Aerodynamic
I am often asked about the story and process of my classical remake of Daft Punk's Aerodynamic, so I thought I would document here.
I was originally asked to arrange Bach's Toccata and Fugue for a Pantene advert featuring Myleene Klass. I produced various treatments of the Toccata which were well received. However Sara Dunlop, the director of the advert, was searching for something different, more modern, more striking. And she drew my attention to Aerodynamic and that classic synth lead solo that everyone knows and loves.

Although a fascinating idea, it remained purely a concept at this stage as the use of the Bach was approved high up in Pantene.
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But next came the phone call from Prague. They were shooting the advert. Myleene was at the piano. Cameras were rolling. Bach's Toccata had been covered off, and Sara was hoping to try a bit of Daft Punk.

A crazy one hour scramble followed. Sitting in my Soho studio I produced a series of piano 'cells' for Myleene to play. As soon as I had finished each one, I sent them to my note setter in Brighton (who fortunately had the hour free!), he sent them back for me to check, I emailed them to Prague where they were printed off and played by Myleene and shot by Sara to a click track.

What took place in that hour in many ways defined the shape of the arrangement to come. There were no overdubbing tricks to fall back on- what the cameras had shot of Myleene's fingers had to be in the final piece.
At that time I was getting very interested in a chamber sound involving 9 strings (two mirrored string quartets and double bass) and piano with assorted percussion.

And so I set about creating such an arrangement for Aerodynamic.

The turning point came when music supervision company approached Daft Punk for approval. And this is certainly the most pleasing aspect of the story for me personally. Daft Punk had regularly turned down much 'cooler' and bigger budget adverts than Pantene in the past, but in this case approved the use of the music largely on the strength of my arrangement. And so the unholy trinity of Myleene Klass, Pantene and Daft Punk was born.

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With Daft Punk now the chosen route and the arrangement broadly approved, I was then able to proceed with the recording session. Importantly I chose to factor in enough time to record a full 3 minute version of the piece, and after Myleene had done her thing on the 30 second version,
Warren Mailley-Smith came in to play the long version for me.

This was to prove a turning point in moving the piece from the media domain into the commercial records one as well.

The ad campaign received a good deal of coverage and led to a phone call from Ministry of Sound, who were putting together 'a unique collection of cool cover versions' called
Uncovered.
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Madcon - Beggin was to head up CD 1. Tom Hodge - Aerodynamic was to head up CD 2. The CD was released first in the UK and then in Australia.

Here is my full-length version.
As I was also busy preparing for another recording session of original music and arrangements for Tentet, I took the opportunity to record again in the form I had originally conceived it.


Listen to this slightly more "raw" (and I should add my preferred) version below.
I knew it had truly entered the public consciousness when the full version returned to our screens to accompany the judges' deliberations in various episodes of Strictly Come Dancing!

You can buy my classical remake of Daft Punk's Aerodynamic at most good record stores.

Get it
here at the Ministry of Sound store


My arrangement of Aerodynamic keeps popping up on the TV around the world - another recent example is this Sky F1 promo.