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the Pale

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Separation ... available on DVD

Matthew Fisher on the soundtrack

Procol Harum fans know of two songs from the soundtrack of the rare film Separation: they're: Salad Days (Are Here Again) which was recorded on the first Procol Harum album, and the Theme from Separation, which Matthew Fisher recorded on his first solo album, Journey's End.

BtP recommends this link to Amazon UK, where the DVD of Separation was released in July 2009. News about progress on this project could be read here (thanks, John O)

Little was known of specifics of the film soundtrack, until October 1998 when Greg Panfile, a Procol fan from America, exchanged e-mail messages with Matthew Fisher on the subject.

With regard to Separation, I've often wondered myself about the possibility of getting hold of the original soundtrack.

In fact the original recording for the film was quite primitive. It just featured me on Hammond, Stanley Myers (composer best-known for having written the theme from The Deerhunter) on harpsichord and a bass player called Cliff Barton.

Cliff was a minor legend in the 60s, when he played with people like Alexis Korner and Georgie Fame, but he had an unfortunate weakness for heroin, which is probably why he is no longer with us.

Anyway, I'm afraid I've no idea how one would get hold of a copy and in any case it certainly doesn't feature BJ or any other Procol people.

It seems there is a director called Jack Bond who has produced videos for the Pet Shop Boys and others, but I don't know if it is the same guy who directed Separation [see below]. I've also heard that the director's son, Dominic Bond (I met him in 1967 when he was about 6 or 7) is now active in the film industry, but I couldn't find anything about him on Alta Vista.

If you do manage to track down the recording, I'd be interested to hear about it.

In late May 2008 Tracy Granger wrote to BtP, elucidating as follows:
In doing research for the Jane Arden Myspace site, I came across your page. Just to update some info for you: it is the same Jack Bond ... he directed Separation and the Pet Shop Boys' videos. Dominic was Jack Bond's stepson. His name is Dominic Saville and he runs a company called 3DD. His dad was the director Philip Saville.

Greg mailed the above to the procolorg message list, commenting:

'At this point, then, we know there is a recording and who is on it. What would be cool would be to get a dub of it off of a film or VCR tape... and for someone to send it to the composer as he's requested. All right, you UK Procolites, ready to do a covert op. on that film archive?

'Beyond the Pale' wanted to commemorate this message as it was ... then Greg went a step further:

> Were other songs recorded for that soundtrack, either with you driving or PH playing?

The music was split between me and Stanley Myers. Stanley had originally been commissioned to write all the music but when AWSoP came out the director suddenly decided that was the sound he wanted on the film. I think there were a couple of other little themes of mine in the film but my principle [sic] input was the 'main title theme'.

> Was the Salad Days on the first album the soundtrack track or was another version recorded?

They used the album version, except it was edited. It's positively the worst edit I've ever heard. My mother could have done a better edit with a rusty kitchen knife in the dark.

> Can the Procol webmaster post your comments on this?

If anyone's interested.

Thanks to Greg, who comments: interesting to note the 'couple of other little themes' that could exist, and that haunting image of someone's ageing mother with rusty kitchen knife in darkness, editing ...

More about Separation | Order it from Amazon by clicking this link

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