The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America
Category Archives: News & Events
January 31, 2017Posted by on
It was certainly a year to remember. I know I won’t forget it! Here at Stephen Arnold Music, we worked hard to help our clients be heard and stand out in 2016. And we helped them connect to their viewers and customers with custom music branding for news, sports and entertainment networks, global brands, video games and more.
“The critical importance of sonic branding is recognized across every industry,” says Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music. “Aural elements drive engagement, social sharing, purchase decisions, and loyalty like never before. It was extremely gratifying for all of us at Stephen Arnold Music to collaborate on so many forward-thinking campaigns in 2016.”
Here’s what we were up to last year:
CNN/HLN – “Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield”
I always love working with CNN. And I was thrilled that SAM was selected to work on the new nightly news program “Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield” on HLN. Monday through Thursday, the veteran journalist takes on the most pressing legal and social issues, trials and hot topics of the day. At SAM, we helped expose her expertise with a new musical theme; a strong sonic brand driven by distinctive strings, horns and assertive percussion that captures the spirit of “Primetime Justice.”
Gearbox Software – “Battleborn” Video Game
This was one of my favorite projects of the year. The elite developer Gearbox Software wanted an attention-grabbing, catchy and distinctive theme for the montage of character introductions in its “Battleborn” video game for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. And we gave it to them! Check out the memorable Player Select Theme, a guitar-driven composition that features catchy, aggressive hooks reflecting Battleborn’s rallying cry: “Calling All Badasses.” We had a blast using live drums, driving guitars, gang vocals, and a shredding prog-synth solo. I think it really leads players into the game…and I can still listen to it over and over again!
CNN/HLN – “How It Really Happened”
I like what HLN is doing with fresh, original content, with new offerings like “How It Really Happened” as the first of several new series. The show, hosted by actor Hill Harper, delves deeply into notorious crimes, mysteries, trials and celebrity tragedies. Our custom music package includes the show open and many other film score-style themes that capture the eerie atmospheres of the show. We also composed the show’s bumpers, commercial break intros/outros and additional cinematic elements, using consistent sonic branding.
UPS – International Communications Campaign
I wanted to see what WE could do for brown. Ha! UPS proved that it connects every corner of the Earth with their latest campaign, a set of compelling videos that demonstrates their global capabilities to audiences everywhere. I feel that our musical score was critical to the success of the project, providing a memorable musical theme that could also be adapted for Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. I love this track. It’s a really addictive beat produced
in step with the script, voiceover and visuals to drive powerful storytelling and an emotional connection with viewers worldwide. Brown, indeed!
CNN/HLN – Bleacher Report
Again, working with CNN is a blast! “Bleacher Report” is a cornerstone of sports coverage for CNN and its sister network HLN. I was really gratified that SAM was invited to create a fresh theme for this elite sports brand. We came up with a driving, indie rock-style sound, with live guitars, bass, drums – even handclaps – to give a fun and upbeat feel to one of media’s most recognizable sports brands.
CW33 – “Express Yourself” User Generated Content Campaign
This was an especially fun campaign, because we get to watch the station all the time! CW33-KDAF TV in Dallas/Ft. Worth really wanted want their station to be a part of their viewer’s daily conversation. So they created the engaging “Express Yourself” campaign, encouraging viewers to interact with the station by uploading and sharing fresh UGC (User Generated Content) consistent with the campaign’s motivational theme. We had a real chance to do a cool pop tune here. It’s catchy and original – a perfect up-tempo mashup of new school funk-pop and old-school Motown doo wop. We’re STILL dancing…
November 15, 2016Posted by on
It’s Here – Hot off the Press!
We’re really excited about our newest holiday edition of The Six Strings of Christmas – Volume 2! Our first album was a big hit, and now you can enjoy 14 NEW beautiful performances from our stable of outstanding studio musicians on this latest collection. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds benefit Little Kids Rock, which provides free musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged kids across the country.
Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of the tracks:
It’s available on Amazon right now, so get your copy in time for the holidays! It’s a great album, benefiting a wonderful cause. AND it makes a terrific Christmas gift!
Order yours today, and Happy Holidays to all of you!
