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Paul Turner

paul turnerAfter months of research listening to countless number of Cds, we knew we had to find a composer with the versatility of doing music across genres. For Mel, an emotionally frozen hedonist in search of the next high, electronic music, with it’s stark, controlled rhythms was an appropriate choice to reflect his inability to connect with his feelings. The distinctive metallic sounds somehow seemed to reverberate in his cold hard surrounding. For his more tender love scenes with Todd, we decided upon jazz for its deep, sexy and sophisticated late night atmosphere.

As for Ash, apart from the Chinese songs we selected, the Latino flavour appeared to resonate for his character- tango for it’s passion, mambo for it’s quirkiness and samba for it’s colourful and camp vibrancy. On top of being able to produce all that, we also needed a composer who could create cutting edge dance music for the club scenes, cheesy 80’s hi-energy disco for the flashbacks and convincing and evocative Chinese music for Ash’s love scenes. A very tall order indeed for any musician.

Paul is essentially the heart of NUDE MUSIC. A classically trained pianist, he started his working life with Opera North, Northern Ballet and The Really Usefully Theatre Company. He has scored several feature films and soundtracks including “Case 603” for the acclaimed American director Teddy Hayes and he wrote and produced music for Bafta award winning director Eddie Joffe on the film “Treason”, due to be released in 2005. He wrote and produced work for the epic Russian film “The Romanovs” and is set to score a remake of the classic Charles Bronson film “Hard Times” later this year. He has composed numerous television programmes including Resurrection Queen X and Paramount Comedy. Recent commercial work include campaigns for Warburton’s, Virgin Music Awards, Green Flag, Conqueror, The Telegraph, GMTV Weather and Clairol Herbal Essence. Paul is also a trained film and television editor, which as a music composer gives him a unique insight into scoring music to picture.

ipodWith his experience, ability, flexibility and patience Paul has been invaluable in helping us find the right notes to flesh out the comedy, emotions and nuances of each scene. The score has been enhanced with contribution from Liu Xiao Hu, a London based Chinese musician using a variety of Chinese wind instruments.

To listen to the CUT SLEEVE BOYS theme song on our iPod - click here!

Chinese Holiday
After a dim sum lunch one day with Richard Tay, an old friend of Chowee’s, we adjourned to his flat to listen to some music. Richard, the owner of Sepia Records (www.sepiarecords.com), has an extensive collection of records by old Chinese Divas dating back several decades. After several hours sifting through his collection and picking out many fantastic songs, we suddenly fell silent. The haunting voice of Bai Kwong – the Chinese Billie Holiday, wafted through the air, lamenting the loss of youth and halcyon days. The song was perfect for the character of Ash. It revealed his traditional romantic idealism with melodramatic effect.

Ghost of Past Dreams

Withering blossoms, fading spring,
Only the sorrowful East Wind is blowing.

Cherry blossoms, morning dew,
Only fills me with melancholy.

Lost youth will never return,
Not to be found for eternity.

Flying swallows and dancing butterflies
Only remind me of days gone by.

Withering blossoms, fading spring,
Only the sorrowful East Wind is blowing.

The rose-like beauty and the nightingale sweet voice
Battered by the ruthless passing of time.

I am haunted by the ghost of my past dreams.
What remains is a heart filled with despair.

Lost youth will never return,
Even though you search the end of the world.

Left alone in the autumn years,
Last night I danced with the ghost of my past dreams.


We knew we had to have these songs in the film but there was a major problem. With hardly any budget for music clearance, we could barely afford the copyright for one song! But luck is on our side. Richard knew some of these divas personally and made enquiries for us. Negotiations were instigated with EMI to clear the usage of Bai Kwong’s Ghost of Past Dreams and Richard came back and told us that Rebecca Pan, now an art house actress herself was willing to help an independent production. And luck strikes twice as one of my oldest and best friends, Regina Szeto happens to be her niece. Regina kindly agreed to negotiate for us and the deal is sealed. Miss Pan will allow us the use of her songs for no charge. A few of her songs were already high on our wish list, so we jumped on her generous offer.

Sizzling Pan!!rebecca pan
1957, Hong Kong Ceasar Palace Night Club. A Shanghainese girl, Pan Wan Ching was recommended by a friend to temporarily step into the shoes of a singer who was leaving. After rehearsing with the band for three weeks, Rebecca Pan entered the limelight and was on her way to stardom. With her ability to sing in several languages, she started her voyage around the world and became 60’s Hong Kong’s biggest music export. From England, Israel, France, Spain, India, Australia to America her voice could be heard everywhere. Media around the world hailed her as “The Travelling Star”!

rebecca panEnriched by her adventures and experiences overseas, Pan returned with new and daring ideas which brought her many ‘firsts’ in Hong Kong’s music history.

