Since Germany is a big football country, Adam should already be a famous composer at least in here. Almost everyone knows this spot showing a technician dressing a football lawn:

Volkswagen DFB Pokal main theme ident

Although it’s shown nationwide in Germany during every single German Football Cup match on TV, nobody knows who’s behind the music of the spot. Nobody knows that together with sound engineer Milan Adamik composer Adam Brown has already worked for Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, BBC, the United Nations and many more. Therefore we would to introduce you to him and his music with this interview. You will read how he became a composer and how he would compose the hymn for his favorite football player, as well as if he thinks that music can change the world and what kind of a non-apocalypic “bang” is wating for us in the near future!
1. How and why did you become a composer?

I actually decided to become a composer at quite a late age. For years and years I was going to be a professional Tuba player; studying at Purcell School of Music, Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music. Suddenly I had the urge to make music rather than performing. This was for a number of reasons. Sadly performing classical music seems to be fading out nowadays. But obviously that wasn’t the only reason! Because of the amazing experiences in different orchestras when I was 14 – 19 I desperately wanted to make the music the musicians were performing. I loved playing music myself…but actually making the music become a long term ambition. When I look back I know I made the right decision.

2. How does it feel to make a living with your own compositions?

It feels great. It’s still a very early stage in my career yet teaming up with a world class sound engineer has been the best thing to happen to me so far! Milan is a great person to work with and even though it is fairly recent since we ‘teamed up’ together, he is a close friend who I respect considerably. Now we work together and I can focus on the music which is a huge help for my creativity.

Overall it is a fantastic experience doing something you love. It’s an opportunity which makes me feel proud…so many people go through life having jobs which they don’t like and because of the hard work and perseverance so far I don’t think I will be have to be in that position. There’s still a long way to go to reach my goals, but I am prepared to go all the way and make it happen!

3. Why is Chelsea your favorite football club?

Simple, my father! I always used to support Man Utd when I was younger just to have a bit of rivalry with him. But then I started going to games such as the FA Cup 1997 & finals and this started off my love for all things blue. Since then I’ve been a big fan going to between 10 and 20 games every season. It’s a great way to bond with my father, who is a massive fan, and a great experience to see your team in the flesh.

4. Who is your favorite player and how would sound his personal hymne if you could compose it?

Didier Drogba. Mainly because he won us the Champions League last year. He’s a player who I’ve loved to watch and will be missed dearly! The hymn would be a triumphant fanfare in celebration of being London’s first ever European Champions.

5. Tell us about your composition for Volkswagen and the DFB Cup (see introduction). How did it all start?

It was a simple process really. Lots of different composers ‘pitched’ to the production company with their own personal demos. It’s always the case in the advertising industry. It was one of my first major commercials and was a gigantic opportunity. One that is shown nationwide in Germany during every single German Football Cup match on TV. I demo’d for the job and the client (VW) decided to go with my music after a few little tweaks. It was a fantastic experience and certainly has been a big help getting interest from other companies.

6. Your music was also featured in the UN Aids Campaign. Can music change the world?

United Nations Aids Campaign

I’d love to say it could but I’m not too sure. Although I will say that music can change your emotions which in turn can make you think differently. It might not be able to directly change the world but it can certainly make you think certain things…especially music with lyrics. Having said that emotional music can certainly have an effect, but a different, less direct effect to music with certain lyrics.

7. Why are lyrics that important?

Lyrics are important because you can directly relate to them. That’s probably why I love Morrissey, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen etc so much…because they talk about every day subjects such as anger, love, broken relationships, bad experiences, a bit of everything really! Obviously the music is something that I love too but the lyrics make it much more personal. Songs like ‘Please, Please, Please Let me Get What I Want’ are fantastic and literally sums up some past experiences for me personally. The lyrics “Haven’t had a dream in a long time, see the look I’ve had can make a good man turn bad”, are like poetry, they’re magical and make the musical experience even better. Lyrics don’t always have to be about sad or negative things though! They can be uplifting and positive. Funnily enough when I was young I used to dislike all of the above artists until a certain age. My father always used to listen to them in the car and I used to laugh…but looking back I can’t believe how I didn’t understand the true brilliance of them!

