NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER -
Original Soundtrack Release -
Exclusive Interview with
composer Frank Harris
Diesen Herbst ist es endlich soweit! 22 Jahre haben die Fans darauf gewartet: Der Original-Soundtrack von „NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER“, hierzulande besser bekannt als „Karate Tiger“, wird veröffentlicht.
Im Jahr 1986 wurde die Filmmusik (komponiert von Paul Gilreath) veröffentlicht. Da es von „Karate Tiger“ jedoch verschiedene Fassungen gibt, unterscheiden sich auch die Soundtracks. In den USA war eine andere Musik zu hören, als z.B. in der europäischen Version. So fehlte u.a. das Lied „Hold on to the Vision“ von Kevin Chalfant. Ebenso Titel wie "Ask Me to Stay","A Bottle and a Song" und "Close to You". Diese wurden von Frank Harris komponiert und niemals auf Tonträgern veröffentlicht. Bis Heute.
Frank Harris ist ein US-amerikanischer Musiker, Komponist, Techniker und Musikproduzent. Er ist ein weltweit anerkannter Programmierer des Synclavier, einem frühen digitalen Synthesizer und wurde weltberühmt mit dem Original-Soundtrack des Films „Karate Tiger“ (No Retreat, No Surrender) mit Jean Claude Van Damme. Harris komponiert außerdem noch die Filmmusik für viele Dokumentarfilme und brachte zuletzt die CD „From The Cave“ heraus, die bei Kritikern und Musikfreunden besonders gut ankam.
Ich hatte im Oktober 2008 die Ehre, mit Frank Harris folgendes Exclusiv-Interview zu führen:
Martin Hentschel: When did you first become interested in music and when did you decide to choose music as your occupation?
Frank Harris: Well, music sort of found me. My mother claims I used bang my head against my crib rhythmically constantly was I was very young. When I was a bit older, after my parents bought me a cheap guitar to lead campfire songs in my 4-H club, I would sit for hours next to the speakers with that guitar while my sisters would play Beatles records and figure out the chords and music by myself learning everything by ear before I ever had any music lessons. Eventually, in elementary and high school my music teachers would single me out and ask me to lead the class or conduct or something like that. Music just came easy to me and I got encouragement from people outside of my family, so it always felt good. My father had a PHD from MIT in Physics and was very smart in science and language but had no musical ability himself. My mother tried to give me piano lessons when I was young but the old lady piano teacher had so little “soul” that I hated her lessons and I quit. In retrospect, I wish that I had continued because learning a musical instrument well at a young age provides you with great facility when you get older which would have benefitted me when I was in music school at UCLA. I also had a bit of talent as an actor as I was in many community productions and had the leading roles in plays in high school. But in the end, music came more easily and I liked musicians better than actors anyway. Since I came from a very academic family there was great pressure to get a collage education so unlike many of my musician friends at the time, I got a degree in music performance on classical guitar from UCLA and it seemed that a career in music was possible.
M.H.: In 1983 you started the music production company “Third Wave Productions” which still exists, correct? Tell us about this.
F.H.: I began multi-track recording on an old 4-track analog tape machine in high school when I began playing all the instruments myself and singing multiple parts. That is when I became interested in music production and composition for the first time. After I graduated from collage, I built a business model and prospectus to begin a business around a very powerful new music computer called the Synclavier which became an extension of the 4 track recorder I started with. It allowed me to play even more instruments myself besides guitar, bass and piano to include instruments like strings, brass and new synthesized sounds the world had not yet heard. I also thought that I might be able to make a better living doing music for film, TV, jingles, commercials corporate videos, etc., than just trying to make money playing live gigs in bars or at weddings or stuff like that.
M.H.: 1986 you composed the Original Music for “No Retreat, No Surrender”. Why there are two separate Soundtracks for this movie and to this day no release of your version?
F.H.: For reasons I don’t entirely understand to this day, when the Hong Kong based original film producer had an opportunity to sell the movie to a distributor in the USA, they didn’t include my original score in the re-edit. My version still exists in the versions in the rest of the world. There could be many reasons for this and your guess is as good as mine. The good news is that after all this time I will be releasing an OST album imminently. Some great fans of my music score were able to find me via the internet and encourage me to pursue this release. It has been an extremely difficult effort because as I was hired to do this, the film company had the rights to the music. But luckily I retained ownership and rights of the original master tapes. After much time and effort and expense, I finally was able to contact the original company film (now out of business I believe) and have reached an agreement with them to release this music. I will be offering the original tracks plus 2008 remixes of selected tracks including two remixes of the theme song “Hold on to the Vision”. I will be including some bonus tracks which will be selections from the original “mono” score. It will be initially available as a complete score digital download at CDbaby.com this fall 2008. I hope that the fans will support this effort by legally downloading it from that website. Eventually it will be available at itunes and other digital download sites.
M.H.: Your albums “From the Gecko” and “From the Cave” are great aural-experiences. Where do the Indian influences come from in some of your songs?
F.H.: Thank you for the compliment. I have to wear many “hats” being in music production so if a project comes along I try to immerse myself into the style or genre of the project. In the case of “From the Cave” which was designed to be listened to during a yoga class, I embraced the tradition of yoga by incorporating original Indian Sanskrit mantras (chants) into my original music. I try to use musical element from cultures around the world and have incorporated unique and unusual musical styles into some of my music including samples of the Dalia Lama, or using sound sources from indigenous musicians from a particular locale.
M.H.: At least tell us about ongoing projects or upcoming releases.
F.H.: I have been very busy preparing the old tracks from “No Retreat No Surrender” to ready them for release. Recently I returned from Tokyo Japan where I collaborated with internationally acclaimed Visual artist Jimin Lee in which I provided Ms. Lee with a musical score to accompany a series of prints for an exhibition there. As I write this I am producing, arranging, co writing and tracking some very sexy R&B tracks for an exciting new singer from the east coast which I will have news about on my website when the project is complete.
Thanks Frank for this interview.
Photos: © Seasonal Film Corporation, New World Pictures, Balcor Film Investors, Archiv
Interview: Copyright by Frank Harris, Martin Hentschel, 2008.