The digital sphere is increasingly blurring the lines between audiovisuals and graphics. Although TV documentaries remain relatively straightforward, everything else is becoming more graphic. Double Double is a young production company that is situated right on the edge of both genres. The founding members are graphic designers as well as being directors (and an experienced sound designer too). The result is stylish audiovisuals (the word video is pretty much meaningless by now). The Write Stuff provided the basic text on their website at Double Double.
The European jazz label Igloo is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the end of the month. To announce this, we helped put together a press release that presents the core values of the label while announcing an anniversary concert on November 28 at the Marni Theatre in Brussels. They will also be featured in a special 2-hour edition of the radio programme “Crooner” on Belgium’s La Premiere radio on December 6 at 8pm.
Igloo have released first albums from artists such as Melanie De Biasio, Pascal Schumacher Quartet as well as work by Philip Catherine, Steve Houben, Manuel Hermia and Majjid Bekkas.
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We occasionally find music for games and audio-visuals. The most recent track is the dotty electronic track “Kwaai Techtic” from the eloquently-named Tone Deaf Junkies. This South African electro team are part of one of the most exciting scenes at the moment and are featured in the new “Facebreaker” game from Electronic Arts.
I just read an interesting piece in US Today about music in advertising, tying in with the annual Cannes Lions fair. Music and advertising is a bit of a dream date: the music can do with the exposure (and the extra licensing fees at a time when revenue is still falling), whereas the brand gets instant magic and immense colour. As one producer says in the article, “No one ever calls up and says, ‘I want to sound like an ad’. They say, ‘I want to sound like a hit on the radio’.”
The article has a Coca-Cola ad with a number of different soundtracks. But it’s not easy by any means. Working with a good art director and editor is essential, as well as composers that are keyed into both upcoming music and the needs of a very broad 30-second format. I’ve worked on several projects over the years, including Alpro soya, Tuborg and Douwe Egberts, as well as providing lyrics for a number of hit songs. I’ve also been called in to find existing music to licence (for an upcoming PlayStation game, notably). The edvantage of licensing existing music is that you know exactly what you will get.
Check the USA Today article here. And if you’re looking for a song for your ad, ring me on +322/644 02 30.
The TV series “Vermist/Missing”, taken from the film of the same name directed by Jan Verheyen, debuts on Belgiumâ€™s VT4 channel every Tuesday from March 25 at 9.30pm. I wrote the track that plays out over the end, “Waiting”, with the series composer Steve Willaert. It is available as a download right here. We also wrote a song for the episode called “Kika”. For more about “Vermist” (one of the biggest grossing Belgian films last year), visit VT4.be.
I’ve done words for a couple of songs in ads over the years, most notably the UK and German campaigns for Alpro soya (“Happiness is Easy”), Tuborg beer and two hilarious mini-musicals for Douwe Egberts coffee. A great song does great things for advertising, connecting immediately with an audience or instantly creating a period or atmosphere.
Advertising Age has drawn up a list of Best Songs in Ads for 2007, as well as the notable raspberries. Leslie Feist’s “1234″ for iPod Nano in North America picked up the Palm. Check it out on Advertising Age. Any favourites?
Incidentally if you need that extra atmosphere that only a song can bring in your next ad, you know who to ring!
There is always something glamorous about the movie business and it’s nice to see one’s name on the credits of a film. This summer, I got a call from composer Steve Willaert who was writing music for the Belgian thriller “Vermist/Missing” directed by Jan Verheyen. He was preparing a track for the end of the film and needed some lyrics. After a little coming and going, the result was “Waiting” breathlessly sung by Chantal Kashala. What I didn’t know at the time is that the film stars two of Flanders’ biggest new actors, Koen De Bouw and Kevin Janssens. So when I went to see it on the second night, I was surprised to find a capacity audience in one of the largest theatres (it opened in 29 cinemas in Flanders). “Waiting” plays over the final credits. I’ve had music used in movies before, but this is the first time I’ve written something from scratch for one. There are plans to turn “Vermist” into a TV series. Check Vermist here.
Igloo, a jazz label I work with, has two artists in the running for Octave music awards in Belgium: sax player Manuel Hermia and jazz chanteuse Melanie De Biasio, whose album “A Stomach is Burning” was Album of the Week in Ireland’s Sunday Tribune last may.
The results will be announced on June 21. Click on the photo to check them out. If you are interested in using stylish modern jazz in a production, get in touch.