8. What is your favorite instrument?

Tuba. By a country mile. I loved playing the instrument and it was the reason why I wanted to compose music in the first place. Over the years I had a wonderful experience and it is the instrument closest to my heart.

9. Do you have a favourite track, composer, album?

That’s a tough one! In terms of film music I love John Barry, Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer and Charlie Clouser. I would say two of my favorite pieces of film music would be John Barry’s ‘Dances with Wolves’ theme and Morricone’s ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ theme from The Mission. Two outstanding pieces of music which will never sound dated! Not only do I love the pieces but I performed both several times with brass bands when I was a lot younger.

John Barry Orchestra Dances with Wolves

In regards to other music I am a massive Bruce Springsteen fan, having seen him seven times (until next year!). His music really speaks to me. It is something I can relate to on a personal level. Tom Petty is another ‘biggie’ for me. Morrissey too. I love lots of different styles of music, anything from classical to death metal. In regards to favourite songs that would be a very tough one! I’d say ‘Thunder Road’ (Springsteen) or ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ (Morrissey/The Smiths) are my all time favourites.

10. What do you think about the James Bond franchise, especially the music?

Personally I have never been a Bond fan. So it’s hard to comment on the franchise really. The music is one of the most recognisable ‘themes’ of all time and it is perfect for the films for sure. It certainly works very well – giving a suave and sophisticated sound. Although I’m not a Bond fan…I’ll be seeing Skyfall at somepoint since it has had so much recognition musically – supposedly the best bond of all time?

11. How do you think about choirs in Soundtracks or Trailer Music?

To be honest I haven’t used a great deal of choirs myself. Mainly because I haven’t had the need to. I did use a ‘hint’ of choirs in a piece of Trailer Music actually (Note: It’s called “The Beast Inside”). This was to add a haunting quality into the track. Choirs do add another level to soundtracks I must admit! They make the piece even bigger than with just an orchestra.

12. You told us that you are about to kick of with a “bang” in 2013. Please give us a hint about it!

Mmmmm well I’ve had a lot on recently. Especially in the Motion Picture Advertising world! Me and Milan worked very hard for a lot of different Trailer cues which are currently being ‘presented’ to different film production companies around the world. In the Trailer Music world we’re newbies…however, it really has helped our confidence and quality of music too. Trailer Music has to be world class standard music and production.

I have recently been commissioned for an upcoming musical on a long term process. Sadly I cannot say any more than that…other than I’m thrilled to be part of it! It’s the biggest thing to happen to me so far and could be a gigantic milestone in my musical career. Since I have only recently teamed up with Milan (Dual Motion Music), it’s still very early days for us both. But considering how much work I have done alone, the sky’s the limit for us both. We’re going to go all out next year and try and reach as close to the top as possible!

13. Any other projects you would like to tell us about?

There’s so many great projects that I have worked on recently. The BBC Documentary Series, Treasures of Ancient Rome was a highlight earlier on in the year. It was great work on a United Nations campaign too. It was a great experience for me. All for a good cause too! Ham and the Piper was my first ever commission back in 2010 so that experience certainly spurred me on to getting more and more work in the film industry.

14. Mulled wine or grog these days?

Neither! I am not a big drinker really. Although I must admit I’d certainly rather have mulled wine if I had to choose.

15. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Yes, I want to thank everyone who has helped me so far. Everyone who has given me opportunities and made me who I am. Composing is a gradual process and a very tough industry to crack but with the right people on your side it certainly makes things easier. I’d like to thank Milan Adamik (my engineer) because he has taken my music to a different level. He has been a huge deal of inspiration to me and I am very proud to be working with him. We work together every day as part of a creative duo called ‘Dual Motion’.

Also I’d love to give a big thank you to all of my friends who have helped me in the past. I know it sounds cheesy but I have had some wonderful friends who have got me through tough times. Again, without my friends, I’d not be at this stage in my career!

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Check out Dual Motion Music’s website, Dual Motion Music on Facebook and Adam Brown on Facebook and have a listen to his tracks on soundcloud.

Posted by Peter F. Ebbinghaus

Based in Berlin, Germany. Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Music Producer at Eon Sounds Productions. Founder of Composers for Relief. Keeps Moving.

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