MUSIC: BANG THE DRUM EARLY

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Bang Music's Lyle Greenfield is a man with a mission. Co-partner with composer Christopher Joannou at the New York commercials music studio -- known for producing inventive tracks for the likes of Sprite's "Obey Your Thirst" campaign, Chiclet's "Road Trip" and KFC's "Occasions" -- Greenfield wants to change the way ad agencies work.

The specific blasphemy he proposes is to involve music makers from the start of the ad production process. He knows of agency producers who come to a music shop 48 hours before the client's deadline. Worse, they'll want something that sounds like this or that, as they rummage around their record collections.

Greenfield would break the tonearm off most spot editors' record players, and smash their CD collections, in his quest to promote original music for commercials. "Too often we only see the spot after the editors have already dropped the needle on some lame pop song favorite of theirs," Greenfield evangelizes. "At that point, they've already polluted the agency's mind by cutting the spot to music they may not be able to get, or that will cost a fortune and still not be integral to the advertising anyway. We live in a music-driven culture; therefore music should come first and the rest will follow."

So, in an ideal world, music houses would get the boards early on and let the tunecrafters sit in on the preproduction meetings, so they can prepare a "pre-score" that can become part of the creative evolution of the spot.

This method paid off recently in the Jeff Gorman-directed spot "Wig," for Sprite Light via Berlin Cameron & Partners in New York. Bang's pre-score was played during the filming of the dance-party setting of the commercial. It made editing and scoring it much more fluid, says Greenfield, who is also the national president of AMP (Association of Music Producers), a recently formed professional group that promotes just these kinds of ideas. That ambassadorship notwithstanding, Greenfield thinks that the patch-job approach to last-minute scoring is partly music houses' own fault. Or at least, he believes, that it has been promulgated by "jingle-hacks who were defeated in some other part of the music business" and retreated to ad music for an easy buck.

Bang's composers, in addition to Joannou, are Stephen Cullo and Jane Mangini. All perform and record music outside of the commercials business. As Bang turns 10 at the millennium, Greenfield wants the shop to continually recreate itself as a creative music boutique that can "cause the waves of music trends rather than just surf them." The company has set up an office in Santa Monica to "get a little bit closer to the record and film business." It seems to work: Bang's Cullo scored the just released Belly, the first feature film from music video director Hype Williams. Perhaps just as ambitiously, Bang formed its own CD label, Notorious Records. Why? Greenfield sees it as an unfettered way to be creative: "It's to record and release music of our own invention without

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