October 20, 2016Posted by on
There’s certainly no rest for the weary after two full, non-stop days in beautiful Santa Monica, CA! Now in its 3rd year, the Production Music Association (PMA) held its annual Production Music Conference featuring some of the most knowledgeable folks in the music industry. Keynote addresses by film score heavyweight Harry Gregson-Williams and Musician/Tech/Social hot shot D.A. Wallach? Check. Panels featuring the top copyright and music lawyers in the country? Check. How about discussions and Q&A’s from top film trailer music supervisors, technology firms and creative processes? Oh, yeah!
But we weren’t satisfied with just attending – we had to wine and dine some clients and LA based artists as well. We checked in on our good friend Tom Freund, Premier Tracks (available NOW in the Vault!), hip hop producer and Vault artist Anno Domini, to name just a few. And we just had to see the new post production suites used by the UFC, (they’re killer, by the way)
The two-day event culminated in the Mark Awards, which recognized the industry’s best music and productions. Of course, The Vault by Stephen Arnold Music took top honors of the night for “Best Use of Music in an On-Air Promotion.” It features the track Party Noise Bulla from our Song Zu catalog, and was selected to roll out FOX’s hit show “Rosewood.” Check out the spot here:
June 28, 2016Posted by on
Well, this year’s PromaxBDA Station Summit was a rousing success! Besides the many meetings we had with dozens of clients, we had our Guitar Gods Giveaway, the Battle of the Promo Superstars session with our own Dave Baumann, an open suite party (complete with impromptu jam session) and, of course, our 6th Annual SAM Jam.
Wednesday night’s open suite was a first for us. We decided to open up the doors and see who showed up … and I think that ended up being pretty much EVERYBODY, including our SAM Jam superstar Byron Bordeaux. Now when you get Stephen, Byron, and some guitars in a room together, a jam is just gonna happen. And thankfully, we didn’t get shut down by security this year!
Also on Wednesday was Dave Baumann’s session. In this first Battle of the Promo Superstars, five TV stations from different ownership groups were presented with the same news story. They were:
Leila Stilwell – KGTV San Diego (Scripps)
Steve Rifkin – WESH Orlando (Hearst)
Adrianne Anderson – KTLA Los Angeles (Tribune)
Drew Fowler – KXTV Sacramento (TEGNA)
Mike Hansen – WSYX Columbus OH (Sinclair)
They were given 48 hours to produce a full suite of TSR (targeted special report) promos, including a social media posting. They were not allowed to use any outside resources. From the results, it was clear that they approached the problem from different angles and arrived at a wide range of creative solutions. It was illuminating to see that while their efforts varied widely, all promos were seen as effective in attracting an audience.
Thursday had two big events. First was our Guitar Gods Giveaway. Congrats to our winners!
And finally, the party everyone was waiting for, our 6th Annual SAM Jam! This year, we invaded Elton John’s Fizz in Caesar’s Palace. Byron brought along a great lineup this year, with William Shively (Boyz II Men) on bass and Alex Davis (The Family Stone) on drums. It was an incredibly fun night, with tons of folks jumping up to sing and play. I think my favorite moment of the night was when I realized that Byron and the band were all sitting out, while four attendees sat in and jammed out like they’d been playing together for years!
And if you’ll forgive a little self indulgence on my part 🙂
It was a blast getting to perform with such amazing musicians! We hope everyone had as much fun as we did. See you next year!!
June 3, 2016Posted by on
At the PROMAX Conference at the Midtown Hilton Hotel in New York City, June 14-16, Stephen Arnold Music (SAM) will again be conducting an exciting guitar giveaway. Be sure to stop by the Stephen Arnold Music kiosks, which will be prominently displayed at the Conference, to check out this year’s “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” selection of legendary Beatles guitars. To enter the raffle, just drop off your business card in the box near the display. You could win a replica of Paul McCartney’s famous Hofner Violin Bass guitar!
The drawing will be held at the SAM guitar display on Thursday, June 16th, around 4:15pm during the “Networking Break.” You must be present to win. So don’t miss it! You’ll get to see some cool guitars, learn a little something and maybe even win that Hofner bass!
