4 April 2022

The musical minds behind our greatest innovation

Interviews
At PHMG, innovation is one of our most treasured brand values – and we’re committed to pushing boundaries in everything we do.

Composing music is hugely time-consuming, and starting every project with a clean sheet of paper would make this task almost impossible.

Instead, two founding members of the Music & Voice team – Head of A&R Lucy Drennan, and A&R Manager Alice Salmon – realised we could forge a framework that our talented composers could use to quickly create unique tracks.

Their idea was devastatingly simple in theory but hugely challenging in execution, and their remarkable work was recognised with a patent in 2020 – giving them genuine inventor status.

 

So how did it come about?

Rewind to 2016, and our business was focused almost entirely on creating top-quality productions for businesses to play to callers queueing, holding or transferring on the telephone.

We offered a library of off-the-shelf tracks for clients to choose from; but we realised we could do more to better reflect each client business’s unique characteristics, and so we vowed to improve our offer by crafting unique tracks for everyone.

“Everyone?”, our creatives asked, with a hint of trepidation in their eyes. “Everyone”, we nodded.

Since day one, we’ve worked with really diverse clients – companies in many different sectors, and different types of brands. It’s a consultative, collaborative relationship where our experts really get to the heart of your brand – asking probing questions to uncover the nuanced details our creatives need.

This generated a huge amount of data, which we realised we could be making better use of, as Alice explains:

Over the years, we’d unintentionally generated a huge data set. When we began paying attention to it, we could immediately pinpoint key trends, highlight different features, and plot musical themes in relation to various industries.

The information we had centred around the adjectives companies use to describe themselves, and we held an initial workshop with experienced members of our Music team, where we matched these words with musical approaches that best embodied these qualities.

When this process was complete, we had built our very first musical database, giving sounds ‘attributes’ that we could use to translate adjectives into musical identities. It was a significant breakthrough, but only the beginning – the birth of a living, breathing musical body. Lucy explains:

Every day, we welcome new clients, make new musical discoveries, see new trends emerge, and learn more about the tastes of audiences in different parts of the world – meaning our methods and approaches to composition are consistently evolving.

The more businesses we get to know, and the more we expand across the globe, the more nuanced and sophisticated our techniques and understanding become.

In addition, we’re exploring new means of capturing data about our clients so we can really harness the power in the information we collect.

Underpinning all of this is the skill of our unbelievably talented composers, who – Alice says, are what is driving this musical revolution.

Within the team, we encourage a completely free approach to composition, so everyone draws on their vast experience and influences to develop sound worlds. It’s here their immense creativity and artistic flair really shines.

Our framework informs things like instrumentation, pitch and tempo, while giving our composers complete creative licence over aspects like structure, melody and genre.

We’re enormously indebted to the skill of our composers, and innovators like Alice and Lucy. It’s their creativity that means we can offer every new client a unique track, and create unlimited edits of each track, so they’re perfectly cut every time they’re put to use.

To find out how our incredible compositions could support your business’s growth ambitions, request a free expert consultation.

 

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