Rebecca Pan was the first singer in Hong Kong to have a fan club. In the 60’s, fan clubs were a western notion and there were none in Hong Kong no matter how popular a singer was. Diamond Records, a Portuguese company where Pan was contracted, decided to form a fan club for her. ‘Nie Nie, Wo, Wo’, was specially written for Pan and became a big hit and the fan club’s anthem. In Cut Sleeve Boys, this cute and sweet love ditty is used in the scenes when Ash dresses up as a woman before meeting and later, visiting Ross, the man of his dreams.


Nee Nee….wonderful,
Wor wor….I love you,
No matter what I do dear, I always think of you dear,
But never know if you think of me.

Nee nee….wonderful,
Wor wor….I love you,
I always dream about you, I just can’t live without you,
But never know if you’re in love with me.

Whenever you need me, I hurry come to you I won’t be late,
But next time you need me, I’ll say I have another date.
Nee Nee….wonderful,
Wor wor….I love you,
Next time I’ll be clever, and let you wait forever,
And then I’ll know if you’re in love with me

rebecca pan

When Pan first came to Hong Kong from Shanghai in the 50’s, she loved nothing better than to sit next to the radio learning to sing English songs. One day, she heard a jazz number and fell in love with it immediately. From then on, she became strongly inspired and influenced by the style. In 1957 she studied jazz under Lee Bao Suen and had a song especially written for her – ‘Love Market’, also featured in ‘Cut Sleeve Boys’. However, in that era, Hong Kong was not ready for Jazz and the cynical lyrics- ‘when they say love is forever, it’s only a cheque that’s bounced’- was far too bitter for the romantic and sentimental Hong Kong public.

Love Market

Love is like a trade, don’t take it seriously.
Don’t squander your money and choose the right buyer.
A lot of people trade sand for gold.

Some lovers are a dime a dozen.
Some are fake and some are real,
Think carefully about the going price,
And never believe what the buyers say.

When they say love is forever,
It’s only a cheque that’s bounced.

To be troubled by love is silly,
To kill yourself for love is stupid,

Love is a game, don’t take it seriously
If you don’t like the goods,
Move on to the next store.
For the love market never closes!

Pan’s other great love is Broadway musicals. She dreamt of performing in an all Mandarin musical. So in 1972, she invested her life savings to produce the first Mandarin Broadway Musical, “Pai Niang Niang-The Legend of the White Snake”. This East meets West musical was controversial from it’s first performance. Some critics felt the show was ground-breaking, a successful fusion of Eastern and Western cultures but others called it ‘Chinese wine in a Western Bottle’. ‘ If Loving You Means Hurting You’, the most successful song from the musical is featured in Cut Sleeve Boys following Ash’s discovery of Ross’s dark secret.

If Loving You Means Harming You

I’ve no hatred, I only have love, why do I end up harming you?
If loving you means harming you, I would never have loved.

rebecca panAfter ‘Pai Niang Niang’, Pan performed her swansong in Singapore before retiring. Though she stopped performing for seven years, music never left her heart. In 1980, China opened up to the West and Shanghai became a hot spot of the world. Hong Kong and Singapore held ‘Shanghai Nights’ themed events. But where could they find a Shanghainese star? The answer was obvious: Rebecca Pan. She epitomised a Shanghai woman – elegant, sophisticated, fun-loving, westernised and ambitious. This image so strongly associated with her that director Wong Kar Wai invited Pan to star in his international breakthrough movie ‘Days of Being Wild’. Pan played an ageing Shanghainese courtesan, the stepmother of Leslie Cheung’s character. The role won her both the Golden Horse Award (the Chinese Oscars) and the Asian Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1990. With her new career as an actress, Pan starred in several internationally successful art-house films notably “In The Mood For Love” and “Flowers of Shanghai”.

At the age of 70 she continues touring and recording, always pushing herself to the limit and never afraid to be adventurous. Not one to conform, Rebecca Pan is unique and a legend in every sense!

The producers of Cut Sleeve Boys would like to extend their gratitude and thanks to the sizzling Ms Pan for her generosity in allowing the use of her songs in the film.