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Audio design

2008-10-10

Earlier this year I joined the management committee of an European research project on sonic interaction design. A few weeks ago I attended meetings in Jyväskylä Finland. There were several really interesting presentations given by sound designers working within the marketing industry: James Bull of Moving Brands Patrick Langeslag from Audio Consulting Group and Sami Ronkainen from Nokia.

Several of the design projects by Moving Brands impressed me in particular some of their multimedia spectacles designed for the introduction of new products and brands. Check out how the über-expensive Moun speakers were first introduced. As an artist you can only dream about getting access to this kind of resources for a project.

I was also fascinated by the design and use of brand mnemonic sounds and leitmotifs in corporate market profiling. The use of motifs has been a very important quality of European art music for centuries. The use of leitmotives within advertisement is a direct continuation of a tradition spanning back through Wagner and Beethoven to Bach and further backwards to Renaissance vocal polyphony. Here it is used as effectively as ever but for a very different purpose. In particular I find the conscious removal of individuality from the music fascinating. I guess it is a somewhat similar fascination that lead Warhol to portrait bean cans.

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