Soothing Strings & Piano, written to assist information assimilation
This was written to accompany a particular event concerned with identification.
Here is the reasoning:
Objective: Enhance the delivery of visual and verbal information through the creation of an auditory environment that stimulates the receiver's awareness without distracting them from the core message.
Target audience: Corporate / Government professionals
Environment: Tradeshow, busy exhibition hall, display booth
Having looked at the nature of the project, my instinct was to deliver something very calming. Having worked booths at trade shows, I know how busy and frenetic the environment can be; the very nature of a trade show means that attendees are receiving huge amounts of information in a short space of time.
The whole point of "background" music is that it is not the primary information, when reviewing the efficacy of a piece, it is important to be undertaking the kind of behavior that the piece was produced for. That's a long way of saying - be looking at the slides and think about what you will be doing when this is playing!
The piece is predominately string based which allows for longer continuous tones which in turn reduces the need for constant change and therefore potential distraction. Considered change is necessary however, to signal that new information is coming; say a change in a slide, or a verbal discourse, etc etc. To reflect this kind of behavior I adopted a piano 'motif" that appears throughout the piece.
The underlying construction of the piece is a gently ascending movement in a major key. Western ears associate this with positive, hopeful and uplifting outcomes.
At 14 minutes long, it should cover the amount of time that one individual will spend at the booth - also - it shouldn't be too annoying for the people who have to work the booth and hear it again, and again, and again......!!! I have a fear of coming back as an Ice Cream Van man and being sentenced to listen to Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" for a living eternity!
The piece is written at 61 beats per minute - "heartbeat" rate - calming. I wondered about this a lot - having a more up-tempo and dynamic piece can actually add to the energy of the environment and facilitate the information delivery.
I used a Korg Triton that has excellent piano tones and relatively good string tones - please note that there is a definite difference in quality between digitally produced and real strings. For music that has to stand alone - I would not use "synthesized" strings - however, for this kind of music I think it is very appropriate (let alone economically expedient!)
Identification is part of The Reader's Playlist.