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PROPELLER Scores New Animated Merlion Installation

Creates sound for installation at Singapore?s Sentosa Island Resort (August 06, 2004)

When the new four-minute animated installation for the Merlion Visitor Experience on Singapores Sentosa Island needed an authentic regional sound combined with a big film-score feeling, New Yorks PROPELLER was up to the challenge.

?Weve done a lot of projects that draw inspiration from music indigenous to various parts of the world, says PROPELLER creative director/composer Doug Hall, who was awarded the project over composers in Singapore and Chicago. ?The Merlion project originally called for someone who could provide the real deal in Malay music, so I started with a palette of authentic sounds from that part of the world, including the percussive Gamalan orchestras of Indonesia. But as the project developed and the client wanted more drama, I combined these tone colors with a bigger, more orchestral palette for a blend of Asia and the west.

?The goal was to fuse instrumental elements from Singapore and the region with elements of a traditional film score like strings and brass, while still keeping the focus on indigenous sounds, adds John McDaniel who mixed the score at Sonic Arts Digital Audio Services, Inc. in Cincinnati. ?Doug had the unique ability to combine that authenticity with a film-score sensibility.

PROPELLERs score accompanies an all-animated installation at Sentosa Islands 37-meter tall Merlion landmark. The new visitor experience, which includes pre-show exhibits, dioramas and the animated presentation, was produced by Cincinnati-based design and master-planning firm Jack Rouse Associates (JRA). The Merlion job was part of a bigger project to redevelop several attractions on the resort island in Singapore harbor.

Merlion, a mermaid with the head of a lion, is Singapores benevolent guardian and a mystery of the sea. The animated presentation, created by Hollywoods ACME Filmworks, showcases the storm that threatened Prince Sang Nila Utama in the 11th century as he traveled to the island he would name Singapore, or Lion City, and traces the development of Merlion as the island nations symbol of welcome and guardian of good fortune.

Hall scored to pencil tests of the animation with narration. ?Its truly a miniature film score; the music helps tell the story, he explains. ?We used our new, John Storyk-designed live room to record a string quartet, trombone and french horn players and flautist David Weiss, who plays in the Broadway production of ?The Lion King and excels on all kinds of exotic flutes. These tracks supplemented my own collection of samples, including some bright-sounding Gamalan percussion and some deep Asian drums.

The animation concludes in modern-day Singapore, which called for a transition to a more modern, international sound. ?I had a lot of fun with the end section, which combined Asian-inflected strings with guitars and world-beat drums, Hall says. ?The presentation climaxes with an energetic fusion of percussion and orchestra.

?The entire Merlion experience has a lot of drama, and the client was looking to make a real impact with the film, notes Sonic Arts McDaniel. ?Doug and PROPELLER delivered magnificently.

McDaniel served as Sonic Arts executive producer for the project, performed the 5.1 surround mix and teamed with Austin Gorrigan on the sound design which reached its peak in the big storm sequence. Jeff Kraemer was executive producer at JRA.

For a Quicktime please go to the following site and click on 'Merlion':

62 West 45th Street, 10th Fl., NYC 10036
Executive producer: Iris Schaffer
telephone: 1-888-744-5550


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Related Keywords:PROPELLER, Merlion, Sentosa Island Resort, Merlion Visitor Experience, Doug Hall, John McDaniel, Sonic Arts Digital Audio Services, Jack Rouse Associates, ACME Filmworks, John Storyk, David Weiss, Sonic Arts, Austin Gorrigan, Jeff Kraemer,


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