duotone’s Peter Nashel scored a short film and two commercials for Bacardi’s new ¡Vivimos! campaign. The ads are set in turn-of-the-century Cuba, and follow various characters whose paths intertwine in a country on the brink of revolution. Inspired by real events, the story focuses on Emilio Bacardi (leader of the Cuban Revolutionary Underground) and Antonio Maceo (leader of the Cuban Rebels) uniting to defeat Spanish oppression. Agency Opperman/Weiss shot the ambitious campaign on location in Uruguay, working with director Jake Scott realize their vision with astounding accuracy. As a brand, Bacardi has always celebrated their rich history, and this campaign is the latest in that endeavor.
Original Antonio Maceo
Portrayed Antonio Maceo
Nashel delved deep into the music of late-19th century Cuba in preparation for the project. His compositions fused authentic styles and instrumentation, Afro-Jazz inspired grooves and contemporary production to craft a uniquely Cuban sound refracted through a modern lens. Next, he brought in some of the most sought-after authentic Latin musicians in New York City to bring these compositions to life.
You can watch the first spot in the campaign, “Cuba Libre”, below:
duotone’s Jack Livesey wrote and produced a slinky and sexy track for the first-ever TV commercial for longtime sports apparel manufacturer Gildan. For their maiden voyage in broadcast advertising, Gildan turned to DeVito/Verdi, which created an edgy, irreverent campaign helmed by creative director Brad Emmett and agency producer Karen Tomlin. The :30 spot depicts an awkward morning-after situation for the protagonist… a situation which Livesey was able to relate to all too well.
For all you gear geeks: the track drew its inspiration from the retro sounds of the ’60s. That meant vintage Neumann microphones… Roland Space Echo… Fender tube amps… and MONO MONO MONO!!!!!
duotone audio group supervised Hyundai’s “Epic Playdate,” which ran just after kick-off in Sunday night’s Super Bowl. The :60, created out of Innocean Worldwide, features a brand new, custom track by the Flaming Lips. In contributing additional production and mixing the track for broadcast, duotone had the honor of working creatively with the legendary band (thus getting an intimate look inside the wondrous and zany minds of Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd — oh my!)
duotone EP David Leinheardt with the Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steve Drodz on-set outside Los Angeles.
A full-length version of the song “Sun Blows Up Today” is available at http://www.epicplaydate.com as a free download at (click on the drumkit) and also on iTunes as a non-album bonus track with the Lips’ forthcoming album, The Terror, to be released on Warner Bros Records on April 2.
Hyundai’s Super Bowl ad blitz was handled by their long-time in-house ad agency, Innocean, where agency producer Karen McKibben and creative director Max Godsil led the charge on this epic spot.
In addition to handling licensing duties, duotone’s EP David Leinheardt also negotiated for the band to appear on-camera in the spot, a first for the Lips. David recalls “everyone on-set was amazed to find the Flaming Lips to be nothing but congenial and enthusiastic — truly a pleasure to work with. Pretty impressive for a band celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Big thanks to Wayne & company for being the consummate pros.”
Duotone has a history of creating spirited music on cutting-edge spots for a variety of liquor brands. This month saw Dewar’s, the world’s most award-winning Scotch, launching its first TV campaign since 2007 with original music from duotone’s Peter Nashel. The campaign, out of agency Opperman Weiss, is set amidst the urban decay of Glasgow’s gritty East End, as an elegant, alluring and mysterious Scottish woman played by actress Claire Forlani (NCIS, Meet Joe Black), invites us to take life (and more importantly our Scotch selection) seriously. Nashel describes the music and sound-designed underscore as “a journey, starting as an ‘old school’ trip-hop track featuring the harmonium, which morphs into a traditional scottish lament–whistle and all.”
AdWeek and Fast Company Create profile the spots as they attempt to convince young drinkers that “Scotch whiskey isn’t just a drink for your irrationally angry grandfather.” Dewar’s VP and brand managing director, Arvind Krishnan, describes the new campaign as a “never-before-seen approach” that speaks to a younger, more modern Scotch drinker with “irreverence, wit, and wisdom”.
These latest spots continue duotone’s run of high-end advertising through Opperman Weiss, following on the heels of Revlon “Hypnotized” (directed by Darren Aronofsky, featuring Jessica Biel and Pharrell Williams), for which duotone won a Gold CLIO in Original Music; and Tullamore Dew “3 Guys Plus 1″ (directed by Jake Scott).
