Ludacris Mercedes– there’s a moment in the middle of this magical commercial where magic transforms opera into rap — the Mercedes driver’s preference, as we see at the end of the commercial, when he instructs the car to play his music:
Volvo’s new spokesmodel for its SUVs, the Queen of the Night from Mozart’s “Magic Flute” (Diana Damrau), ordering up the murder of Sarastro, the High Priest of the Sun, in a production at Covent Garden.(Royal Opera House)
Ha! For a different take, an opera-rap mix, see Twist of Fate Wines’ Embrace the Unexpected ad:
Like it? Switch modes of culture-clash:
Flight of the Bumblebee:
And go to Calvinball:
Last but not least, give things a sacred twist? Hallelujah:
[ by Charles Cameron — trying to gauge the appropriateness of music in TV advertising, and getting the sense that music has a — frankly — higher purpose. And then? ]
I’ve been trying to figure out, from the poetry plane, just what it is that music does or is, or where, and as I’m watching TV commercials, I’m struck each time classical music is used, and forced to consider the role that music plays — in the ads, in my life, and in our lives. Commercials, like haiku, are highly concentrated affairs, and I’ve been learning a lot.
In brief —
I don’t terribly mind that you can jazz the greatest of composers IMO, in what feels more like a virtuoso exercise than music as such..
Flying Bach:Red Bull
And when the music is jazzy to begin with, no problem — fun, even ..
Rhapsody in Blue: United
Unh — and ditto, speeded up:
High speed Orchestra: Porsche
But Ave Maria?
Ave Maria: Planters
I guess that’s arguably a Hail Mary overpass, and the Ave Maria only slips in very briefly while the peanut’s in flight, so I’ll let it slide by..
But then I must admit I do get a bit uneasy about the semi-sacred last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth being repeatedly associated with a somewhat silly sad for a line of sports-car, lovely though they are:
Ode to Joy: Alfa Romeo
The Hallelujah Chorus comes from a sacred oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, to be sure, but Messiah has been drifting from the sacred towards the social for decades, maybe even a century… Boots, though?
Hallelujah: Boots and Shoes
That seems a bit off-kilter: ads are repetitive things, and the idea that millions of concert-goers may have a less than stellar shoe ad pop into their heads in the middle of Handel’s iconic work — not a great taste to leave in the metaphorical mouth, methinks.
Compare this commercial using the Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem —
Mozart Requiem: DirecTV
— with this paragraph from the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis:
Remember that philosophers almost always start by saying: “I want to see what being is, what reality is. Now, here is a table. What does this table show to me as characteristic of a real being?” No philosopher ever started by saying: “I want to see what being is, what reality is. Now, here is my memory of my dream of last night. What does this show to me as characteristic of a real being?” No philosopher ever starts by saying “Let Mozart’s Requiem be a paradigm of being, let us start from that.” Why could we not start by positing a dream, a poem, a symphony as paradigmatic of the fullness of being and by seeing in the physical world a deficient mode of being, instead of looking at things the other way round, instead of seeing in the imaginary — that is, human — mode of existence, a deficient or secondary mode of being?
DirecTV? You can count me out.
Kurt Vonnegut quite wonderfully explains:
I am enchanted by the Sermon on the Mount. Being merciful, it seems to me, is the only good idea we have received so far. Perhaps we will get another idea that good by and by-and then we will have two good ideas. What might that second good idea be? I don’t know. How could I know? I will make a wild guess that it will come from music somehow. I have often wondered what music is and why we love it so. It may be that music is that second good idea being born.
Frankly, I don’t think commercials are up to the Castoriadis / Vonnegut standard.
But let me leave you with a puzzzlement, a koan — assuming you haven’t diverged too far from my perspective thus far. If the Mozart Requiem should be spared participation in TV advertising, what do you think of Bach — remember Bach? — being embedded in a grisly scene from Silence of the Lambs?
For Bates it came down to a lifetime of knowledge. “While many questions may seem simple taken on their own, it is really about the amount of information needed to correctly answer one question. For example, if a question was asked about the location of a village in Germany, knowing where that one village is located is a very small part of the preparation for that question. To be sure to get that one question correct, I had to learn every major wine producing village in Germany, broken down by region, in order from north to south and west to east, with 2 or 3 of the most important villages in each. In order to be able to recall that information on demand, I had to learn to draw a map from memory of every wine growing region in the country. All that for the sake of be able to answer one or two questions that, out of context, may not have been all that hard.
McCabe turned east on Coldharbour Lane, wending through the neighborhoods of Peckham and Bermondsey before reaching the tunnel. He emerged on the far side of the Thames in Limehouse, and from there his three-mile-long trip followed a zigzagging path northeast. “I came out of the tunnel and went forward into Yorkshire Road,” he told me. “I went right into Salmon Lane. Left into Rhodeswell Road, right into Turners Road. I went right into St. Paul’s Way, left into Burdett Road, right into Mile End Road. Left Tredegar Square. I went right Morgan Street, left Coborn Road, right into Tredegar Road. That gave me a forward into Wick Lane, a right into Monier Road, right into Smeed Road — and we’re there. Left into Stour Road.”
In early September, fifty-six nervous sommeliers in pressed suits and shined shoes assembled at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. They were there to attempt the most difficult and prestigious test in their industry: the Master Sommelier Exam, a three-part, application-only ordeal that just two hundred and forty-nine individuals worldwide have passed—fewer than have travelled to space.
It’s not enough to know every wine region, village and district in the world, candidates also need to know which years were better than others for each region. The blind tasting of six wines requires not only identifying the grape varietal, but the region it came from and the year it was made. That’s merely scratching the testing surface though; during the service portion examinees have to recall facts about sake, spirits, distilling methods, apertifs and of course ideal food pairings.
Knowledge of cigar production, with special reference to Havanas, will be required.
When trees leave, they find a spot where the sunlight can get through despite the existing leaves, and put out a leaf there.
Suggestion: find, on the limb, branch, and in time, twig of the tree of knowledge you feel most passionate about, a space nobody else is occupying, and know it — in the kind of detail a knowledgeable cabbie knows London, or a master sommelier the aperitifs, wines, beers, ciders, liqueurs, brandies, whiskeys and cigars of the world.
It’s worth a try.
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.
In the case of such Knowledge as most concerns us, the examen is still to come.
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.