Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Category Archives: Projects

It’s all in a [Sonic] Brand: Revisiting 1970s Sports Branding in Broadcast Television

Working for The World Leader in Sonic Branding™ means I’m well versed in the Pavlovian effect music has on the human brain.  Which is a fancy way of saying that as a mega sports fan, I know that when I hear this:

 

…I’m ready for some Football!

That, of course, is Sonic Branding: Being able to identify something – anything – based only on the music or notes associated with it.

And believe it or not, little 12 year old Mikey Finnegan, already a sports nut, also already knew what Sonic Branding was.  So here are 5 examples from my childhood of how my favorite pastime – SPORTS! – intersected with my job of the past 10 years – MUSIC!   And even way back in the mid-70’s, without grasping the importance of branded music, I was influenced by it…

ABC’s Wide World of Sports – Charles Fox’s classic music combined with announcer Jim McKay’s famous line “the Thrill of the Victory and the Agony of Defeat” left an indelible impression in my young mind. Whenever I heard the theme, I’d sprint to the TV room to catch the show open and probably a Muhammad Ali boxing match.  This is also a great example of how music and other audio elements – like Jim McKay’s voice over – can work in tandem to reinforce a brand and a sonic brand.

ABC’s Monday Night Football – Fox also composed another outrageously popular sports theme of the 70’s, Monday Night Football.  And who could forget Howard Cosell’s legendary voice backed by perhaps the most recognizable TV theme song of that era?

This Week In Baseball - As I grew older, I began turning to Basketball; but Baseball was the first sport I was fanatical about, and a show called This Week In Baseball was my all-time favorite. Again, the voice over – this time delivered by Mel Allen –  worked perfectly to create the overall sonic brand…but it was this song by John Scott that signified my next hour was spoken for.

 

Olympics Theme Song – Officially titled”Bugler’s Dream and Olympic Fanfare Medley”, John Williams’ classic sports theme signified power, athleticism and crossed borders and countries.

 

Wimbledon Championships – This music screams 1970, but it also told me that the greatest tennis tournament was on TV.

 

As I write, we are in the midst of sports television glory: MLB’s World Series, mid-season NCAA/NFL (how bout them Cowboys!!!), and the start of the season for both the NHL and NBA.  In fact this weekend all four will be on the tube at some point.  And even if you’re in another room, you’ll know whether its baseball, football, basketball or hockey just by listening to the music.  And THAT’S Sonic Branding.

Journey – A Black History Month Special with Sponsorship Opportunities

Sam2-Journey-v3We have a great new product from our Sam2 media division - a Black History Month Special with Sponsorship Opportunities.

“Journey” is a never before told true story about the role free blacks played in the founding of the first city in the United States.

  • A sponsorable documentary special perfect for Black History month
  • Full 26 minute version available as well as five 2-minute segments for play in news.
  • Play it on-air, on-line, or in-school. The entire documentary can be given to local schools by the presenting sponsor and TV station during Black History Month for use in their classrooms.
  • Market Exclusive

For more information, please contact Gordon Smith at our Sam2 Atlanta office:
ph: 404-600-8257
email: gordon@sam2.com

You can check out the Journey Overview, Promo Trailer and Linconville Segment on our microsite at:  sam2.com/journey

Sam2_Journey_thumbnails

 

Stephen Arnold Music Recharges ‘Showbiz Tonight’ on HLN With Bold New Music

Stephen Arnold Music - HLN Showbiz TonightSonic Branding Leaders Update Their Long-Running Show Package with Dubstep, Dance, and Indie Rock-Style Arrangements

Updating one of the top daily entertainment shows on TV can be a daunting challenge. HLN’s long-running program “Showbiz Tonight” stayed with the sonic branding of Stephen Arnold Music for their makeover, turning once again to the original music creators that helped launch the show in 2005.

The composers at Stephen Arnold Music wrote five new arrangements to match up with a fresh graphics package and set for “Showbiz Tonight,” which is hosted by A.J. Hammer, from the network’s New York City studios. Built around the memorable four-note hook that Stephen Arnold Music first wrote for the show seven years ago, the bold new package incorporates a range of dubstep, dance, electronic and indie rock themes.

