Music IQ // The Role of Energy

In almost every film, TV show, commercial, and any other moving image you watch, the role of music plays a vital role in dictating a mood to the scene and story.  Whether it comes from a critical and emotion point, or a sparse reflective scene, musical placement is integral in setting a tone and highlighting a moment.

Although it's not the focal point, music is more felt than heard in film, and yet there is a method to the madness of music placement.  A lot of what goes into crafting a soundtrack relies heavily on Energy (in other words, the "vibe" of the song).  Musical placement walks the thin line of adding to the image, yet not taking over, giving space to what is happening on screen.  The role of Energy can be dictated by a myriad of different elements, some of them being percussion, volume, speed, and overall busyness of the composition.  Let's take a look at some examples.

 

High Energy

All Or Nothing by Derby

This driving rock song sets a high energetic tone with anthemic guitars and the constant drums providing a heavy pulse.   This song has a lot of upbeat attitude, which helps propel the energy level with hand claps and lots of textures coming in and out. 

This song provides the soundtrack in a collaboration we had with Coava Coffee, Timbers Army and Factory North for Art Takeover - an upcoming art fundraiser for Harper's Park. The music helps heighten the excitement expressed in this video, matching the energy level of the people talking about this project.

 

Mid Energy

Love And Oceans by The Dimes

With a high organic and percussive element to this song, this composition is driven by group vocals and acoustic textures.  The energy is steady and consistent and keeps moving along with voices and instruments coming in and out of the song.  There is a triumphant quality to this composition, but it never gets over the top. 

This song makes an appearance on a Chase Platinum Business spot that we recently worked on.  It helps move the emotional imagery of family presented in this vignette, and travels with the images creating a nice pace and movement.

Low Energy

Quinn Gunnar by Matthew Morgan

There is no percussion in this compostition, so it has a lower energy level to it without a pulse to drive it.  There is a more open quality with out too many textures filling the space.  The piano has a slow and epic melodic quality that has an overall nostalgic and constantly moving. 

This song was placed in a moving sports documentary by our friends at Stillmotion about the story of a life long dream of a fan becoming a reality.  This composition is a perfect match for the dreamlike quality of this film, there is a surreal nature to this piece and it gives space for the contemplative and serene aspects of this documentary.