Besides ReallySlowMotion there is another young company in the news this year when it comes to Trailer Music: switch., providing artist-driven Trailer Music. From here on you will read a lot about what the composers Nick Murray and Dominik Schwarzer told us about everything that was going on within the last months.

Sound Design has a really big impact on trailers nowadays and sometimes it’s really tough to distinguish between Sound Design and Trailer Music. Before we come to switch.’s Trailer Music placements you therefore gotta check out switch.’s trailer for their Sound Design industry releases BOOM (Deep Low Booms), DRONE (Hauntring Trailer Drones) and BAM (Massive Trailer Hits) – I guess you agree that the names are quite suitable after watching the trailer that has been released in August:

Some trailers rely so heavily on sound design that it is replacing music in certain instances. For me [Nick Murray] it’s about creating new environments and really taking the listeners to a place they’ve never been. My goal is to take recordings of every-day objects and turn them into other-worldly sounds.

Trailer Music companies have been doing sound design releases for years. Most of the time, they pack as much sound design elements as they can into 1 release, meaning they will do 35 hits, 200 rises, 837 swish hits, a million drones, etc. And they pack it all in there.

My theory with the switch. Sound Design Series is to keep the sounds very organized. Instead of 5 million medium-quality trailer sounds in one release, let’s keep it simple for the trailer editors as well and focus on 10 high-end specific sounds instead. Each category will be a separate mini-album.

I bet if anyone of you readers crosses his or her fingers we will get a public release of these Sound Design albums one day! Until then we probably have to create our own Sound Design using everything around us every single day and using also a lot of imagination.

Now let’s have a look at switch.’s Trailer Music placements in 2013 and let’s do this chronologically – starting with the placement of Druzhba in the “Snowpiercer” trailer, followed by a short usage of Reminiscence in the “Dallas Buyers Club” trailer and finally their big placement of Lift in the “Philomena” trailer.

Enjoy the rise of switch. in HD below:

Let’s start from the beginning: On June 13th, switch. was delighted to announce their first placement ever. Druzhba, composed by Nick Murray, had been featured throughout the entire trailer. As the composer himself told us (and as you maybe have guessed after hearing and watching the trailer[0:43]) it was placed by switch.’s South-Korean sub-publisher: “We are very happy for our relationship with them!” You can listen to the action and – compared to other tracks by switch. – very typical Trailer Music cue on Youtube and you can also purchase it on ITunes and Amazon.

Then on August 28th a small piece of  Reminiscence could be found in the “Dallas Buyers Club” trailer from minute 0:20 on. You can only hear the piano part of the cue you can now entirely hear on Youtube:

We heard about the possible placement for Reminiscence and have been scouring the internet for any sign of the trailer! So when it popped up a few days ago, we were very excited. This song is on our first album “Lift” and you can actually see some footage of the recordings for this on our [Behind the Scenes] video.

In fact, if I remember correctly, Dominik said it was his favorite song on the album. He tears up ever time he listens to it!

Reminiscence is featuring an “amazing emotional” solo cello by Tina Guo” as well as “beautiful solo violin by Jenny Bae” and is composed by Dominik Schwarzer and Nick Murray. You can purchase it now on Itunes. Here’s some background information about how the track actually came together:

A song like this would not survive with just MIDI programming. It had to be live players:

We were doing a full album of really epic uplifting heart-pumping music and we wanted to do at least 1 song that was somewhat of a break in the action. Something that still had some emotion to it, but wasn’t too sappy. Dominik wrote the piano part first and sent it to me. I immediately popped it into Logic and cut it up a little, and then wrote the string parts. We first got Tina Guo on board and were very excited because she really has that unique emotional sound to her cello playing that would really put a nice touch to this song. I then approached Jenny Bae about doing some violin on it as well. When she said she would, we were thrilled to have one of the best cellists and one of the best violinists in the world on the same song. We then recorded the full string orchestra (Capellen Orchestra [as for the track “Lift”]) in the Czech Republic to give it that cinematic feel.

Dominik was in Germany, I was in Utah, Tina recorded her cello parts on tour with Cirque du Soleil while she was in Washington DC I believe, Jenny was in London, strings were in Czech Republic, and it was mixed in LA. All for 1 song! Thank goodness for Skype! It really is quite amazing how music is made these days.

Anyway, we’re very happy with the placement in the Dallas Buyers Club trailer and would like to thank the music supervisor and editors who used our music!

Then at the end of September switch. landed a really big, “exciting placement” in the “Philomena” trailer. Just as “Dallas Buyers Club” before, “Philomena” has been a big success at the TIFF. This time though you heard switch.’s Lift from 0:59 until the very ending. Apart from Joel Stevenett‘s drums, Michael Ripoll‘s guitar and the the Capellen Orchestra’s strings you hear the voice of Dominik Schwarzer who is not only a composer of switch.’s uplifting epic pop rock album which is also called “Lift.”
Already the track Lift itself is a great example for how many persons every time create the outstanding cues we enjoy so much. Therefore the others shall not be forgotten: Petr Pololanik (the conductor of the Two Steps From Hell concert this summer) has been responsible for conducting all the strings mentioned above.  Jeremiah Pena and David Cobb again proved to be great assistants and editors. Mark Needham did all the mixing as Erick Labson was responsible for the mastering. And last but not least there is Will Brierre who is responsible for the recording of Dominik’s voice in this piece.

Leaving alone the track itself, this list should be enough to convince you purchasing the cue instantly 🙂 You find it on Itunes and Amazon. Those who are still not impressed should have a listen to the entire track on Youtube before making a final decision:

This is an exciting placement for us because it embodies exactly what we were aiming for with our album “Lift” – that is to write music that would be great for uplifting movie trailers. It was an experiment, but we are ecstatic that the editors of this trailer saw our vision and took a risk as well as it is the trailer that the producers ended up using.

We hope that this opens the doors to other trailer editors; that they will see how these songs can be used to really bring the emotion out in a trailer. Hopefully someone will place “I Can Feel You” soon!!

As Nick Murray mentioned earlier the internet really changes the way of recording tracks nowadays. And also Dominik Schwarzer told us again how the production of Lift only was possible because of modern technologies:

Actually Nick called me up on my cellphone to bring me the good news!

Nick is a brave investor in the future of music. He has done something completely different with “Lift”. He put his time and money into a project, to work with a guy from Hamburg, Germany, he has never met before. He only heard my music online and thought I was talented. Today I am just glad this trailer placement proves he wasn’t wrong!

Whenever there are trailers there is also much editing going on. Here is another concluding interesting fact by Nick Murray according to the specific piece of Lift that made it into the trailers. The info also includes another hint on the upcoming (maybe even public!) album by switch.:

The trailer company that was cutting the “Philomena” trailer actually contacted me a few weeks ago to have me compose an original cue for the trailer. I wrote a new cue for them that was somewhat dramatic, emotional, and a bit edgy. They liked it and put it in a version of the different spots they were pitching to the producers of “Philomena”. A week or two later they got back to me and said that they actually placed “Lift” in another version – a more uplifting cut, and that the producers of the film really liked this version instead. So my original cue I sent to them didn’t end up making it on the trailer (but will be released on our next album instead).

Make sure to follow switch.’s next step on their website, on Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube and on Twitter!

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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