What Makes A “Brilliant” Creative Partnership

| January 20, 2016
The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

Since October of 2010 I’ve been lucky enough to work with some very creative people at a company called Aquila Productions which has offices in both Manhattan and Detroit. Detroit is a clue to the kind of work they specialize in. During this time I’ve created music for product launches at the Los Angeles Auto Show, The Detroit International Auto Show and other related events from January through March.

The president is a gregarious, smart British gentleman and former rock tour manager named Adrian Selby. Adrian is totally engaging whether he’s talking about Keith Richards or Cadillac. Trust me, you’d want to invite him to your next dinner party.

Adrian and his terrific team including: Michael McCurry, Dave Tobey, Bruce Humes, Rick Buzinski, Jennifer Cortez and the late, deeply missed Jonathon Robinson have allowed me great latitude in creating some of my best work. I won a Telly Award in 2011 for a sound design I did for the Chevrolet Cruze. Then, in 2013, we launched the Corvette C7. Within an hour of the event a photo of our guitarist Paul McGilloway jamming with a red Stingray hit the front page of the New York Times Automotive section around the world. His family in Ireland phoned him while we were still celebrating at a bar in our hotel. He was gobsmacked!

Working with Aquila resulted in several other memorable projects. Among them, a 10-piece “hipster” band performing my music live on iPhone and iPads; and, for a Cadillac launch at the Lincoln Center Rose Theater, hearing my original composition stunningly played by classical marimba wiz Brian Slawson, six-string electric violinist Valerie Vagoda and DJ Neal Armstrong. Wow!

This year we revisited the Cruze and launched the new hatchback. American car manufacturers have been picking up customers from the new middle class in places like India, China and South America. Chevrolet wanted to visualize that so I wrote a score with a modern international feel and cool vocal parts. I brought in the amazingly versatile session singer Janie Barnett to improvise in her singular way and to sing along with me on the vocal hook. The result was a delightful international dance track with a big EDM groove propelling it.

To show you a bit of the process we go through, I edited a video using an animatic of how the car would be revealed cross fading into some live footage of the actual reveal that I found online. Plug in your sub woofer and enjoy! As Adrian might say, “Brilliant!” WATCH it.

– Paul Guzzone, Triple Z Music, Producer & Co-Owner

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