“A common thread of long-running daily entertainment shows is an unforgettable melodic theme,” Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music says. “A strong musical signature is essential to pop-culture based programs, and the lasting power of our sonic brand for ‘Showbiz Tonight’ reflects that. The new music package builds on the original hook, evolving it within modern styles to keep it catchy and current.”

Depending on the genre, Stephen Arnold Music employed everything from filtered loops and programmed beats, to live guitars and drums to drive the energetic new themes. In addition to the primary arrangements, Stephen Arnold Music also provided HLN with a large supply of long beds, short logo stingers, and other transitional elements. Culled from moments in the longer themes, the shorter elements sync up with the “Showbiz Tonight” sonic stamp, providing the show’s producers with a flexible toolkit to match their fast-moving graphics.

The “Showbiz Tonight” update was the latest in a long string of collaborations between Stephen Arnold Music and CNN/HLN. Other recent projects that the Dallas-based music company has created for the networks includes “Jane Velez-Mitchell,” “Dr. Drew,” and “Morning Express with Robin Meade.”

For Stephen Arnold Music, recharging the sound of “Showbiz Tonight” was a welcome opportunity to go deeper with the music they make.

“A project like this gives you the chance to explore all the different angles of a sonic brand,” Chad Cook, VP/Creative Director of Stephen Arnold Music says. “These new themes are a natural progression for an established show. They provide a fresh direction, while maintaining a familiar connection with its dedicated audience.”

Promo Credits
Client: HLN/Showbiz Tonight
Project: “Showbiz Tonight” music package
Music: Stephen Arnold Music, Dallas

About Stephen Arnold Music
As a multiple Emmy, Addy and Promax Gold award-winning music production company, Stephen Arnold Music has over 20 years of success in delivering the sounds that make a difference to networks, television stations, advertising agencies, film studios and video game companies the world over. The company’s Commanding Sonic Branding approach to music production and commitment to industry-leading service is at the core of its promise. For more information, please visit www.stephenarnoldmusic.com.

Joy To The World – Six Strings Style

Hey everyone. Wanted to share a track from our “Six Strings of Christmas” CD – 16 Yuletide Classics performed by world-class six-string musicians.

Here’s track #2:  “Joy To The Word” performed by Milo Deering (acoustic guitar) and George Anderson (double bass). All of the proceeds (that means 100%) of this album sales goes directly to benefit disadvantage children via Little Kids Rock charity.  We are really proud to have partnered with such a great charity and worthy cause.

100% of each $9.99 CD purchase goes directly to Little Kids Rock, which means:
1 CD = One “rock band” lesson for an entire classroom of students!
2 CDs = An entire year of music lessons for one student!
5 CDs = One brand new acoustic guitar into a classroom
10 CDs = One brand new electric keyboard and amp into a classroom

You can hear more tracks and purchase the CD here »

Christmas Music CD

 

 

 

 

 

And here is our complete track listing:

1.  Prelude To Coventry Carol - Chris Carrington
2.  Joy To the WorldMilo Deering (Acoustic Guitar), George Anderson (Double bass)
3.  It Came Upon a Midnight ClearTom Faulkner & Milo Deering (Acoustic guitar)
4.  Deck the HallsStephen Arnold & Bud Guin (Acoustic Guitar)
5.  Away In a Manger – Chris Carrington & Mack Price (Nylon Guitar)
6.  Angels We Have Heard On High – Stephen Arnold (Resonator)
7.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Chris Carrington & Mack Price (Nylon Guitar)
8.  The First NoelKevin Afflack (Baritone & electric guitar)
9.  Coventry Carol – Chris Carrington (Nylon Guitar)
10.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed-ReindeerGeorge Anderson (Electric & double bass)
11.  Ave Maria – Milo Deering (Acoustic Guitar, viola)
12.  Jingle BellsWhitney Arnold (Banjo)
13.  Good King Wenceslas – Mack Price (Nylon guitar)
14.  Silent Night – Tom Faulkner (Nylon & Slide guitar)
15.  Little Drummer Boy – Kevin Afflack (Acoustic Guitar, bouzouki, dobro, bass)
16.  Auld Land SyneDave Powell (Harp guitar)

Enjoy!

“The Six Strings of Christmas” – An album benefiting Little Kids Rock

Christmas CD - Little Kids Rock

We have just finished production of our new acoustic holiday album “The Six Strings of Christmas” to benefit Little Kids Rock.

