by MATT GALLAGHER, Red Herring
Providing a one-stop shop for music soundtracks for TV and film producers, konsonant/ is rewriting the rules for how soundtracks are produced. The company’s database features music that is unique and written by real film composers, artists and real bands from around the world. “We pride ourselves as the boutique library for soundtracks,” said Gil Talmi, composer and creative director at konsonant/. “Everything on our site is exclusive to konsonant/.”
Like its database, the company takes a unique approach in how it creates its soundtracks. Such was the case in the production of the music for PBS NOVA’s Ultimate Mars Challenge, a documentary on NASA’S Mars Rover that was composed by Talmi on an iPhone during commutes on New York’s subway.
The documentary on Mars required space age sounds, which the Nodebeat iPhone app fit perfectly. The app places nodes on a screen, with other adjacent nodes placed next to it, with their proximity to the central node affecting the tones and rhythms produced. Talmi’s fellow subway passengers likely thought he was playing a video game, perhaps because he was smiling so much, but the composer was actually constructing music that personified the feeling of space, perfect for telling the tale of the Rover mission and NASA’s latest exploration of Mars.
Talmi and fellow composer Andrew Gross, who also co-owns the company, came up with the idea for konsonant/ when some filmmaker friends needed to score a film but had a very limited budget. The two composers sent the friends a CD of music they had recorded but had yet to use for commercial purposes. The music ended up being used in the film. “That’s when the light bulb came on,” Talmi remembered. “Instead of this music just sitting around in a drawer, we decided to create a vehicle for people to use it.”
konsonant/’s library today holds over 2,000 songs, and is powered by a proprietary search engine that uses keywords and search filters to narrow down the selection for directors’ specific needs. The site also allows users to create playlists that can then be shared with other members of the creative team, ideal for creative collaboration.
Because of konsonant/’s creative approach, the company is able to offer original music at a more affordable rate than typical soundtrack companies. Independent film makers typically have lower budgets and can’t always high quality music, explained Talmi.
“We’re trying to bring the high end Hollywood scoring experience to the independent film world,” Talmi said. “We see ourselves as something of a musical Robin Hood. We do big studio projects that allow us to do probono work or work for much smaller budgets for filmmakers who otherwise would not be able to afford the quality music their films deserve.”
Technology provides musicians great access to creativity, but it also greatly increases “the signal to noise issue,” Talmi explained. “Everyone makes movies or is a photographer on Instagram, so there’s a lot of material out there. konsonant/ helps to narrow that down and provide affordable access to high quality soundtracks.”
The company has contributed soundtracks to Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, The Good Girl, The King Queen Of Queens, Between The Folds, Bill W., Savannah, Secrets of Stonehenge, The Mummy Who Would Be King, and Galapagos.