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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : July August 2008
UP FRO NT SOUND +MUSI C Uncle Tobys Red Line (Ogilvy): Powerful guitar, strong and catchy Snooze ‘Mad World’ (The Foundry): Stunningly evocative Mobius winner Mizone Rapid Tennis (Clemenger): Suspending time, pulses of tense power ‘Black Water’ feature (Prodigy Movies) opened in UK to great reviews GIO Flood (BWM): Funky reggae trombone RafaelMaymakesmusic with bite A true independent, Rafael May conjures up great original music and sound design free from the constraints of the big corporate music factories. CB caught up for a chat at Raf’s incredibly cool studio by the water at Sydney’s Bronte Breach. How do you see your role as composer/sound designer? My job is to unify the character of the visuals with a distinctive music flair. I go to great lengths to achieve an indeli ble audio experience for commercials that linger in the pub- lic mind way past the time of view- ing. I’m not afraid to ma ke music stand out. I’m into hooks and great music production. What are some best known examples of your music? Snooze ‘Mad World ’ for The Foundry (a remake of the Tears for Fears track) is stunningly re corded and h ighly evo cativ e. The idea based around the beauty of sleep is married to th e authenticity of the music. To make it work, you have to be brought into a s pecial zone. I recorded ext remely q uiet gr and piano with mikes stuffed into every nook and cranny, and trying 5 d if- ferent singers to get it totally right. I loved working on it. It was re ward- ed with a Mobius certificate. Uncle Toby’s Red Line ( Ogilvy ) features a powerful guitar trac Sydney and sonic signatures f or Bigpond (the whist le logo an d ‘I’ve be en Everywhere’) and GIO (f unky reg- ga e t rombone ) for BW M, and Freedom (a j azz p ercus sion/flute storm) for The Foundry. Too much music in the la st cou- ple of years has been so int rospec- tive that no one kno ws what it i s about. I believe that if you are going to use music then m ake it gr eat, make it audible, make it memorable and it will work for you. 78 CAMP AI GN B RIEF Rafael May at the UK premiere for Black Water: “My love is creating a music authenticity, with originality and passion” You were composer for a successful feature, Black Water? I had a great time at the London k loved by the public, creatives and the client as it is so strong and catchy. I have created much of the music premiere of Black Wat er (Prodigy Movies) early this y ear. Hot UK reviews like ‘Prepare to hav e your nerves sadistically shredded’ (Daily Star) and ‘It’s one of the best mini- malist shockers since Open Wat er: 4 stars’ (The Independent) opened the way to sales to over 40 co un- tries. I’m stoked. The music ranged from be autiful cello to eerie e lectronic phsychotic tension all the way t o he art s top- ping attack sequences. It was gre at to really stretch o ut be yond t he constraints of TVCs and th e usual Aussie film score. And I’v e found that ad creative people love to se e just how far you can go. I’ve been asked to compose th e score for “Road Tra in” (a cr oss between Duel and Ste phen King) coming next year directed by De an Francis. It will be hard-cor e and I’m really looking forward to it. You are also an award winning sound designer. How do you integrate this with music composing? AGDA The Journey (Emera ld City/Common) was a Kodak Gong winner for Sound Design and a finalist for origi nal music at the London International Advertising Awa rds. It is incr edibl y eleg ant sounding based on a totally original and evolving sonic world. I love creating amazing sounds from sonic manipulation rather than from off the shelf libraries. Mizon e Rapid ‘T ennis’ for Clemenger BBDO was about sus- pending time and building pulses of tense power: It’s works like a music score without any notes but with real sound substituted with the sur- real. Great sound design and music become intrinsically linked: They are both really about story telling and taking you to another place. I like creating unworldly sounds that still have the emotive qualities of a music track. Why does Rafael May operate so independently? My love is cr eat ing a mu sic authenticity, with originality and passion. I need to be the music maker rather than a people manag- er. That’s why I don’t subcontract my music briefs t o others. If you hire me, I write the score. I never let the business of music making stop me making music. And hey, I like having a recording studio at Sydney’s best beach. See Raf’s work on the web: www.rafaelmay.com or call Cammy on (02) 9369 5252 for a reel. JU L Y /AUGU ST 2 0 08
May June 2008