It is an opportunity to highlight the amazing talents of our extended family; the studio musicians we are so privileged to work with on our many demanding projects. Each Yuletide classic was arranged and performed by this group of incredible six-string guitar players—with a few four, eight and 12-string instruments thrown into the mix just for fun. Speaking of which, here’s a snippet of “Auld Lang Syne” featuring Dave Powell on his 12-string harp guitar:

With the purchase of The Six Strings of Christmas by Stephen Arnold Music, you will be helping Little Kids Rock provide free instruments and music lessons to disadvantaged public school students in some of the most economically challenged communities in the United States!

100% of each $9.99 CD purchase goes directly to Little Kids Rock, which means:
1 CD = One “rock band” lesson for an entire classroom of students!
2 CDs = An entire year of music lessons for one student!
5 CDs = One brand new acoustic guitar into a classroom
10 CDs = One brand new electric keyboard and amp into a classroom

So light the fire, decorate the tree, pour a frothy cup of eggnog and enjoy the magical, musical sounds of “The Six Strings of Christmas”.

You can listen to some tracks and purchase the CD here »

Season’s Greetings everyone!

Custom Channel ID and Promo for AXS TV (Formerly HDNet)

The highly anticipated launch of AXS TV and the channel’s new brand identity focuses on live entertainment and lifestyle programming. Weaving together sound design, live instruments and modern rhythms, the Channel ID and Promo music pieces were created to capture the anticipation and atmosphere that comes from being front and center at a live event.

AXS TV is committed to presenting the best of pop culture. We knew that called for authentic music that would do justice to those ambitious objectives. The compositions are compelling to AXS TV’s audience because they’re warm-sounding and organic, but modern at the same time.

Scoring to picture, we honed a dramatic, yet inviting composition designed to connect with AXS TV’s younger demographic. Set against a compelling visual, where the camera pans across an animated modern nighttime skyline crossed with gleaming spotlight beams, the music helps define AXS TV as a very exciting and inviting place.

The channel ID begins with several seconds of sound design, where we combined many layers of urban sounds – including traffic, people in a restaurant, birds, dogs barking, and children playing – for an anticipatory “symphony of the city”. Next a compelling string arrangement arrives over a modern beat, before resolving into an acoustic guitar that provides equal parts tension, release and satisfaction. After a spacious resolve, the piece quickly builds up again and continues strongly on to accommodate promo beds of varying lengths.

We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting new channel and will be tuning in frequently to see how things evolve.

“This Is The Place” – New Hyper-Local Image Campaign by Stephen Arnold Music

“This is The Place” Local Image Campaign

We are excited to announce we have a new promotional product: A fully-produced Local Station Image Campaign called, “This Is The Place”. We’ve created a market exclusive music package that includes 60s/30s/15s/10s and IDs with both male and female vocal versions. Also included are HD video elements.

Check out our microsite, “This Is The Place” for details and to view all video versions:
http://stephenarnoldmusic.com/thisistheplace

Give us a call for more info:
214-726-1600

This Is The Place - Hyper Local Image Campaign

Stephen Arnold Music Creates Sonic Brand and Original Music Package for CNN International’s ‘World Sport’

Sonic Branding Experts Compose Evocative Soundtrack to Match the Global Leadership of Network’s Sports Coverage

DALLAS, April 24, 2012 | SHOOT Publicity Wire | — Viewers who tune into CNN International’s long-running show, “World Sport,” see sports news unfolding on a global scale, with breaking information on soccer, golf, tennis, motorsports, the Olympics, and more. Sonic branding experts Stephen Arnold Music composed the enduring new theme and music package for “World Sport” that lives up to CNN International’s reputation for elite news reporting.

The soundtrack involved the Stephen Arnold Music team bringing in top players from the Dallas and Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestras to provide the organic distinction and depth of using real instruments in the arrangements. It was the latest assignment in a growing string of CNN International themes written by Stephen Arnold Music, which also includes “International Desk,” “Inside the Middle East” and “Inside Africa.”

The Show of Record
As CNN International’s flagship sports show, “World Sport” demanded a new theme that would timelessly capture the triumph, agony, anticipation and communal spirit of athletics. Equally important, the music needed to transcend regional tastes, while giving CNN International producers the flexibility to easily fit the compositions to graphic elements of varying durations.

