Two Moments in Identity Update: 1994
Not unlike the Yugoslav national realignment of 1964, something bloomed thirty years later that also brewed for a while before it landed in mainstreet’s view. First, I ought to introduce the major player with a perfect player name: Elias Associates.
Timothy Taylor in American Music:
In the late 1980s Elias Associates-one of the giants of the industry- let it be known that it was beginning to listen to nonwestern musics, matching the rise of “world music” as a known category in the U.S. and U.K. music industry. According to a trade article that included an interview with Jonathan Elias, he “has begun, the spokesman tells us, to focus on modern primitivism, among other things. ‘Clients find it new and innovative,’ he says.”7 A more recent feature on Elias Associates discusses the firm’s composers as well as Elias himself, “whose major focus seems to be more compositional, orchestral and ethnic work.”
It was European Delta Airlines who commissioned and aired the premier of “world music” in Western television ads. In 1994, British viewers were presented a sixty-second commercial known as “Shadowlands.” Taylor:
[A] boy and an old man, perhaps his grandfather, embracing; people hurrying on a city street; priests playing soccer outside of a Greek (I think) church; four black men carrying fishing gear; jumping dolphins. A shadow of a fork, then a wine glass, and a ruler eventually come together to form an image of an airplane, just before a real Delta airplane appears. Many of the shots are from above, as though viewers are in a plane looking down on all of these scenes.
Splash, boom, bang. Delta did it; to them there was a clear connection between this advertising budget and the boost in sales. Flash back to 1994:
ENTER THE POST-TOURIST