Wookiee Bellydance + Klingon Band
- (Oct. 8, 2012) Word of the Nerd Podcast interview with me about the Wookiee Bellydance video!
- (Oct. 22, 2012) Just signed a release for the usage of the video on Objective Scotland‘s “50 Funniest Moments of 2012″ programme to appear on Channel 4 in the UK.
Several months ago Deserae, a wonderful bellydancer dancer I’ve known for years and who I’ve finally had the pleasure to play for about a year ago, decided she wanted to do a performance as a Wookiee bellydancer. Back in March I recorded an excerpt of what such a Wookiee bellydance tune would sound like. I pulled some phrases and words from the Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide and created a sample audio with drums, cello, cow horn and vocals. I titled it “Muaarga” (the Shyriiwook word for “Peace”) and posted it to my Soundcloud account:
A couple months ago Deserae asked if my band, the il Troubadore Klingon Music Project, could come to Chicago to play for her at an event called “Raks Geek” which took place at the Viaduct Theatre. Basically billed as a Geek Bellydance event–probably the first “official” type of event dedicated solely to bellydancers and movement artists who happen to be big Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans. Most of the event on Friday Night (the Saturday Night show was not filmed as far as I know) was filmed by Bob Nicholas. We ended up playing two tunes for Deserae (as well as short sets before the show and during the intermission) including the Wookiee bellydance tune and a Klingon Opera-Ballet tune (“be’ joy’ luqaSa”) I had written for another dancer a couple of years ago. Here is the Wookiee performance:
And here is the Klingon Bellydance performance:
Apparently the video has since gone viral. While the video above, which I’ve posted to my personal youtube account only has some 8,000 hits (earlier yesterday it had roughly 2,500 views) the original video, which was posted here, currently has 130,000+ views (up 15,000 views from yesterday afternoon).
I got an inkling something was afoot on Tuesday when a student I had known from the High School I do cello sectionals and teaching at told me that a video of il Troubadore was on the front page of Reddit, the self titled “Front Page of the Internet.” Doing a quick search didn’t turn up any videos of il Troubadore mainly due to the fact that it was the Raks Geek video (linked in the previous paragraph) rather than the one on my personal youtube site.
Yesterday morning the Geeks Are Sexy website had posted the video which I found through its facebook page (which has close to 400,000 followers). Within a couple of hours it was shared over 200 times by various facebook users. As I was doing searches around the net, I did finally find the Reddit link as well as several other sites, forums/bulletin boards, and blogs which had been posting various links to the video within the past day. Some of those include sites which report on viral videos (such as Viral Viral Videos; Metatube; Break.com; Viral Kings), news sites (G4TV’s Attack of the Show & Around the Net; MSN Now; Right This Minute; New York Magazine’s Vulture), and other popular internet meme sites (Cheezburger; Know Your Meme; Dlisted).
I’ve had people tell me they’ve seen me on tv as some of the news sights (listed in the previous paragraph) have syndicated their short segments or are associated with more traditional networks. Someone in Alabama mentioned seeing the Right This Minute clip and Fox 2 news in St. Louis apparently aired an excerpt as part of a segment of Tim’s Take. ThinkGeek has tweeted it (roughly 600,000 followers) and Jeri Ryan posted it at her Google + page (whether this is the actual Jeri Ryan is unknown to me).
When I conceived of this piece, I wasn’t thinking it would lead to some that could potentially become viral–but I think that’s half of the point I try to make at this blog. We just don’t have as much control over potential audiences as we would like and more often than not it’s easier to pull from a pre-existing one than to create one anew. With 140,000 + hits to the video(s)–not including how many folks saw the actual news segments, it will be interesting to see how far the original video goes over the next few days!
Credits for the video:
Viaduct Theatre in Chicago, IL
August 3, 2012