EMPATH: THE LUCKIEST SMURF
"Reporter's Inside Stories: An Interview With Orbit Smurf"
Story by Vic George
Based on the Smurf concept of characters by Peyo
Reporter: Smurfette's Ray Of Sunshine album is the most smurphenomenal debut from an unexpected source of talent that most Smurfs in the village have oversmurfed -- Smurfette herself. What makes it smurphenomenal is the interesting collaboration with Smurfette and some of the musicians from the other bands in the village -- the Smurflings, whose "Smurfbop" has smurfed the top of the charts for two years straight; Sloppy, the lead caterwauling guitarist from Azrael Rocks; and the keysmurfist from Smurfs Without Hats, a Smurf musician known as Orbit. He also shares credit with Smurfette and Empath for smurfing the music for a good deal of her songs, developing its unusual and yet irresmurfible melodies for her to smurf along with. Today we're going to talk to this talented Smurf musician and see what smurfed him together with Empath and Smurfette to create the smurfiest album of the century.
(Reporter approaches Orbit, who is busy in his studio playing a tune that roughly sounds like A Flock Of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)" done with Smurf instruments on his smurfesizer keyboard. He is so immersed in his music, it takes a moment for him to detect Reporter's presence.)
Orbit: (singing) "I smurfed along the avenue, I never thought I'd meet a Smurf like you, meet a Smurf like you...!"
Reporter: Orbit, mind if I interview you for my Inside Stories section?
Orbit: (his speaking voice sounds like it was modulated by a computer, by the way) Reporter...just the Smurf I was hoping to smurf to. You like the latest tune I'm smurfing on?
Reporter: It's, uh...interesting. Not sure what it's about, though, but I'm sure it's going to be a smurfy tune to listen to on the next Smurfs Without Hats album.
Orbit: Actually, Reporter, this is for a solo project. Not that I don't like smurfing in a band like Smurfs Without Hats, but I also want to smurf something of my own. This tune I'm smurfing on is about a close encounter with an alien female being from another world.
Reporter: Alien females from another world? Now that's something you don't smurf everyday, Orbit. Most Smurfs seem to think your head is smurfed in outer space with the tunes you smurf up.
Orbit: I have no problem with that, Reporter. I like to smurf myself as a futurist, the "2000 Smurf" if you will. I think by then, most Smurfs will be in outer space, smurfing villages on other worlds and smurfing things that no Smurf in the here and now will ever smurf in their lifetime.
Reporter: Of course, we already have the first Smurfs to actually travel into outer space -- Dreamy, the original Astro Smurf, along with Empath and Handy. I'm surprised that you didn't volunteer yourself to smurf that first trip.
Orbit: As most Smurfs would say, Reporter, I'm already in outer space with my music.
Reporter: So I'm wondering, Orbit, what's with your collaboration with Smurfette as far as smurfing her latest album.
Orbit: I always thought Smurfette was smurfy in an "alien being from another planet" sort of way. She wasn't originally a Smurf, and yet she wanted to learn what it was like to be a Smurf. I didn't care if that wizard Gargamel created her or not, I still would have smurfed her to be very attractive. Anyway, she's always been an inspiration to me. One song I actually smurfed was about Smurfette herself, "I Was Made For Smurfing You", though I haven't thought of who should sing it. I played it for her one time and I was surprised how well she smurfed out the lyrics to it -- she really liked my work, I'm smurfing you. Sometime later, she and Empath smurfed into my studio and asked for my help in smurfing out some melodies to play along with a handful of lyrics she and Empath smurfed together.
Reporter: You also had Sloppy from Azrael Rocks as well as Harmony and the Smurflings with you in the studio when you recorded those songs for the Ray Of Sunshine album. How was it smurfing along with them?
