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Soothing Strings & Piano, written to assist information assimilation
This was written to accompany a particular event concerned with identification.
Here is the reasoning:
Objective: Enhance the delivery of visual and verbal information through
the creation of an auditory environment that stimulates the receiver's awareness
without distracting them from the core message.
Target audience: Corporate / Government professionals
Environment: Tradeshow, busy exhibition hall, display booth
Having looked at the nature of the project, my instinct was to deliver something
very calming. Having worked booths at trade shows, I know how busy and frenetic
the environment can be; the very nature of a trade show means that attendees
are receiving huge amounts of information in a short space of time.
The whole point of "background" music is that it is not the primary
information, when reviewing the efficacy of a piece, it is important to be undertaking
the kind of behavior that the piece was produced for. That's a long way of saying
-- be looking at the slides and think about what you will be doing when this
The piece is predominately string based which allows for longer continuous
tones which in turn reduces the need for constant change and therefore potential
distraction. Considered change is necessary however, to signal that new information
is coming; say a change in a slide, or a verbal discourse, etc etc. To reflect
this kind of behavior I adopted a piano 'motif" that appears throughout
The underlying construction of the piece is a gently ascending movement in
a major key. Western ears associate this with positive, hopeful and uplifting
At 14 minutes long, it should cover the amount of time that one individual
will spend at the booth -- also -- it shouldn't be too annoying for the people
who have to work the booth and hear it again, and again, and again......!!!
I have a fear of coming back as an Ice Cream Van man and being sentenced to
listen to Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" for a living eternity!
The piece is written at 61 beats per minute -- "heartbeat" rate --
calming. I wondered about this a lot -- having a more up-tempo and dynamic piece
can actually add to the energy of the environment and facilitate the information
I used a Korg
Triton that has excellent piano tones and relatively good string tones -- please
note that there is a definite difference in quality between digitally produced
and real strings. For music that has to stand alone -- I would not use "synthesized"
strings -- however, for this kind of music I think it is very appropriate (let
alone economically expedient!)
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