Nike Running

A few months back, we started a new composition project at Sonic Champs called Sonic Concepts. The goal is to produce different pieces of portfolio every week and to experiment with the combination of music and sound design. This production is a result of that process.

We chose this particular video because it triggered us in a few different ways. The first thing that inspired us is the raw and industrial feel of the imagery. The industrial halls, the concrete, the rain, and the minimalistic use and placement of lights give it a dystopian look. In contrast, the men and women that you see are working out, searching for their limits, and sometimes even smiling and enjoying the moment. The main message behind the video is this: you’re stronger than the circumstances you’re in.

This contrast is what we wanted to implement in the music as well. The fundament of the composition, the drums, are based on a hiphop / trap rhythm and are accentuated with metallic percussion sounds in the background. This, in combination with powerful accents, like the tribal shout and the pitched bell at the beginning of each part, gives the composition a raw and slightly aggressive sound. This is where the industrial part of the equation comes to light. 

In contrast, we made use of pads and strings to accentuate the lighter part of the message and give the whole a more balanced feel. Without the strings and pads the balance, as seen in the video, wouldn’t be realized. As soon as we added the strings, however, the gap between the melody and rhythm was too big. This is why we implemented an arpeggio made from the chords of the pads and strings. This is a melodic element, but it also acts as a rhythmic element and creates a bridge between the two. We made use of a chord progression that evokes tension in the way it builds up to the climax at the end. 

In the video, there are several moments when a portrait of one of the sportsmen and women is shown. This is where we wanted to strip down the music for a bit, so the portrait receives the spotlight. Especially at the end of the video, where we build up the arrangement followed by silence to place the woman in the spotlight yet again, plus it creates some room for the brand’s logo to sit in.