Ariel ‘Big Spectacle’

Gypsy Jazz for Ariel’s Giant Sheets…

Words by Keith Bayley, Saturday 10 Aug 2019


A challenge we relish here is to recreate a specific sonic world from scratch. The brief on this project for Ariel in the Caucasus markets (via our friends at Leo Burnett/PG ONE) was very clear: a gypsy jazz track that sounded as if it had originated in the 1940s – think Django Reinhardt, Hot Club de Paris etc…

Head composer Paul got to work writing a piece that combined a swinging rhythm track of rolling toms and comping guitar with weaving melodic interplay between solo guitar (played by Paul) and jazz clarinet (performed by virtuoso Harry Lightfoot, long-time friend of The Futz Butler.)

The track needed tight scoring. The action features people in a street party dancing on giant white ceremonial sheets, with predictable results in terms of dirty shoe marks. The washed sheets are unfurled like giant flags (with one clear winner) and the track had to build to this moment before taking off again..

The sound of the piece was as vital as the composing and playing; the key being to capture the atmospheric sonic flavour of a 1940s one-take live Hot Club performance. Guitars were recorded on a tin can mic, everything was mixed in mono and tape saturation was used at mastering stage for that distinctive 1940s sound.

The response? One of the fastest approvals we’ve had this year; the track was given the thumbs up first time by the local and global clients and was on air within a week without a single tweak. Might be time to get the tin can mic out again soon….


Posted by
Senior Composer & Producer

Saturday 10 Aug 2019

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