Sunday, December 9, 2007
Dvorak's Spaceport Cantina
dvorak's spaceport cantina
volume 2 number 10
here in the States it's mostly frowned upon for an "artist" to appear in a commercial. it's just the opposite in Japan. it's considered "honorable" to be a spokesperson and attracts people like Robert De Niro or Angelina Jolie, actors who would never be seen in an american tv spot.
the japanese company Daikin makes a dizzying array of products from air conditioners to parts for NASA. naturally I was surprised and honored when they approached me to "star" in a japanese television commercial. the shoot took one whole day to film and included a menagerie of animals. as each animal would appear in a scene with me I would make an appropriate animal sound on guitar. seagulls fly over, I make the sound of seagulls, an elephant walks by, I trumpet. there was no product in any of the shots and I never said a word. at the end of the tv spot there was a simple graphic which said "adrian belew...always unique". then the company's logo. very tasteful, in my opinion.
that first commercial for Daikin turned into something of a hit (in tv commercial terms). for once I had done something popular! so they asked me to do another. the idea for the second spot was adrian as one man orchestra, something I felt very comfortable with. the Daikin representatives asked me to do a version of Dvorak's New World Symphony in which the sounds of an orchestra would be played entirely on guitar. then they filmed me in multiple exposures playing all the parts of the orchestra (even the tympani) and conducting myself.
the New World Symphony comprises the first minute of this download, followed by a quick musical sketch of Mr. Dvorak's real meal ticket: bandleader at the Spaceport Cantina.
all instruments: adrian
engineer: rich denhart
recorded at home, dates unknown