The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America
Category Archives: Projects
February 9, 2016Posted by on
How Killer Marketing, Great Music, and the Best in the Business Launched
a Top Tourist Attraction in the City of Brotherly Love
Well, as our company President Stephen wrote in our last post – it was a great a 2015! And featured in our greatest hits was a project I got to know VERY well…
Let me take you back a bit. The year was 2014, and we were called in to pitch on a creative brief from one of the country’s top design firms. We went in cold, having very little background on the project or what exactly the project even was. After fleshing out some concepts with the project’s directors, I can still recall how the conversation wrapped up:
Me: “Gentlemen, this sounds like an exciting opportunity and a great project. I think we have a chance to sonically brand several areas at One Liberty Place with some custom pieces and augment that with interactive sound design working alongside the team you have in place. We’d love a chance to work with you on the audio, music, and sound implementation.”
Client: “That sounds great, Whitney, but I don’t think you understand. You’re our guys. We want you to handle all audio and music components; we want Stephen Arnold Music to show us how sonic branding can work in our attraction.”
Well, that was very satisfying. Obviously our world class reputation was such that EVERY creative, no matter what industry, was keenly aware of our work …
Or maybe it was something else…
Music and Sonic Branding is at the heart of Stephen Arnold Music – we wouldn’t be where we are today if beats, bars, and guitars weren’t the backbone of our company. But killer marketing has been, and always will be, our calling card. Check out this collection of our marketing hits from years gone by…
Before we closed our initial creative call, I had to ask our newest client – “How did you hear about us?” And no, it wasn’t CNN, ESPN, our work with over 300 TV stations, or our international clientele – They said, “We had one of your vinyl albums. Our creative director got it and loved it so much he’s had it on display in his office ever since. So when our next project that needed music came up, we knew just who to call.”
Wow! Marketing today is all about CTRs, KPIs and target demographics. But it goes to show you that an awesome marketing piece, no matter how big (vinyl won’t even fit in your mailbox), will always make an impression.
An even bigger impression was the final product for “Philly From The Top” – an observation deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in Philadelphia with 360º views of the city. We were part of a team of over 2 dozen vendors supplying everything from speaker wires to elevator cables to an oversize bust of Ben Franklin (hey, it’s Philadelphia!)
It was a 12 month process that saw us send teams up to Philly and back and work with local talent to implement sound experiences on 3 floors with 6 distinct sonic experiences.
Our sound design team, headed by Paul West and Jesus Garcia, created an immersive thunder storm experience to replicate the night Ben Franklin famously flew his kite in a storm. With 4 separate sound design programs synced to LEDs and randomized cueing, the end experience was very cool!
It also involved curating over 1000 hours of music from anyone and everyone who had roots in the Philadelphia music scene – from Patty Labelle to John Coltrane to The Roots to Gamble and Huff – into 3 distinct day-part playlists playing on 3 different floors.
Another component was on the 57th floor, where patrons can sit down and relax in one of three immersive chair experiences to hear local talent and Philadelphia celebrities tell the story of Music, Sports, and Culture in Philadelphia. We produced all 3 reads with the help of Philadelphia Post, with final mix and audio support handled at our main studio here in Texas.
But the most memorable were the custom scores for the elevator ride up to — and back down from — the 57th floor. Working along side an awesome film crew and director, the music accompanies aerial drone footage of some of the iconic sights around Philadelphia. Of course we couldn’t miss the chance to track live orchestration on a project like this so we called on the Dallas Symphony and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras up to our studio in the country – the end result sounds fantastic! You can check out the “Way Down” video here:
Philly From the Top was a first for us here at Stephen Arnold Music, but we hope its not our last! What a great project to be involved with and of course, its only given our President Stephen Arnold an excuse to start work with Rucker + Co on our next crazy marketing piece!
January 26, 2016Posted by on
Whew! 2015 was the hottest year on record. And things really heated up as well for all of us here at Stephen Arnold Music with new, exciting musical branding projects for some top corporations, news and sports networks and live attractions.
Successful branding is all about making emotional connections. Music is the fastest way to evoke an emotional response, and the most efficient way for a brand to associate itself with those responses. We call it “sonic branding.” And in today’s highly mobile and social media context, consumers are more apt to share messages and content that make them feel something. Music acts as the emotional “glue” that helps bind people together.
