC. Larry Bunker
MUSIC PREP: ORCHESTRATOR Gil Melle
COPYIST Kenneth E. Gruberman
Kenneth Ray Bonebrake