Chris' Soundtrack Corner proudly presents the CD soundtrack to I GABBIANI VOLANO BASSO (aka SEAGULLS FLY LOW, 1978), directed by Giorgio Cristallini (under the Americanized pseudonym George Warner). The movie was influenced by the number of Vietnam Vet dramas coming out of the United States in 1978 such as THE DEER HUNTER and COMING HOME, and the Italian cinema didn't waste any time in seizing the opportunity to get in on the commercial potential of such films.
Starring Italian actor Maurizio Merli, who was often typecast in "tough cop" roles, I GABBIANI VOLANO BASSO tells the story of a Vietnam war veteran (Merli) who finds his post-war career in the private assassination business. After succeeding in a hit in Rome, using various aliases, the war vet gets into an altercation that leads to a wild chase involving the police, other killers, and a third shady business partner who wants to get the whole company for himself. While on the run, Merli's character hooks up with Isabelle (Nathalie Delon), the lonely owner of a Roman boutique shop who helps with his escape. But with the two other killers in tow, our hero must make an important decision between getting away safely while leaving Isabelle behind in danger, or making the ultimate sacrifice for the only woman who helped him selflessly.
The music for I GABBIANI VOLANO BASSO was written by Roberto Pregadio, one of the few Italian Silver Age composers who also made a career as a television personality. In most of his film scoring collaborations, it was Pregadio's job to flesh out or transcribe the musical ideas of his co-composers who usually didn't have the necessary musical training to do so. Such was the case with I GABBIANI VOLANO BASSO, where Pregadio is actually credited together with two members of the director's family, Paola and Carlo Cristallini, though only the latter is given credit. Besides the music that's in the film, the soundtrack also includes some major discoveries from the score that weren't even heard in the film itself.
This release from Chris' Soundtrack Corner marks the first ever presentation of any of the music from I GABBIANI VOLANO BASSO. Certain aspects of the recording indicate that the production was prepared for the release of an eventual soundtrack album that never materialized. One of these clues is that certain cues were recorded in shorter film versions as well as extended versions that would be more at home on a soundtrack or exploited on a later library LP, but that was never released. Among the differences preserved on the CD is "Titoli – versione disco" – aka the record version of the opening music; this version is not only half a minute longer when compared with the film version, but it's actually mixed differently with a more prominent focus on the keyboard and the pop percussion, both of which appear in a more subdued fashion in the movie. The album is produced by Christian Riedrich and mastered by Manmade Mastering. The CD is accompanied by a 12-page illustrated booklet designed by Tobias Kohlhaas and featuring detailed, exclusive notes on the film and its score by Gergely Hubai, who explores the making of the film and its score in detail.