Archive for the ‘power of music’ Category

The 10 most addictive sounds in the world

March 3, 2010

Image courtesy Fast Company

Fast Company has a fascinating article up about the most recognizable sounds known to man.

Among many interesting points, the article, by Martin Lindstrom, notes the decline in memorable jingles and other marketing music in the last 10 years. Still, the second most addictive sound is that brief sonic signature of Intel (you know the one – dah-dah-du-DAH).

Lindstrom also notes that when someone made a soundless slot machine, revenue fell by 24 percent.

Thanks to colleague David Sheets for pointing out this article.

Fractions of a second: an Olympic musical

February 28, 2010

Here is a fascinating use of musical notes to tell a story. The New York Times’ Amanda Cox uses the timing of musical notes to show how close many of the Olympic race finishes have been.

I love this because it uses music to tell an otherwise non-musical story, to shed new light on an aspect of reality. My only suggestion: Cox could have used a different note for each sport or category of sport, instead of the same note for all sports. A minor quibble, to be sure.

Stunning images, music: The Third & The Seventh

February 4, 2010

This piece of computer animated scenes focusing on architecture is a fantastic multimedia experience. Even more impressive: creator Alex Roman not only created the CG images himself, he also recorded the haunting musical score, using Cakewalk’s Sonar and East/West orchestral samples. He said the soundtrack is “based on” works by Michael Laurence Edward Nyman. (The Departure) and Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns. (Le Carnaval des animaux)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Third & The Seventh“, posted with vodpod

“They never met” — haunting BBC audio slide show

January 21, 2010

Check out this multimedia piece from the BBC on an artist named Michael Reagan who draws military personnel killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s called Portraits of the Fallen. Note the ambient audio, such as the sharpening of the pencil, and the spare, judicious use of music, which in my view adds just the right feel. (Wait till you get to the line, “They never met.” It will rip your heart out.) Thanks to Duckrabbit’s blog for pointing this out.

Love is all you need….

December 16, 2009

Pretty awesome. Great idea, good execution — and the perfect song.

Music a crucial part of cancer recovery

December 3, 2009

By Erik M. Lunsford,

I wanted to point you to an excellent story by my friend and colleague Michele Munz,  who wrote on and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today about how therapists help young cancer patients by teaching them to write and record an original song. You’ll find this in the story:

Studies show that music therapy can reduce stress, anxiety and pain. While the research is lacking on whether such therapy improves medical outcomes, doctors can see the power among their patients.

“Emotional and spiritual healing contributes to physical healing,” said Dr. Karen Gauvain, pediatric oncologist at Cardinal Glennon. “Music therapy is creative way for our patients to express their thoughts and feelings and allow for healing of the whole person.”

Also, don’t miss the audio slideshow by photographer Erik M. Lunsford that accompanies the story.

Just a post script: Michele was the star choreographer, dancer and “evil boss” in my recent music video for “Copy Editor’s Lament (The Layoff Song.)”

10 incredible interactive audio experiences

December 1, 2009

Here’s a great collection from 10,000 Words of 10 interactive audio projects. Great, innovative uses of both music and ambient audio in these samples.

Music and memories…

December 1, 2009

What songs bring you the most intense memories?

One of the great things about music is its associative power — that is, its ability to deliver you to a specific time and place. Obviously, this trait shows why music is so powerful in the advertising and marketing worlds. A simple three-note melody can instantly bring to mind a product or brand.

But today I’m more interested in personal memories, scenes evoked by a certain song. I’d love it if you could provide one specific memory that a song brings to mind.

Here are a few of mine. As it happens, they all involve my college years… does that mean I listened to music more in college? I’m not too sure about that. Regardless, here they are:

Steppin’ Out, by Joe Jackson.

College was a seminal experience for me. The first time I ever set foot in the state of Missouri was when I went to a pre-college orientation at Mizzou. I really didn’t know anyone in Missouri, much less at the university. But after an awkward few months I began to feel at home, thanks to my quick friendships at my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.

Soon I was actually enjoying college. This song, aside from being a killer tune, brings up the distinct memory of getting ready to go out – probably to a college bar like the Fieldhouse or its predecessor, Bullwinkles.  It’s probably Friday night. A week of school work is done, and I had probably spent the afternoon playing basketball with the fellas. Now, it was time to go out, to see and be seen. A world of possibilities awaits.

Hard to Say I’m Sorry, Chicago

Things were not all sweetness and light in college, however.

I arrived on campus exhausted. My room in the “pledge” floor of the fraternity house was, quite literally, a pile of rubble with a partially assembled bed frame and a dusty mattress in its midst. I fell asleep early that first night. The next morning I awoke with a fine surprise: I was covered with bright red welts, head to toe.

I had chicken pox.

I quickly realized I had contracted them from helping my high school girlfriend Beth babysit. One of the kids had the malady. I assumed, of course, that I had had it as a toddler. I was wrong.

Having recovered from that socially embarrassing disorder, I was happy to arrange a visit by said girlfriend, a Baylor student. Alas, I soon learned she had made the trip to break up with me.

I was devastated. And that night, through my tears, Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” seemed to come on the radio every few songs.

Maudlin, I know. But it seemed to speak to me: “After all that we’ve been through, I will make it up to you…”

Ah, the pain of teen love.

Sunset Grill, Don Henley

What is college without a road trip?

My friends and I decided we had to see Missouri play Texas in Austin. So we rented a Winnebago and hit the road, driving all night to reach our destination.

As it turned out, I was the only guy in the bunch who wasn’t intent on getting drunk. So naturally, I was given the late-night driving shift. Which meant that there I was, tooling down I-35 sometime before dawn, a screaming group of fairly well lit friends behind me, sprays of beer foam periodically dousing my back. They were playing drinking games that somehow required all interior lights to be on, and music to be cranked. “Am I okay to get over?” I asked at one point, trying to find an exit. “COME ON OVER!” came the reply. Of course no one had actually LOOKED in the lane I was trying to get in.

Somehow I missed the car and made the exit. Then, just as the sky turned auburn with the coming dawn, “Sunset Grill” came on. True, it was a sunrise, not a sunset, but somehow it seemed appropriate.

Okay, those are a few of mine. What are yours?

Ten tips for using music in multimedia

November 23, 2009

Music is an all too frequently overlooked facet of multimedia production, says Eric Maierson of MediaStorm. I especially appreciate this tip:

Music should not be used as simply background sound. It’s an integral part of multimedia, as important at times as your images, narration, or video. Effective music editing creates a rhythm, a call and response, with your other media sources.

It’s great advice, so read it now!

The death of rock?

November 15, 2009

In this compelling piece on NPR’s music blog, Douglas Wolk argues that modern music’s obsession with “perfection” — ultra-Autotuned vocals, quantized beats, etc. — is quickly draining the life out of rock music. I couldn’t agree more: The quest for “perfection” is over-rated, as I said here some time ago.