A great example is the new theme song we created for the MeTV Network. It’s an addictive, modern spin on swing music tied to the tag line ”That’s Memorable, That’s Me.” Once you see the pictures with the words, it make an indelible impression, compelling you to watch the great TV shows on MeTV that we all grew up with. It’s an infectious, fun campaign, and we loved working on it. Take a listen:
The gripping, real-life drama portrayed in the CNBC show “Shark Tank” can really get your blood boiling, and it needs a high-energy audio formula to help drive viewers to watch it. We put together a funky, rhythm-driven track with original “Shark Tank Nation” lyrics to help get the party started. It’s another terrific example of the music matching and driving the intense, competitive nature of the show’s brand. We think you’ll agree:
Politics seem to be on EVERYONE’S minds these days…including ours! To help launch the “State of the Union” program with Jake Tapper, CNN came to us once again looking for a bold, confident musical signature and theme. This new show interviews top newsmakers on policy and politics, so it needed some audio “gravitas” to help establish credibility. It became a great opportunity to blend live orchestration, modern percussion and guitars into a compelling and memorable theme, helping shape the show’s new identity for viewers. Listen up:
2015 also marked the launch of some new cable channels, including “Decades Television Network.” They needed some solid sonic branding. We were more than happy to provide them with an extensive musical package based on a 4-note sonic logo. It became a lush, multi-style collection, giving the network a wide range of themes around which they could promote their unique blend of entertainment and history. Check it out:
Sometimes you just can’t afford a brand-new, custom piece of music, but need something dramatic and memorable right now. ESPN Deptortes found an existing track on our production library, “The Vault” to promote the 2015 Pan Am Games. It’s big, bold…and it’s beautiful:
Sometimes you just need a new musical theme to appeal to a billion people. That’s right – one BILLION! Well, China Central Television International (CCTV) has a worldwide audience that size. This was a fascinating and massive project, involving rebranding their five international channels. Now THAT’s a big job! But we were up to it, composing themes for CCTV’s English, French (African), Spanish, Russian and Arabic audiences. Want sonic brand variety? You’ll find it right here:
Hey, it’s not ALL about TV! One of the more exciting projects we tackled this year was for “Philly From the Top”, a fun, experiential 57 floor elevator ride to the One Liberty Building observation deck. During the trip and at the top, riders are exposed to the fascinating story of the history of Philadelphia through visuals, sounds and special effects. We created the sound design for each area of the attraction. It was great fun, as SAM audio gurus Paul West, Whitney Arnold and Jesus Garcia made several trips to Philly to oversee the audio implementation. It was a unique chance to create sonic branding and musical content in a completely new environment for us. Though it’s not as cool as being there, you can sample it here:
it’s been a big year, right? And we’re working on more exciting projects for 2016 right now. The science and artistry of creating memorable audio experiences has always fascinated us. Just try and imagine the soundtrack of your life without the memorable music that accompanies it in your mind. It’s powerful. It’s pervasive. It’s indelible. And it’s what we do everyday here at Stephen Arnold Music.
View the 2015 Stephen Arnold Music montage here:
January 12, 2016Posted by on
We are really excited about our latest news music branding package “Guardian”. I was recently interviewed by NewscastStudio for a “behind the scenes” look at the new package and details about its creation and development. There is a great deal of thought that goes into producing branded music for media. Much more than just creating “cool” music, one must consider the brand objective, how it will live in various media environments, the target demographic, the context of how it will coexist with both content use and promotions, and both the art and science that go into creating a distinctive set of notes that will anchor a comprehensive, sonically-branded music toolkit.
I thought it would be interesting to share an excerpt from that article and interview:
Stephen Arnold Music recently developed a syndicated news music package that’s already debuted in five local markets, including WSB-TV and KIRO-TV. The package came about from a search for a fresh sound and production style that was more cinematic. We recently had a chance to speak with Chad Cook, the VP of creative services at Stephen Arnold Music, about the package…
How did you find the style?
In recent years, we have been creating more and more sonic brands and custom music packages for international networks and channels – CCTV China, CNN International, Al Jazeera to name a few. Some of our international news music packages have been very percussion and texture based – more in the style of a modern, cinematic soundtrack for news programming. So we drew upon some of these different production techniques as a base for creating this new package.
How would you describe the package and its sonic brand?
Historically, many news music packages have been all about being “big”, “loud”, “fast”, and “high-impact” – where you are pounding on your chest and almost yelling your presence to the viewer. With this package we wanted the impact to be more emotional and intelligent. The tone of this package is confident and empowered, and in-depth. There is a boldness to the package and musical signature, but it is achieved more through mood and textures than conventional musical methods.
The sonic logo/musical signature is very distinctive and memorable. We wanted this sonic logo to be very natural and musical to the ear – a simple melodic riff that you could easily play on a guitar or keyboard. Often times, news branding melodies use intervals, voicings, and harmonies that are more conducive to an orchestra or brass section.
We feel the sonic logo and musical style for this package is very contemporary, accessible, and relatable to a wide demographic – whether Baby Boomers, Generation X, and even Millennials. Not only is the production style very modern, but it’s very clean and uncluttered. It has a sound and feel that fits hand in glove with digital media sonic support and applications.
Why do you think the music has already seen such high pickup?
We are so excited that the package has already been picked up in several markets. I think that the unique sound and distinctive sonic brand of this package is really resonating with some stations that have been looking for a fresh approach to music for news content and promotion. I feel like this is not your standard “news” package but more of a modern soundtrack for news with a clean, textural approach that is very digital content friendly as well.
