Playing with Less

D I R EC T O R ’ S   T H O U G H T S

We were very honored when The Hawaii Community Foundation approached us about producing a series of short films around the Dalai Lama’s visit to Hawaii in 2012.

This particular film features ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro performing a NEW, original song along with a brief interview. It would play at each of the Dalai Lama’s public appearances.

Going in to the shoot we had no idea what the music would sound like or what the theme of the interview would be.

I had a thought of filming the performance “live” in-studio as Jake laid down the track for his new song. That way we would have the flexibility of shooting in a style appropriate to the music.  I elicited the help of long-time recording engineer/producer and friend Milan Bertosa. Milan records most of Jake’s music, and has mixed many of our commercials over the years.

Jake had put some serious thought into what he wanted to do for the Dalai Lama, and came up with a new composition in which he uses only three strings of the ukulele. He wrote the song based on the concept of learning to use less. The song is appropriately titled ‘Missing Three’ and you can hear it on his new album ‘Grand Ukulele‘.

In the video you’re able to hear an ukulele only version of ‘Missing Three’ that Jake and Milan put together for the Dalai Lama. The sound they come up with is just amazing.

— Dave

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