SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- May 26, 2010 -- Nylon Studios’ award-winning composer Michael Yezerski recently completed the score for the feature length film, The Waiting City. Working from his studio in Sydney, Yezerski is known for creating diverse musical scores and compositions for feature films and advertising campaigns, alongside his work as an established world music composer.

The Waiting City (director Claire McCarthy, starring Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton) is the upcoming Australian feature film following the story of a young couple who travel to Calcutta in order to retrieve their newly adopted child -- only to find the arrangements are not complete once they arrive. The story unfolds to reveal a fragile, complicated marriage and reality as Westerners attempting to understand the labyrinthine city.

Spending several weeks in Calcutta, Yezerski worked and experimented with local musicians who provided musical rhythms and textures to which he applied his signature melodies. The resulting score is filled with rich sounds from unique local instruments.

Yezerski’s career highlights include composing for feature length films such as Elissa Down’s feature length film Black Balloon (2008) and Clayton Jacobson’s Kenny, to providing music for major advertising campaigns such as Snickers, Jeep and McDonalds. For Black Balloon he won the 2008 Australian Screen Music Award for Best Soundtrack Album and Best Original Song. His independent work includes working with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Art Museum, Gondwana Voices and collaborating with composer and conductor, Richard Tognetti.

For more info on Michael visit MichaelYezerski.com and http://www.nylonstudios.com/



Mark Beckhaus Shares Point of View: Online Music Piracy

Online piracy of music has been an out-of-control wildfire for too long. Until publishers and record companies can completely overhaul the pricing model it will continue. Spotify is a big step in a better direction, hopefully it will be adopted by US companies soon.

In terms of the current download model, I'm happy to pay my $1 a track and $10 an album to iTunes, as I'm a copyright owner myself and can appreciate the value and afford it. But for the average 12 year old it's too much. They need to make it so cheap that it's not worth ripping off, say 10c a track. Then they'll get the buy in and acceptance of copyright by the masses.

For more info on Nylon Studios' Globel EP Mark Beckhaus or Nylon visit NylonStudios.com



Composer Blair Joscelyne is a man of many sounds, unusual instruments and ideas. Recently, Australia Creative Magazine covered the intricacies inside Blair's musical mind.

To view the featured piece please click here.

For more info on Blair Joscelyne or Nylon Studios visit http://www.nylonstudios.com/



The term ninja has attained buzzword status in recent years thanks to the tech industry’s affinity for dramatic job titles.

Professional networking site LinkedIn lists more than 800 ninja-related occupations, past and present. Type “ninja” into the site’s search field and the first result is an ad man: MDC Partners chief innovation officer Faris Yakob, who worked at Naked Communications for five years as digital ninja.

Challenge this new breed of ninja to a street fight and you’ll face a dizzying assault of computer lingo and interactive marketing speak.

Unfortunately, that kind of defense won’t cut it on the mean streets of Sydney, which is why Nylon Studios composer Blair Joscelyne studies ninjutsu survival tactics every Wednesday night with a group of black-clad men he knows nothing about.

In 2002, he was perusing the Yellow Pages for an athletic, after-work hobby and spotted an ad for Ninjutsu Australia. After observing one class, he was intrigued and signed up to study the philosophies and unorthodox combat strategies practiced by warriors in feudal Japan.

For Joscelyne, who is now a black belt, ninjutsu offers a mix of athletic training and character building unlike anything he experiences composing ad music. He has trained in various survival skills, and traditional and improvised weaponry including cutlery, magazines, swords, ninja stars and rope.

“Being a musician I come from a culture where everyone is really friendly and open,” he says. “Studying ninjutsu was the first time in my life that I realized, wow there is no small talk here - there is no life beyond the two hours of training.”

At first, he admits the steely silence of the training hall was terrifying. The students do not engage in chatter, address each other by surname and do not acknowledge each other outside the class.

“I have no idea what their names are or what their jobs are,” he says. “They also have no idea what my name is or what my job is even though I’ve seen them once or twice a week every week for almost a decade.”

He describes ninjutsu as “extremely confronting”, but more practically-minded than other martial arts, such as karate. Students are taught to think preemptively and do whatever it takes to diffuse a conflict, with violence employed only as a last resort.

The sensei uses an adrenalin-based technique that involves pushing, slapping or screaming at the students until they are in a genuinely fearful state. Whereas karate teaches students just to respond to specific punches and kicks, the ninja also learns to control this destabilizing rush of adrenalin.

The ninja’s focus benefits Joscelyne in everyday life. Once while taking the train with friends on a Friday night, another passenger became unruly, started shouting and pointed his finger threateningly in his direction.

“I started yelling at myself and insulting myself loudly,” he says. “And he sort of sat down [as if he] thought ‘this guy’s crazy’ and we got off the train and went home. As much as that seems ridiculous, the point of ninjutsu is to do what you need to do to get home safely.”

This article marks the first time he’s spoken about his stealthy hobby at length. He’s breaking his silence now because he believes the centered attitude he’s cultivated over the past eight years can be of benefit to others.

“It’s like performing with music. I’ve always felt nervous getting up performing live,” he says. “I don’t think that fear ever goes away. You just learn how to manage it.”