You can check out the full interview here:
And here is a montage of the finished “Guardian” package:
March 25, 2015Posted by on
We are excited to announce the release of “Waking Up My Day”, our new morning show image campaign: a fully produced, cost-effective marketing package for morning promotions sure to make an emotional connection with viewers.
The heart of this market exclusive campaign is a vibrant morning anthem, chock full of vocal hooks, energetic guitars and big beat. “Waking Up My Day” was created to help grow viewership and generate additional revenue during the crucial morning news slot.
- Fully-Produced Market Exclusive Image Package
- Male and Female Vocal Versions
- 60s/30s/15s/10s & IDs
- Includes Donuts, Tags, and Instrumentals
- Custom Lyrics/Vocals Available upon Request
- Select Video Elements included. Exact video assets still in progress – Available April 10th
Check it out now at stephenarnoldmusic.com/wakingupmyday
Stephen Arnold Music Celebrates a Sweet-Sounding 2014 with Projects for CCTV International, Golf Channel Ryder Cup, Golf Films, ESPN Deportes, CNN and Much More
February 18, 2015Posted by on
The Leaders in Sonic Branding Have Momentum Heading into 2015 with Diversifying Portfolio, Plus Successful Launch of Sam2 Media Artists
DALLAS – January 20, 2015: Stephen Arnold Music (www.stephenarnoldmusic.com) comes into 2015 with plenty of momentum, following a prolific year packed with high-profile projects and successful new business initiatives.
“The media and brand universe is evolving faster than ever,” says Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music. “Important developments in the way content is distributed and experienced are constantly presenting fresh challenges to creators. We’re providing an expanding range of solutions designed to keep our clients ahead of the curve, and memorably connected to their audience.”
View Recent Projects Here:
Highlights of 2014 include:
Stephen Arnold Music was tasked with creating a sonic brand and comprehensive music package that would be shared between the five CCTV International Channels – Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish — all while taking into account the individual channel regions, cultures, and target audiences. It proved to be a planet-spanning project as epically challenging as it was rewarding.
Golf Channel Ryder Cup
Golf is a sport of deep tradition, but the broadcasting of this historic pastime is experiencing big changes: Golf Channel broadcast the Friday matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup for its first-time ever live coverage of the event. The music that set the stage for this classic competition is evolving as well, driven by unforgettable new themes from Stephen Arnold Music.
Stephen Arnold Music created an iconic theme to brand “Golf Films” – original content, documentary films and programming created by Golf Channel. The piece features live orchestration and players from the Dallas and Fort Worth symphony orchestras.
ESPN Deportes – UEFA Euro
World excitement about championship soccer has never been more extreme, with tournaments across the globe drawing its largest viewing audiences yet. The reverence the sport inspires was perfectly encapsulated in a rivetingly different upfront for ESPN Deportes that was scored by The Vault, the Anti-Library from Stephen Arnold Music
A new addition to the CNN nightly lineup, “CNN Tonight,” launched with a complete music package from Stephen Arnold Music. The Leaders in Sonic Branding provided a strong, contemporary package for the program, which airs weeknights on CNN.
CNN International – World Sport
CNN International’s long-running flagship sports show, World Sport, needed an updated music theme to go with a new graphic look. Building on the sonic brand and package originally created by Stephen Arnold Music, a new show theme was created to complement the new, sleeker graphic look and capture the excitement and passion of sports fans the world over.
Need clip and link
World Fishing Network
World Fishing Network launched its first-ever brand redesign since going live in 2005, with a powerful new sound to match its viewers’ passion. Their theme is now a driving, raw rock performance created by Stephen Arnold Music, which used amped guitars, bass, and live drums to bolster World Fishing Network’s new look and feel. The new theme, which strives for authenticity, rawness, and strong rock and blues roots, is part of a brand update that underscores the network’s mission: delivering diverse and engaging content to fishing enthusiasts.
The Launch of Sam2 Media Artists
Sam2 Media Artists, a joint venture between Stephen Arnold Music and Gordon Smith Creative, launched. Sam2 Media Artists is a dynamic new one-stop shop that offers clients both media strategy and marketing services, providing broadcasters of all sizes with an innovative approach to marketing strategies, media planning and sonic branding.
Sam2 “Journey” Documentary Special
An amazing piece of American history will come to light for the first time when Black History Month arrives in February, 2015. That’s when local TV stations nationwide will have the opportunity to present “The Journey – 450 Years of the African-American Experience”, a fascinating new documentary special. Produced by Mummycat Productions and Sam2, a division of Stephen Arnold Music, “Journey” reveals the never-before-told true story about the role that free blacks played in the founding of St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the United States. Interviews with experts and vivid imagery combine in “Journey” to explain how the first African Americans reached the new world long before the founding of Jamestown – not as slaves but as free men.