Integrated creative studio Mixtape Club created the show open for The 4th Annual AMP Awards, which took place on May 11th at City Winery in New York City. Presented by the Association of Music Producers (AMP), the competition honored outstanding work in music and sound for all media spanning the advertising, branding and music industries at-large.
The point of an opener at an event like this is to celebrate the music creation process – Chris Lenox Smith
Tasked with setting the tone for ‘‘the loudest awards show in the business,” Mixtape Club created a big-bang opener that cleverly begins in silence. Various sounds enter the sensorium, one by one, each visually represented by colorfully animated shapes. The scene evolves into a dynamic mosaic of sounds before crescendoing into a musical composition. “The point of an opener at an event like this is to celebrate the music creation process,” remarks Chris Lenox Smith, partner and executive creative director at Mixtape Club. “What better celebration than a creation myth about sound evolving into music.”
The AMP Awards opener exemplifies Mixtape Club’s interdisciplinary approach to creating content for brand and entertainment clients. The company’s visual and audio departments worked in concert from the outset to produce the multimedia extravaganza – all under one roof. “Most of the time, music dictates the visual content and timing, or the scoring comes after the picture lock,” adds Bennett Baker Barbakow, partner at Mixtape Club Music. “But this project was fun because both sides of the process struck up a conversation and intermingled. It’s like the chicken and the egg chasing each other around, but there’s a really special gratification when things lock together and finally make sense.”
Exploring the interaction of music and visuals, Mixtape Club used simple, recognizable shapes (circles, squares and triangles) to represent the emergence of the “first sounds” in the creation of music. These “primitive shapes,” as Smith describes, provided a visual language that Mixtape Club could then evolve over the course of the piece, letting the shapes get more complex and interact in interesting ways. “It was important to maintain an integrity between the sounds and the visuals,” concludes Smith.
“Everything has a logic to how it moves, and virtually every sound has some type of visual to represent it. Even though it was near-impossible to pull off, given the tight turnaround, we had an absolute blast making this piece. On the visual side, we had a dream team of skilled designers and animators, including Josh Goodrich, Arthur Hur and Casey Drogin, who brought amazing ideas and passion to the table.”
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