John Presley of Music Composer Blog recently interviewed Antfood Creative Director Wilson Brown. Click here for the original posting.
Written by John Presley
Saturday, 26 March 2011
As technology grows, music and sound is being experienced in new ways. Antfood, a custom music and sound design house in Brooklyn, NY, is ready for the ever-changing technical demands of the industry. Creative director and partner Wilson Brown is the guiding force behind Antfood’s ambitious team of musicians.
“We build and develop some of our own equipment and software in order to create a process that is specialized for ‘nontraditional’ projects,” says Brown. “In addition to creating linear pieces for broadcast and web TV, we also create interactive audio experiences, aleatoric compositions, and multidimensional sound.”
Antfood believes that good work comes from good collaboration. “I simply believe in always doing fantastic work, being responsive as a creative team and professional as a business,” explains Brown. “It is important to remember who the brand is while always pushing towards something new that stands out in a saturated media space.”
“There are many aspects of advertising production that undervalue what we do,” says Brown. “However, I believe that brands, ad agencies and production companies generally do respect custom music and sound. Original music and customized sound design tells stories, sells ideas and elevates brand identity in a manner that licensed audio does not.”
When it comes to commercial music, Antfood must contend with the growing usage of sound-a-like songs, often requested by an agency when they cannot secure the rights to a song. “I don’t have the perspective of some of my veteran colleagues of how great life was before the sound-a-like,” says Brown. “It concerns me because it is not sustainable from a business or creative standpoint. Many brands that are primarily identified with popular bands and bands that are identified with popular brands do themselves both a disservice in representing themselves as a singular entity. However, colossal changes have struck the music industry and everyone is fighting for a piece of the pie.”
Agencies and productions houses working with Antfood often require a certain amount of musical and technical dexterity. On some projects, Brown’s team is involved from pitch to completion, while others begin 72 hours before the commercial goes to air. “Some jobs require round after round of many different original compositions until one sticks,” says Brown, “while others we present one rough idea early on and spend weeks revising and fine-tuning until it is perfect.”
There are some instances where full transparency is not practical due to timing, direction and privacy issues. “There are certain jobs where we work very closely with the editor and/or director,” says Brown. “There are other jobs where we are kept completely separate. I prefer to communicate with the creative team as I feel it usually produces stronger work and a more fluid process.”