Yessian Nabs Two Gold Lions at Cannes
June 20, 2017 by Andrew Schneider
While Cannes hasn't yet wrapped up, Yessian Music has two reasons to celebrate, nabbing Gold Lions for their work for CLEAR Butoh "Bridezilla" and "Bullish Boss." Both were awarded Lions in the Health category.
Yessian created a full music and sound design for the integrated piece that celebrates the stress and angst of the Butoh Japanese performance art to represent the feeling dandruff gives you. The characters in the three films are meant to embody dandruff, and the conditions that cause dandruff.
"They are uneasy, tense, and frantic in their portrayals," said Yessian's Chief Creative Officer/Partner. "To support this idea with the sound design, we chose a palate of sounds that, to us, are reminiscent of friction, and dissonance. Dandruff by nature is dry and flaky, so the sounds we use to represent this are sounds of gravel, sand, and rocks crumbling and cracking. To give each film its own flavor, we incorporated elements of each narrative."
And the art form of Butoh was the perfect canvas for the characters.
"Butoh is truly a fascinating art form; infinitely modern and post-modern, it simultaneously embraces and eschews convention and tradition, never allowing itself to become fixed in form or custom, particularly now that it has expanded far beyond its Japanese roots," said Yessian. "In its playful elusion of definition and classification, there are no set rules, only 'tendencies,' to paraphrase Iwana Masaki."
That same sentiment applies to the music and sound that might accompany a butoh performance.
"There are no guidelines but the performance itself. In fact, some butoh performances employ no music or sound whatsoever, further still, some may not even require an audience," Yessian said. "Our task with the Clear campaign, was to enhance and bring to further intensity the wonderful drama captured for this collection of spots. It is mostly an instinctual process. Like many butoh pieces, these exist in a world of darkness, grotesquerie and pain. It was essential that we capture the inner cacophony of the protagonists’ turmoil in a captivating and cinematic way, crafting sounds and rhythms that would feel cohesive across all three characters’ stories. For us, the goal was to blur the line between music and sound design, to create a sonic landscape in which one cannot exist without the other, one inextricable from the image itself."
They also took inspiration from the works of Geinoh Yamashirogumi for Katsuhiro Otomo’s film Akira.
"This film is one of the greatest works of animation and science fiction ever created, and the soundtrack is incredibly diverse and absolutely stunning," Yessian said. "Having been instructed to experiment with incorporating traditional Japanese musical instruments and techniques, we felt that the Akira score was a fantastic example for innovative fusion of the traditional and the new. We wanted to capture the foreboding dystopian intensity of this body of work, and apply it to these deeply personal narratives."
"While the sound design component is visceral, tactile and hyper-real, heightening the physicality of the imagery, the musical component depicts the psyche: the clangorous inner sonic and cognitive dissonance of our characters, the drums their heartbeats beating through their chests and throbbing in their temples, the persistent sticks and bells their firing nerves," Yessian concluded.
Mullen Lowe Singapore:
Global ECD: Madhu Noorani
CD: Ang Sheng Jin
CD: Daniel Kee
Art Dir: Andrew Ho
Art Dir: Alex Tan
EP: Fuzzy Zainol Abideen
Acct Director: Sara Templeman
Production: Bullet Bangkok
Exec Producer: Thananath Songchaikul
Director: James Teh
Post Producer: K’Nui Nuio Suthirawatthananon
Post Production: Post Bangkok
Offline: OMG Editing House
Exec Producer: P'Aoy Rungphet Nawangoen
Editor: Adam Hussey
Music & Sound Design: YESSIAN MUSIC
CCO: Brian Yessian
Head of Production: Michael Yessian
Composer: Mike Dragovic
Sound Designer: Weston Fonger