Here’s some cool facts about the collection:
2005 Re-issue Gretsch G6122 Country Gentleman (George)
When the Beatles started to get famous in the early 60’s, George bought a 1962 Gretsch Chet Atkins “Country Gentleman” guitar. George can be seen using this instrument more than anything else on stage, but he didn’t use it as much in the studio. It’s interesting George would use this guitar, as he admired and was inspired by much of Chet Atkins’ work. In 1965, the original Country Gentleman flew off the top of their tour bus and was destroyed. As George recalled: “Fourteen of our guitars were strapped to the roof of our Austin Princess, and the only one lost was my Gretsch. It fell onto the road and into the path of the oncoming traffic. About thirteen lorries went over it before our chauffeur could get near it. Then, one of the lorries stopped and the driver came up with the dangling remains of it and said, ‘Oh, has this banjo anything to do with you?’ Some people would say I shouldn’t worry, because I could buy as many replacement guitars as I wanted. But you know how it is. I kind of got attached to it.”
1959 Gibson J160e (John)
John Lennon couldn’t quite afford his first Gibson J-160E in 1962, so he cajoled Beatles manager Brian Epstein into co-signing for the guitar. Epstein obliged, and ended up purchasing one for George Harrison as well. Both guitars ended up making rock and roll history with the Beatles, appearing on countless studio recordings, movies, and live performances. This is the acoustic-electric guitar John Lennon used in his initial songwriting with Paul McCartney, writing such classics as She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please, Please, Me, All My Loving, From Me to You, and others. John’s original model was lost in 1963, but mysteriously re-appeared in Los Angeles in 2015 and was auctioned for close to one million dollars. Today’s Gibson J-160E replica features the same round shoulder body design, with a Sitka spruce plywood top and mahogany back and sides, producing a full-sounding, balanced tone with warm, rich lows and crisp, presence-laden highs.
1990 Rickenbacker 355 Limited Edition Signature, 148 of 2000 (John)
John Lennon had seen guitarist Toots Thielemans, of George Shearing’s Quintet, playing a Rickenbacker 325 in 1959. He immediately decided he had to have one. In Hamburg in 1960, John and George went to Steinway MusicHaus, where George bought a Gibson amp and John bought the “guitar of his dreams”, a Rickenbacker Capri 325 in natural finish. When recalling the purchase of the amp and the guitar, George Harrison remarked: “I think we bought them on “a knocker.” One pound down – and the rest when they catch you. I don´t know if we ever paid them off, but…” True to fashion, John soon had his Rick painted black, so as to appear different from the other garden-variety 325’s on the scene.
The 355 guitar is one of 3 Lennon models that Rickenbacker re-issued in the early 1990’s. The set included the ¾ scale 325 model like the one Lennon used live, on recordings and in the film “Help!.” The 355 model is like the 325, but in a full-scale length, while the 355/12 is the full-scale, 12-string model. All the pickups have that unmistakable “Rick” single-coil twang that made them synonymous with The Beatles, as well as the sound of the 60’s British Invasion.
Hofner Violin Beatle Bass (Paul) – GIVEAWAY
After bassist Stu Sutcliffe left the band in 1961 in Hamburg, Germany, Paul reluctantly stepped in as the Beatles bassist. Looking for an instrument, McCartney recalled finding himself in Hamburg’s Steinway Musichaus. “I remember going along there, and there was this bass which was quite cheap. I couldn’t afford a Fender. Fenders, even then, seemed to be about £100. All I could really afford was about £30, so for about £30 I found this Hofner violin bass. And to me it seemed like, because I was left-handed, it looked less “daft” because it was symmetrical. Didn’t look as bad as a cutaway, which was the wrong way. So I got into that.”
McCartney would soon become forever associated with this distinctive model. He used this bass on stage and in the studio through “With The Beatles,” at which point Hofner gave him a new model. So in 1964, he had his first bass refinished in sunburst and installed new hardware, after which it generally took a back seat to its newer brother. It appeared again in late 1968, minus the pickguard, for the “Revolution” video, and was last seen in footage from the film “Let It Be.” Soon afterward, it was stolen, most likely from a closet at Abbey Road studio. But Paul continues to play a Hofner violin bass guitar to this day.
PromaxBDA: The Conference is being held this year at the New York Midtown Hilton in New York City from June 14-16, 2016.