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LIA Insider: The Rise of Audio Is Upon Us Vol. 1 - Cristiano Pinheiro, Marc Algranti and Diederik van Middelkoop

27 May 2020

The rise of audio is upon us

Music & Sound from all corners of the globe
The rise of Audio is upon us. Even during pandemic times.
Streaming services are more popular than ever, podcasts are on the rise, and we are seeing a spectacular adoption of smart speakers around the world (nearly 90 million adults in the US alone).
In other words: the sound of a brand is more important than ever before. Brands need to be aware of this, and strategize accordingly.
Diederik van Middelkoop is a sonic branding specialist, and his company Amp.Amsterdam works for and with brands around the world. Listen as Hans van Dam, an Amsterdam-based conversation design specialist, interviews him.
They talk about Diederik’s career and history, but they also pay attention to the rise of ‘Voice First’ applications.
Both their companies are part of a conglomerate called ARRC. ARRC will be launching later this year, as the world’s first technology company to own all disciplines from sonic branding to text to speech and conversation design, as well as the software platform to support it.

Diederik van Middlekoop AND THE PANICS

Diederik is the Creative Director of AMP.Amsterdam
 Diederik van Middelkoop has had a very successful career as Music director and supervisor for ad campaigns and brand identities around the world.
He is creative director at Amp.Amsterdam (Amsterdam, New York), a music agency specializing in sonic branding and music supervision with a great love for the innovative.
Diederik has been a welcome speaker at many festivals, including Cannes Lions, LIA, Promax, Spikes Asia and Adfest, to name but a few. His clients have included The Olympic Committee, Google, Nike, Adidas, Coca Cola, Heineken, Audi, Mercedes, Axe, Johnnie Walker and a wealth of others.
The Panics are an amazing international collective of visual artists, including 3D artists, VFX Designers, Typographers, you name it.
Together they decided that especially during these pandemic times, it is important to show the amazing work they are capable of, even if live action shooting is difficult or impossible.
All visuals by The Panics, all music and sound design by Amp.Amsterdam.

FROM SAO Paulo - Cristiano Pinheiro

Cristiano is a creative director and the owner of PUNCH Audio, 
an internationally renowned Music and Sound Design house 
Embracing Constraints – A story of a project that for us had huge limitations
During the last couple of months, we've all been uncertain about how to keep working and telling stories. Lockdowns, curfews, shooting restrictions, one-brief clients.  In other words, constraints.
It reminds me of a peculiar project in 2017. 
We were approached to create sound for a 1922 silent film. Generate music and sound design for the 90-plus-minute classic horror movie Nosferatu.
The usual process for music would be to spot the film and start composing pieces for particular scenes, then record musicians. Sound designers would conceive and record all sounds from scratch. Foley artists would register footsteps, reactions and props. Voices could be rerecorded for lip sync.

Well, what if nothing like that could be done? 

The whole idea of this job was to promote Getty Images' sound library so 100% of the sounds used would have to be pulled from their website. No microphone recordings of any kind. To adequately illustrate that would be like composing a tune without your instrument. It is possible, though it requires far more time and effort.
For 12 weeks, a small four-people crew downloaded more than 3.000 sounds and tweaked them until one could not recognize them anymore. The infamous vampire voice was created using pig snorts and dog grunts. Characters dialogue was conceived using low and high pitched gibberish, extensively edited foreign language and whatever could be transformed into emotions. More than 100 pieces of music were pulled, edited and placed in a way it would drive this almost theatrical narrative. To this day I'm amazed how the first theme fits the moving images appropriately.
Creativity does benefit from imposed limitations. Whenever challenged, people tend to use their brain more effectively. A huge opportunity for original work. 
Truthfully, for music composers and sound designers, process hasn't changed drastically during this strange period we're living. Almost every musician is able to record his or her instrument from home and we've been doing collaborative creation for some time now. But, humanity always seems to overcome challenges by being creative. This time is no different. While hoping for this pandemic to fade out we can sure make the most of obstacles.

- Getty Images' Nosferatu won over 60 awards globally including Gold in Digital Music/Sound Design at LIA 2017.


From Cape town - Marc Algranti

Award Winning Music Supervisor and EP based in Cape Town
Music and Rhythm Make Up South Africa’s DNA
Music and rhythm make up South Africa’s DNA.  Song is used to uplift, to connect, to express. Even in protest, South Africans turn to toi-toi – a combination of singing, dancing and chanting. So, in these unprecedented times of hardship, the silver lining has been a surge in creativity and collaboration from all corners of our country.
Below are a few examples of some inspiring initiatives.
They have since been signed to Simon Cowell’s label following in the footsteps of the Ndlovu Youth Choir. 
The Cape Town Philharmonic and the Cape Town City Ballet have also collaborated to create a beautiful piece: 
Ard Matthews, a much-loved singer/songwriter is performing nightly concerts from his rooftop in Cape Town, much to the delight of his neighbors, which he is live streaming both to entertain and to raise funds for various feeding schemes. He has also offered the general public the opportunity to pitch lyrics for a new song: if their lines are chosen, they will be given a share of the publishing. 
#CreativityWillSaveUs have brought together some of the most diverse and influential musicians in South Africa to create an anthemic collaboration: crossing genres, cultures, languages and generations. It is a powerful call for national unity and a reminder to all South Africans of our collective resilience. The song will be released on Africa Day and all proceeds will go toward Covid -19 relief efforts. 
These types of projects really enhance a sense of community and let the emotions speak louder than the words. 
Creativity can and must lead us through this. Right now so many of us are consuming music, TV and film to keep our hearts and heads safe from the fear that surrounds us. There has been a real sense of giving and I believe that this will become our new way of being. I am very proud to be part of this community. 



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