InSync with…

Buma Music in Motion is all about making meaningful connections between the music and media industry. InSync is a new, recurring column where music agencies, sync agencies and composers get the chance to talk about their pride productions of 2020. Here we’ll deep dive in their work, unlock behind the scenes information and plunge in their creative process. We kick off with Rogier van Twuijver from Modern Day Composers.

Who are you?
We are Modern Day Composers, based in Amsterdam. We create music productions for (film and game) trailers, brands and events. We mostly work for clients who are looking for a new way to express their brand and therefore need modern, refreshing sounds. We’re able to do this because we mainly work with composers and producers who have a history in the electronic dance music scene. In addition, we offer sonic strategy, which means that together with the client we determine what the company or organization will sound like in all forms of internal and external communication for both short and long term.

You indicate that “Safe Distance Ballet” is Modern Day Composers’ pride of 2020, can you tell us more about this project? (briefing, goal, styles etc)
We provided music for a wonderful campaign for G-Star RAW in collaboration with Dutch National Opera & Ballet and Joris Voorn. The advertising agency ‘The Family Amsterdam’ asked us to think along about a musical style for the message of “Safe Distance Ballet”. In the context of the corona crisis, G-Star wanted to make it clear that it takes the 1.5 meter society seriously, but also wanted to express its possibilities. This was reflected in a beautiful, unique five-foot tutu, telling a story of a boy and a girl who, after being separated from each other for a long time, reunite on stage; they stay tidy, keep their distance, but they dance together again. A beautiful message that’s still relevant, which is why we’re so happy that we were able to contribute to it.

Why do you think this sync works so well?
First and foremost: the timing. This campaign came at the perfect moment. Second, the combination of the original choreography, the speaking images, the sync of classical music and electronic music perfectly capture the RAW feeling and what G-Star RAW stands for.

Why is this song so syncable?
Joris Voorn composed the music especially for this campaign. Boy Bianchi had previously set the tone for G-Star in terms of sound identity and both gentlemen have found the perfect cocktail to provide the images with the right emotion. The strings of the National Opera & Ballet orchestra received the scores and played LIVE in the Stopera, while Joris Voorn imposed the beats and the dancers appeared on the stage. You immediately see, hear and feel that this is 100% real, nothing is fake or reenacted. And we love that: that something is pure and real and comes in hard.

Who was the music supervisor? And who contributed to this?
G-Star itself knows exactly what it wants and we made sure that we, in a modest way, granted all their ideas and wishes during the process and at the same time guarded the sound identity of the brand. We were responsible for the music supervision, but it was mainly a direct collaboration between the brand, the agency, the choreographer, the video professionals, the National Opera & Ballet and the composers.

What was the creative process like?
It all started with a few phone calls, followed by a paper briefing, a mood board and then all involved parties had to start working simultaneously. When we first saw the ballerina dance in her 1.5 meter denim tutu our belief in this concept only grew. The timeline was only two to three weeks long and meanwhile the messages about the coronavirus were different every week. And of course, what you’d almost forget is that everyone had to keep 1.5 meters distance during the whole process. That didn’t make it any easier. It’s therefore extra special that the end result is so strong and accommodating.

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We’re really happy that we got the message across. In times of dramatic piano music we were able to let people hear and see that things can also be done differently: we produced electronically oriented music and while still appearing serious. It hasn’t gone unnoticed; millions of views worldwide, articles in renowned magazines like Vogue Italy and the New York Times and a few weeks ago CNN showed our video in America. Everyday we bring our ‘A’ game and that makes the pay-off and all the attention it gets extra special and a hundred percent worth it.

Are there any interesting syncs coming up in the near future?
The great thing is that we present ourselves as the music party for the sexy and tough, but now we also work for organizations like ABN Amro and the corporate event sector. What we like about that is that by using our modern music, these organizations and companies are able to appeal to new generations by ‘simply’ appealing to their ears.

Describe your own business in a music production
One of our first successful assignments was for Absolut Vodka, #THISISOURHOUSE for Amsterdam Dance Event. We are particularly proud of it because this (now three year old) campaign is about equality and is therefore still relevant. At the time, we already knew that electronic music would play a lasting (and connecting) role for many modern brands and we’re still experiencing the benefits of that belief. And in three years’ time we’ll probably think the same about Safe Distance Ballet.