Foot Locker’s new spot featuring Kyrie Irving’s longest dunk ever with music from duotone composer Aaron Mirman, was Ad Age’s ‘Creativity Pick of the Day’ last week.The spot is simultaneously an homage and a send-up of the classic Michael Jordan “Frozen Moment” commercial. Mirman’s music provides an accompanying satyrical play on the kind of dramatic tracks that are frequently heard in the slow-mo, triumphant sports cinema moments.
Kyrie Irving was already making a name for himself in the world viral branding–see his hilarious act as “Uncle Drew” for Pepsi Max–and he continues that streak in this Foot Locker ad, with over 2.5 million hits on YouTube, and counting, after only a week.
On November 12th, PBS documentary Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream, with music by duotone’s Peter Nashel, premiered as part of an installment on PBS’s Independent Lens series called ‘Why Poverty?’, featuring 8 documentaries and 30 online shorts aiming to motivate thought, discussion, and solutions for poverty.
Park Avenue is an adaptation of Michael Gross’ non-fiction bestseller 740 Park by Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney. The documentary is praised for being “concise, factual and fascinating” and that it ”Takes a stark look at [the] dangerous, growing disconnect between America’s rich and poor” with a juxtaposition of 740 Park Ave, home to the largest number of billionaires in a concentrated area, and the delapidated, poverty-stricken Park Avenue less than 10 miles north in the South Bronx. The film shows how the rich continue to hold all the cards by using their money for political influence, and their attitude towards those that are not in their privileged echelon.
duotone composer Peter Nashel describes his process for this film: “Working closely with editor Chad Beck, I created an underscore that spoke to the glaring differences and exponential pace at which income inequality is widening in our country. The music throughout was character driven, which made for fun times when writing themes for the fat-cats of Wall Street. Swagger, bravado and nod to the rat pack at times was all included.”
Some names among those “fat cats” to make it onto the chopping block of this film include Sen. Chuck Schumer (with his slew of Wall St. connections), and conservative activist Ed Koch (known by the door men at 740 Park for being the stingiest tipper).
Check out the film that AETN says is “sure to inspire and infuriate” on Hulu now!
This month also saw duotoner Aaron Mirman’s debut feature film score premier at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The Discoverers, an indie comedy/drama by first-time writer/director Justin Schwartz, follows a washed up history professor (Griffin Dunne) and his disjointed, dysfunctional family, as they are brought together after their matriarch’s death and they (under duress) join a group of historical reenactors to recreate the journey of Lewis and Clark’s discovery expedition. The film also stars Cara Buono (Mad Men), Madeleine Martin (Californiacation), Stuart Margolin , David Rascher and John C. McGinley.
After its premier, the film saw an initial round of praise from critics in many corners. The festival board named it one of 12 films not to miss, and it received favorable reviews from The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, which called Griffin Dunne’s performance “pitch perfect”. Noted film critic Leonard Maltin tweets, “Just saw @TheDiscoverers, a bright, thoughtful indie comedy-drama. It’s great to see Griffin Dunne back onscreen in a tailor-made role”. And Movable Fest writes, “Schwarz [gives] the film a buoyancy from the top down in Aaron Mirman’s score, the naturalistic beauty of Christopher Blauvelt’s cinematography, and the bounciness between a top-notch cast”.
The score itself had to have a strong “discovery” element as well–it couldn’t feel over-composed, and it had to retain a strong organic element, yet it had to perform all the vital functions of score. In addition to more familiar sounds of guitar, cello, and piano, the score makes use of a range of eclectic instruments such as dulcimer, banjo, autoharp, harmonium, strummed cello, and more.
Duotone’s latest work with agency DDB is a revamp of the Salt-N-Pepa classic “Push It” for Chef Boyardee. Updating this track from 1986 to 2012 was a welcome challenge, and the resulting track (featuring vocals by Pete Miser) combined the energy of the original with a contemporary flair and tight, punchy, modern production.
For our latest music supervision project, we connected rockstar DJ Steve Aoki with Pucker Vodka and created a custom remix of “Ladi Dadi”, a track from Steve’s current album Wonderland, to underscore this vivid TV and web campaign through Euro RSCG Chicago. The full-length version of the track is available for free download here.