Article: Kevin Ritchie for boards Magazine.
For more info on Blair and Nylon Studios visit http://www.nylonstudios.com/



Previously posted in sourceEcreative

By Mark Beckhaus, executive producer, Nylon Studios

Only a short time ago, Madison Avenue coined the phrase ‘branded content’ to capture the growing fusion of entertainment and advertising: in a branded content world, marketers fund the creation of everything from TV shows and films to webisodes and videogames, implicitly delivering a brand message, and explicitly entertaining audiences far and wide.

Within the branded content arena, though, music is still finding its place. While the advertising community has always understood the power of music, from the jingles of yesteryear to the hit song licensing deals of today, there must be something new for music in the branded content arena.

In fact, there is. We believe we are on the exciting cusp of a new era in branded music content, where marketers have evolved their role to that of a record label. Where today some marketers are engaging musical artists for ‘one-off’ advertising initiatives, we imagine a slightly different world, where big brands actually conceptualize and create bands, nurture the artist throughout their career, and act as an ongoing marketing and financial resource.

Think about it as reverse engineering in music. Whereas once the recording industry broke new bands to the mainstream, now brands have the opportunity to conceptualize, create, and market a band, from scratch.

Several trends are colluding to make this ‘brands and bands’ movement possible: given the disintegration of the traditional recording industry, artists are looking for new ways to connect with audiences. With the tremendous media spends associated with an advertising campaign, artists can gain valuable exposure through a marketing initiative that they might not find elsewhere. Artists used to be fearful of selling out, but now 360 degree marketing deals are commonplace and artists are open to them.

The advent of digital technology, too, makes it easier than ever to break an artist through social media platforms like MySpace and Facebook. Consider social media a modern day focus group: if fans don’t groove on a band’s MySpace introduction, a brand can reconsider further plans.

Plus, five to 10 years ago it wasn’t cool for a band to associate itself with a brand. These days, consumers only care if the music is good, it doesn’t bother them that music might be generated through an advertising initiative.

Brands understand the appeal of owning their own branded music content, while taking part in the success of the artist and all the business benefits a hit song brings to them. Given these powerful shifts in thinking and behavior, there now exist limitless opportunities for brands and bands. In the future, we anticipate brands launching a new artist with all the bells-and-whistles: a full album release, followed by concert tours, in store appearances, merchandizing and other promotions, will be the order of the day.

In other countries the assimilation of artists with brands is nothing new. In Japan, record companies typically go to an ad agency first (as opposed to radio stations) to find a place for their artists’ music. In China, Pepsi recently launched a record label (AdAge, 8/12/09, “Pepsi Rocks With a New Generation of Chinese Bands”).

At my company, Nylon Studios, we have explored the bands and brands strategy for Famous Footwear, Benadryl and JC Penney. For Famous Footwear we created an artist of our own imagination and marketing, Valentyne Krush, who in turn created the music for the global shoe brand. First, a spot featuring a :30 track entitled “Hold Tight” was introduced to consumers. Then a full 3-minute version of the song was made available on ITunes and can still be heard in its entirety at http://www.myspace.com/valentynekrush. In conjunction with agency Campbell Mithune, we are responsible for launching, merchandising, marketing and selling the band’s music, while simultaneously representing Famous Footwear’s brand strategy. Singer M Gilbert is the band’s frontwoman, while Nylon composers O.C. Chang and Scott Langley wrote and produced the songs. The agency wanted to reinvent the Famous Footwear brand in a more contemporary way so it made sense for us to introduce Valentyne Krush and the band’s music in a way that would convey true pop credibility.

While the ‘bands and brands’ strategy is unique, big brands, agencies and music studios are exploring other new and different ways to work with artists to create branded music content. Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has an ongoing relationship with DJ/producer Tomoyuki Tanaka (aka Fantastic Plastic Machine) and most recently asked him to create the soundtrack for Uniqlo’s screensaver/widget, the Uniqlo Calendar.

Another innovative example of branded music content: Microsoft tapped rock musician Tim Vanhamel to perform in banner ads promoting Belgian bank Axion’s Banner Concerts campaign. The Banner Concerts campaign, an online battle-of-the-bands-type scenario developed by agency Boondoggle, found viewers voting for the best band after seeing them perform within the banner ad medium; the agency even asked the bands to art direct their banners while the artists themselves publicized their Axion Banner concert on social networking sites.

For a brand/band initiative to be successful, it has to be cool. This is paramount. While consumers more readily accept the notion of a brand sponsoring the creation of music, they remain leery of anything that feels pandering or promotional. This means that overeager marketers must exercise restraint and integrity: tagging a mnemonic at the end of a song’s track, or putting a brand logo on the CD cover…will be the kiss of death.

The strategic challenge then becomes to ensure the band fits with the brand. If an agency develops a band, it is critical the artist reflect the marketer’s ethos.

The upside for marketers and artists is tremendous. A brand, in its exclusive representation of a band, creates incredible affinity with people through a hit record. Consumers benefit the most: the rich world of music is again brought to their doorstep, this time, from a brand near you.

For more info on Nylon Studios' Globel EP Mark Beckhaus or Nylon visit NylonStudios.com