Orbit: Trying to record songs like "Good Day To Swim" and "Smurfberry Candy Girl" with Sloppy in the 'shroom was really...well, I can't comment too much on Sloppy's smell, but we had to smurf open a lot of windows just for us to breathe when we recorded his guitar tracks. PHEW!!! The Smurflings, however, aren't much of a problem, though Snappy tends to smurf out of control at times when it smurfs to his drum playing. Harmony is what he's always been -- a horn player always struggling to smurf the perfect note and pitch. Empath, who played acoustic guitar on "No Substitute For Being A Smurf", "Say Goodbye To The Old Me", and "Who Shall I Have To Hold?", is just simply a dream to smurf with -- he never gets too demanding or smurfs off key when he's playing his chords. He knows exactly what to do and how to do it, no questions smurfed, even though he's the co-producer. Overall, Reporter, it's been one unusual musical experiment that somehow smurfed out to be a masterpiece.
Reporter: But you're not smurfing the credit for creating Smurfette's album, are you?
Orbit: She and Empath smurfed production of it all the way, I just merely smurfed my hand in making it sound just the way Smurfette wanted it. The song-smurfing credits are partly mine, but the album is all Smurfette. I wouldn't want it to smurf any other way.
Reporter: There's smurftainly a lot of variety as far as musical styles go, Orbit. Not all your music sounds like it was smurfed by a machine. "Luckiest Male Smurf", which you co-smurfed the music for, is particularly interesting since it sounds like it was smurfed for a spy story or something.
Orbit: Well, Slouchy smurfed me the idea for smurfing the song like that, in the form of a character he smurfed up for his James Goldensmurf adventures called Felicity Smurfwell. "Smurfwell by name, smurfs very well by reputation"...you know what young Smurfs think about! She smurfed like she was some carefree go-go dancer instead of some serious-minded female Smurf spy, the way Slouchy drew her up. I decided to visualize this image of Felicity in the form of music, and "Luckiest Male Smurf" is the result.
Reporter: Okay, Orbit, let's smurf on another related subject -- how did you get into smurfing music the way you do with all those...unusual sounds?
Orbit: Long before Handy and I smurfed up with this smurfesizer, I played all kinds of ordinary musical instruments. My favorite instrument has always been the piano, since smurfing keys just seems so natural to me. But smurfing ordinary music has never been my thing. I loved experimenting with smurfing up new sounds from everyday items that most Smurfs wouldn't consider using as instruments, like old glass jars, rusted saws, bed springs, and squeaky shoes. Even things in nature can create some very musical sounds that can be smurfed into actual music, but I don't have the "vocal talent" to emulate those sounds like Tracker or Nat have.
Reporter: So what made you decide to smurf all these...kinds of sounds into actual songs?
Orbit: The Smurflings, with their "Smurfbop" song, Reporter. The instruments they created from ordinary things that smurfed up a song very few would ever think could ever catch on made me want to smurf ahead with developing something on the idea of capturing sounds and smurfing them back as music notes. I teamed up with Handy on this idea of smurfing a piano that could produce a whole orchestra of various sounds, and thus the smurfesizer keyboard was invented. Rapper, who before then was more of a beat poet of sorts, heard me smurfing away on this keyboard and then smurfed up the words to the song that became "The Smurfy Dance". (Sings out a bit of it.) "We can smurf if we want to, we can smurf your friends behind, because your friends don't smurf, and if they don't smurf, then they're no friends of mine!" That was the song that formed the band Smurfs Without Hats.
Reporter: 'Smurfs Without Hats'…that's a rather strange name for a band, considering that Vanity thinks that a Smurf without a hat isn't a Smurf at all.
Orbit: Vanity is one Smurf that I think needs to smurf his eyes away from his mirror reflection a bit more to truly see Smurfs for who and what they are, not just what they wear.
Reporter: Speaking of seeing, Orbit, what do you wear that visor for…other than how cool it smurfs?
Orbit: Truth to tell, Reporter, my eyes are too sensitive…I don't smurf things very well in the daytime. You smurf these shades off me, you'll find me smurfing into everything like Brainy does without his glasses. A very painful sight to smurf, and it's something I have to smurf with every day, with Papa Smurf smurfing me these special eye drops made from smurfnip extract to keep from getting worse.
Reporter: You ever thought of getting your eyes smurfed with special contact lenses or something?
