NoiseFloor On Top of the City
January 25, 2017 by Screenmag
Chicago-based audio boutique NoiseFloor recently completed work on an installation for the John Hancock Center's "Tilt" attraction.
NoiseFloor's Devin Delaney and Stosh Tuszynski worked together to create original music and sound design for the videos aired on the 94-floor elevator ride to the 360-degree viewing experience.
The two artists created original music and sound to compliment production company Original Six Media's videos for the attraction. The "Up" and "Down" videos each have their own unique experience: "Up" climbs up the John Hancock building as the elevator ascends and opens to the 65th floor while "Down" takes the viewers on a sprawling tour through some Chicago's neighborhoods, such as Pilsen and Lakeview.
"Stosh and I ran into to the usual challenge of making sure the music and design had a complementary relationship," Delaney said. "The tracks I composed are just immense, so making room for design can be difficult. Happily, Stosh and I work a few walls apart at the same facility and collaborate often, so we were able to game plan our mixes and elements so they would fit together like puzzle pieces. Stosh brought in some amazing realism that makes these some of the least mundane elevator rides around."
The pair was able to put together the entire project in under two weeks and drew inspiration from the heroic feeling of the production company's video footage.
"Musically, the inspiration was super straightforward," Delaney said. "Match the grand sense of scale and scope with a massive cinematic feel. It's really a blast when I get to flex that orchestral muscle. Especially, when I get to take a more modern, hybrid approach; by weaving in rich analog synths, rock guitars and more percussion layers than I could count. The tracks are definitely more in the line of a Marvel movie trailer than the usual easy listening you hear on elevators."
"All of the shots on the "up" video did such a great job of portraying the ridiculous heights of the tower and experience so I wanted the sound to really push the piece over the edge," Tuszynski added. "A lot of that meant carefully choosing where to go really big with design and/or music, and where to pull back to really emphasize the elevation of shots. Devin and I had a fun time figuring out how to maximize that between music and design."
Achieving a high level of design didn't even require that many rides on the elevator.
"I only took a handful of elevator rides, though I felt like I may have creeped some folks out with my stopwatch and vigorous note taking," Delaney says. "Sadly, as cool as it seemed, my fear of heights prevented me from even stepping into the whole Tilt experience."
"Since Devin had the stopwatch and note taking down, I think I took more rides on the elevator to The Signature Room for drinks," Tuszynski added. "Just make sure you do the Tilt experience BEFORE you drink."