CNN INTERNATIONAL /
AUDIO AGENCY: Expansion Team
ROLE: Creative Director, Composer
Composers: Michael Picton, Gooding, Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.
In 2oo8, CNN challenged me to reinvent “news music” for the 21st Century.
What began as a competitive pitch blossomed into a strategic and creative process over two years long. Working with my staff at Expansion Team and a select group of composers, we examined the history of sound related to news, from ancient cultures to current trends, and created one of the most forward-thinking audio identity packages on air.
I delivered our research findings at the 2010 Audio Branding Congress in Hamburg, Germany and later published an in-depth essay on the subject of news music in the 2010 Audio Branding Academy Yearbook, which can be purchased here on Amazon.
Over the course of the engagement, we developed a large toolkit of region-specific network themes which, based on our research on musical recognition, were composed to be consistent in chord progression rather than melody. This allowed us to maintain consistency across an enormous range of international musical styles.
We also created a malleable audio logo comprised of distinct percussive hits. The themes displayed here are just a sampling of the larger brand identity package.
CNN Freedom Project
The success of our audio identity led to subsequent stages of brand audio development, including a theme for the CNN Freedom Project. Launched in 2010, this noble initiative seeks the abolition of human trafficking. By shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplifying the voices of the victims and highlighting success stories, CNN is playing a vocal role in helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life.
World Cup Anthem
To support CNN International's coverage of the 2010 World Cup in Johhannesburg, South Africa, I composed the theme music used throughout the event coverage and promotion. I also created several remixes with different instrumentation and tempos that allowed CNN's producers to keep their audience excited and engaged.