Orbit: Not really. I think contacts make me smurf too weird! (Laughs.)
Reporter: Well, for someone who can't smurf very well with his eyes, you sure can smurf up music and play it very professionally.
Orbit: That's the blessing of smurfing one of the best sets of ears for music, Reporter. Of course, Tracker has better eyes than I do, and his hearing is sharper than mine. But still he can't tell the difference between two different types of musical notes and melodies like I can. In any case, I smurf up my musical notes in Braille so I can better read what I'm transsmurfing. Only a very few Smurfs can read musical notes in Braille, Empath being one of them, even though he has that "extra-smurfory perception".
Reporter: Since you fancy yoursmurf as a futurist, Orbit, how much do you think Smurf culture has changed since inventions like Clockwork Smurf, the Imaginarium, and the crystal disk smurfer have been introduced?
Orbit: I think it has improved the way of life around here, maybe a little sooner than I expected those things to happen, but it does make Smurfs feel more...empowered, if you want to smurf it that way. If it haven't been for this discovery of the "mirror-net", Reporter, you wouldn't have the amount of news from around the world for you to smurf about. Of course, some of the inventions that Handy had created like the weather-smurfing machine and the smurfomatic food harvester did make me wonder whether these were really worthwhile things to smurf up in the here and now, consmurfering how they were misused by those who do not undersmurf how these things worked in the first place. I think the inventions that smurfed around longer than those others were just simply meant to be smurfed in this day and age.
Reporter: Besides Smurfs creating villages on other worlds in the year 2000, what else do you think Smurfs might be able to smurf?
Orbit: I might venture to smurf that there will be a Smurf that can time-travel all on his own, without the aid of any devices. He will be able to smurf into alternate timelines of any Smurf he smurfs into contact with and watch their lives unsmurf like they're smurfing out a story in the Imaginarium. He might even be able to change history so that disasters like the one Empath once smurfed about the village being completely destroyed centuries from now will never happen, so that any Smurf from the present who smurfs long enough can smurf to see the year 2000.
Reporter: I don't know, Orbit. Somehow that smurfs me the impression that this "time-travelling Smurf" from the year 2000 already does exist and is smurfing into our lives now even as we smurf. Doesn't that possibility bother you?
Orbit: I like to smurf that he wouldn't be smurfing into our lives like some nasty-minded peeping-Smurf voyeur. He'd be more like a guardian angel of sorts, looking out for the well-smurfing of his own forebears. Of course, if this Smurf actually exists and wants to smurf into my alternate lives, I wouldn't want to stop him from smurfing that. I just want to be able to smurf for myself how different things could have smurfed out.
Reporter: I just hope your next musical effort won't smurf until the year 2000 for it to be released, whether it's just yoursmurf or with Smurfs Without Hats smurfing on it.
Orbit: (laughs) It definitely won't smurf that long for it to be finished, Reporter. Though I am thinking of smurfing up a different kind of band, since my smurfing with Sloppy on Ray Of Sunshine made me want to smurf more of my music with a rocking "techno" kind of sound. Right now I can only imagine what to smurf this new band if I ever form it...Jonathan Livingsmurf Seagull, perhaps? Interesting book about a flock of individuals, by the way. Brainy smurfed me that one time and I just couldn't smurf it down.
Reporter: You're not seriously smurfing about naming a band after...a flock of seasmurfs?!?
Orbit: It's just an idea, Reporter, nothing smurfed in stone. The tunes have to be smurfed out first before I decide on anything else. Anyway, what's wrong with smurfing a band after seagulls? I think those birds smurf one of the most beautiful musical sounds in nature.
Reporter: (laughs nervously) I just rather not be around them when they're smurfing around in flocks on the beach, if you know what I mean, Orbit.
Orbit: (nods with some understanding) Well, I've got some work to smurf for that next album. I appreciate you smurfing your time with me for an interview, Reporter.
(As Reporter leaves Orbit's studio, Orbit begins playing what almost sounds like "Space Age Love Song" on his smurfesizer.)