Friday, March 20, 2009

Fashion Week Milan

I recently finished a project for designer Matthew Cunnington's "Fashion Week Show" in Milan. Here's a little background; Matthew was the 2008 Hyeres Grand Prize winner and this year was his Milan debut and word had it the the "whole of the fashion world" was going to be showing up for a look, so as you can imagine expectations were high! Matthew rung me up in Paris, he was here with Sandy (that's John Sanderson Matthews design partner), putting together their collection at their studio in the 7th arrondisement near San Sulpice. He said that what they needed from me was a soundtrack to accompany their show at the "Museo Della Permanente" in Milan. I was glad to get the call because I was impressed by Matthew's collection for Hyeres and was really excited to see this years line. So after running over a few details, I happily agreed to put the soundtrack together for the show and we were off and running!

Now it's always interesting and challenging to put together a score, sound design or even an arrangement for a live show but in this case I had to do all three. You see Matthew had already picked out a few pieces of music he wanted to use in the score and wanted me to find ways to link them together. Not the most daunting of requests but not without it's ticks. The first of the two main pieces he wanted in the program was a Linkin Park track called "The Shadow of the Day", the second was a piece of music by Yiruma called "River Flows in You". Doesn't sound to hard right? Well maybe not.... but the two pieces are in completely different keys and tempo, one is in a modern classical piano style and the the's linkin Park. I took a deep breath opened up logic 8, fired up the midi controller and dug my snout in. Well that said, the rabbit was out of the box and after a few late-night tuning sessions with Sandy and Matthew and 48hrs of "cracking the spine" I had found "a way in". I'll save you all the gory details but suffice it to say that the key to the whole project was a simple piano refrain that was reflective of the Yiruma piece that morphed over about 12 bars into the structure and rhythm of "Linkin think'n" and another 8 bar outro morph back into Yiruma and it was "Bingo Time!". Some reediting and remixing the original music (thanks Fat Camel Audio!) and the tracks were in Sandy and Matthews hands and on there way to Milan! And what happened? Here's the email I received the following week:

Hi David.

Hope you are well. Finally we arrive back in Paris. The Music worked perfectly for our collection.

Thanks again for your help.


Matthew and John.




great blog!

duncanparsons said...

Nice opening post, you appear to have landed on your feet at some point along the way - congratulations!

I'm sure there are number here who would be interested in the 'gory details' that you chose to omit - it's great hearing about the compositional/arrangement aspect of task laid before you; but if there are any technical details that you think we might benefit from - for instance, did you use a particular preset of Phat, customise, or start from scratch? Are there any clips you could post up?

Look forward to seeing more of you

composeralex said...

I'm right there with you! I love the 1.2 update!!! Both load times and save times have improved significantly. I mean, my save time for 8 instances of PLAY, 119 tracks went from about 20 minutes to 38 seconds! With just 4 instances of PLAY, the save time is only about 10 seconds.

I've gotten so used to saving my work in SONAR and then going to do something else for 20 minutes that it's rather unusual for it to save this fast. I'm used to saving and going to do dishes, saving and then shaving, etc. But, it's great! Whoopie!!!

The streaming engine is also much more efficient. Granted, I did some hardware upgrades recently that doubtless contribute to everything: AMD 2.8GHz dual-core to AMD 3.0GHz quad-core, add another hard drive, 8GB of RAM to 16GB of RAM, but the PLAY engine runs much smoother, streams better, and overall just feels more stable. It's wonderful.

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