The composers at Stephen Arnold Music relied on their deep experience in composing major network themes, for clients across the globe, to make music that was the perfect ft for “World Sport.”

“This is sports news on the world stage, and the music needed to be as big and powerful as sports itself,” says Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music. “For us, capturing that drama meant writing intricate arrangements with plenty of depth. To appeal to CNN International’s global audience, we knew the music had to be cinematic in scope.”

Athletic Composition
Stephen Arnold Music took an orchestral approach to the network’s needs, recording live strings, horns, and percussion and also wove in subtle electronic elements, to complete a multifaceted package of themes for “World Sport.” Moods ranged from the main theme of eventful anticipation to dramatic, driving, competitive, and high energy, to somber and serious.

The result is a distinctive sonic signature for “World Sport”, where memorable hooks and an instantly recognizable sound will keep viewers connected to the show for years to come. “Sports themes have the power to become a part of people’s lives,” Stephen Arnold concludes. “The new music for ‘World Sport’ helps reinforce a long-term brand for this globally respected program.”

About Stephen Arnold Music
As a multiple Emmy, Addy and Promax Gold award-winning music production company, Stephen Arnold Music has over 15 years of success in delivering the sounds that make a difference to networks, television stations, advertising agencies, film studios and video game companies the world over. The company’s Commanding Sonic Branding approach to music production and commitment to industry-leading service is at the core of its promise. For more information, please visit www.stephenarnoldmusic.com.

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Contact Info
Right Word Media
Ray Ecke
p. 973.726.3797
f. 973.726.3798
c. 201.741.1092

CCTV America

Stephen Arnold Music Creates Sonic Brand for China Central Television America Launch
Mainland China’s Predominant Network Debuts US Programming from Washington, DC Studios with Custom Music from Sonic Branding Experts

—–

DALLAS, TX – With the launch of China Central Television America (CCTVA), the network has expanded the presence of mainland China’s predominant television outlet – with 42 channels reaching some 1.2 billion people — into the U.S. market for the first time. With so much riding on the launch, the CCTVA turned to the sonic branding experts Stephen Arnold Music to create the music behind much of their original programming.

The Stephen Arnold Music team wrote the music themes for its three flagship shows — “The Heat,” “Americas Now,” and “Biz America.” With deep experience creating strong sonic brands for all of the major news networks, including CNN, HLN, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News and others, Stephen Arnold Music was more than ready to deliver something extraordinary for CCTVA’s debut.

International Ambitions:

Broadcasting from a new production center in Washington, DC, the launch of CCTVA represents as a unique chance for the network to reach out to American viewers and provide its global audience with diversified news coverage. Stephen Arnold Music created three distinct themes for each show, recording driving scores that met CCTVA’s call for a high-end, international feel.

“The CCTVA keywords were ‘visceral,’ ‘emotive,’ and ‘forward-looking,’” says Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music. “Each theme we developed reflects those qualities, while standing on its own as a unique composition.”

Triple Play:

For the South America-focused broadcast news magazine “Americas Now,” Stephen Arnold Music’s composers combined flamenco guitar and Latin percussion to set an inspiring tone with a hint of tension. A current affairs talk show “The Heat” theme sears with distorted electric guitars over charging rhythms and electronic elements. The daily global news program “Biz Asia America” is elevated by Stephen Arnold Music’s memorable piano hooks and mid-tempo groove, punctuated with bold rock guitar strikes.

“We appreciated the opportunity to score to picture for CCTVA’s shows,” notes Arnold. “The visuals helped us tap into the attitude and power that each piece required.”

For Arnold, every arrangement the company creates is a custom sonic signature, mindful of the elements needed for credibility with today’s viewers. “News organizations are experimenting more,” he observes. “Their music has to tap into what audiences hear on their mobile devices and YouTube. Our latest sonic brands for CCTVA reflect that connectivity.”

A Look Back at 2011

2011 was a big year for us here at Stephen Arnold Music.  We’d like to thank all our clients for giving us so many great projects to work on.  Here’s a quick look back at some of our favorites.  Enjoy!

Golf Channel – “Playing Lessons”

CBS Sports – “Tim Brando Show”

HDNet – “kidScene”

To view more of our projects, visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/stephenarnoldmusic

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