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Without its killer track, Nike's "Masks" would be shots of athletes jumping around in funny hats; Agoraphone principal Beth Urdang tells us about the search for the perfect song.

Where did you find the track?

First off, I must note that my partner Dawn Sutter Madell suggested the track and oversaw the collection of music on our end. She's shy, which is a great opportunity for me to take all the credit-just kidding. The literal answer is that the track, "Migration," can be found on the 1993 Cop Shoot Cop record Ask Questions Later. A more figurative, and possibly more interesting answer is that somewhere in the recesses of Dawn's brain is a storehouse of really unique but highly aggressive tracks that seem to find their find their way into interesting places.

How did you know that it fit with this project?

Our first conversation with the creatives [Storm Tharp, Mark Fitzloff and Mike Byrne] and producer Jeff Selis was about exploring a variety of ideas that might work with, against or parallel to their concept and the visuals that Tarsem was going to shoot. We talked about it being aggressive but really pushing the ways to explore that. When most people think of "aggressive" music, there is often a tendency to just think "fast." In this case, we really wanted to think as widely as possible. We typically start working on projects very early-well before the edit or even the shoot, for that matter-but it's not always the case that you know so early that a track will indeed work. In this case, both the agency and the director felt strongly that this track would work very early on.

Were you given any parameters?

There were no specific parameters or limitations in terms of genre or sound, but we were offered excellent reference points that gave a sense of what it should feel like. There was discussion of levels of tension and aggression within the spot, but they really wanted to play around with how that tension would manifest itself musically. So it wasn't just, "Give us a lot of aggressive tracks," but rather the opposite: "Consider how the presence and absence of tension and aggression in the music will affect this spot." It's wonderful to work with people who think like that, because then it doesn't come down to "chasing a sound," or worse yet, a mimicry of a sound, but rather thinking how different tracks would fit into a larger aesthetic framework.

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