though i have put movie-making on the backburner for the time being (takes a lot of time to be mediocre), it's a fact of life that any sort of consumer video camera does not have the sound capabilities to produce an end result that wouldn't make you wince. all the post videos were made with a (now discontinued) flip camera, containing a microphone that picks up every breath of wind, but completely ignores the purring chain as i slope past on a bicycle. there's also less than impressive continuity with background noise; left to its own devices, after editing, things might be nice to watch, but dolby surround-sound would only magnify the problem.
in my case, a large library of royalty free music has baled me out of a situation; i'm no composer, and even less of a musician, so unless someone else had recorded it before me, there was a distinct likelihood of my re-discovering the silent movie.
over the past year or so, rapha have not only entertained and inspired with a series of expertly shot high definition videos, but improved on the visual entertainment with the addition of pristine audio and well-judged soundtracks. it is but a short hop, skip and jump to their providing us with a soundtrack to the three stages of our cycling lives; the major tours. the luxury of being rapha is not only knowing what it is you intend to do, but knowing just who to contact to help set the scene. music for the giro, the vuelta and ultimately le tour, has all been released both in compact disc format and as a series of downloads; a particularly worthwhile experiment.
the chaps at perren street quite likely have a wide-ranging taste in music, along with probably an endless series of arguments as to whose choice is better than whose. an independent voice was doubtless required, a voice which arrived in the shape of pitch n'sync (now shortened to p&s). it's a process that has as many mysteries as a shimano's di2, so i could see little wrong with asking 'man at p&s' simon rose, how it all works.
what brought P&S to fruition?
Frustration mostly... We saw and continue to see so many brands try and work in music but get it totally wrong we are all passionate about music but understand brands have a role to play in the industry now from breaking new music, distributing existing and facilitating creativity.
how many P&Sers are there?
There are eight of us.
what exactly do you do?We help brands work credibly in and with music. From music supervising a small piece of digital through to creating multi channel marketing campaigns with music and talent at their creative core
are p&s concerned with the uk market, or is it an international operation?We work internationally but mostly in the UK though Amsterdam is a big European hub for us.
purely audio, or do you get involved in the visuals?We get involved in as much as we can so as to get the best creative outcome.
do you work directly with musicians or is it purely recorded material?We work with both, we pride ourselves in being close to talent and we always advise brands to creatively involve artists in any campaign planning sand execution rather than trying to buy their services and creatively control them.
is it part of your remit to commission music if you can't find what the client is looking for?
Yep we would sometimes advise it, to deliver authenticity and something valuable to consumers, why not create something new and exciting? Instead of licensing a track for loads of money for a short period why not get a unique or new piece of music made by an artist. If the execution is credible and fits naturally with the artist then you get a much better result that creatively aligned with the activity.
do you get a lot of repeat business?
That the plans and do we have clients we work with more than once ! We try and encourage brands to undertake longer term activity within music to gain the brand sustained kudos and character rather than say the one off expensive badging of events.
suppose i came to you wanting a compilation to accompany thewashingmachinepost. where would we start? what questions would you ask me?
We would start with what music your'e into and are passionate about, you have to have a point of view, people read TWMP because of the writing and opinion. Similarly they should listen to a TWMP album because they want to hear your opinion.
do you have to clear the minefield that is 21st century copyright before a track can be included in any project?
Yes sometimes itÕs a total nightmare! Every deal or campaign we construct is unique bar the straight up music for TV or digital content.
We are continually harassing all the major labels and publishers to be more flexible with their rights and slowly they are getting better...some are even coming to us now and saying how can we help!
not naming names, but do you get awkward customers?
Of course! Lets just say the advertising and marketing world talks a good game with regard to innovation and change but more often that not does not practice what it preaches!
where did the rapha connection come from?
My love of cycling and my admiration for the brand and what they were and continue to do with.
are you a confirmed cyclist, or was that not part of the job description?
Oh yes very much so!
do you have an extensive knowledge of reams and reams of music, or does it all come down to painstaking research?
ItÕs a bit of both we all have specialist knowledge and experience but you do have to research you canÕt remember everything ! I guess knowing where to look is a skill in itself.
do you see an increasing need for music in areas where it was previously not considered?
Totally, music is so important it can make or break a brand, product, event, film ,individual even political party! Its amazing how little attention is paid to it sometimes.
do you often watch advertisements, listen to the music and ask 'what were they thinking?'
Yeah all the time. I recently did a review of all the Pro Teams music usage. Some very funny stuff. I suggest you check BMCÕs really badly done montage piece some very bad soft rock on there! Maybe its Cadels favourite!
is the plan to stay as you are, or is there a cunning plan for world domination? anything you're working on at present you can tell us about?
We continue to grow and are opening soon in Amsterdam. Maybe world domination is a bit strong but we will keep on our mission to bring authentic and credible music to brands and products across the world.
We are continuing to work in Cycling and are in the planning stages of something really exciting for 2012. Also we have just been working on a global music campaign and release for a well known courier company!
IÕm not sure why IÕm being secretive by the way!
posted tuesday 12 july 2011