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ABC News: Famed composer Hans Zimmer’s new score: Giving sound to an electric car

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The renowned composer worked on the sound design for the BMW Vision M NEXT.

Written by Morgan Korn for ABC News.

The 600-horsepower supercar on display in Munich typified the future for automaker BMW: bold, visionary, powerful.

Called the Vision M NEXT, the wedge-shaped plug-in hybrid concept car, wrapped in matte colors like “Thrilling Orange” and “Cast Silver,” was equally polarizing and enthralling.

All it needed was a voice.

Car companies have been grappling for years with how to acoustically assist drivers in quiet vehicles. Gone are the deep rumbles, distinctive growls and high pitch whines of an internal combustion engine that have always been a reliable soundtrack and alert system.

In BMW’s case, that assignment belonged to Hans Zimmer, the renowned Oscar-winning composer and record producer. BMW hired Zimmer to develop the drive sounds for the Vision M NEXT, which debuted last June to much fanfare. Zimmer and BMW acoustic sound engineer Renzo Vitale spent months at Zimmer’s recording studios in London and Santa Monica, tinkering with the “boom sound” that would envelop the driver when the car was in full electric mode.

“We had to create a whole new soundscape,” Zimmer told ABC News by phone. “We were not tied to the sound of a petrol engine anymore. I can’t remember how many versions were produced; it’s such a fluid process. You start with an idea and play around with it, see what reaction you get. The sounds do have to serve a purpose.”

Zimmer described the final result as “poetic,” adding that the sound had to match the driver’s adrenaline as the Vision M NEXT picked up speed.

He will also be in charge of developing e-sounds for future BMW EVs and plug-in hybrids, a project called BMW IconicSounds Electric. Composing a soundtrack for a silent vehicle was no different than composing a film score or writing a piece of music, Zimmer said.

“It’s just interesting for me to be able to work with a completely different new medium,” he said. “As this conversation started to develop around electric cars, it made me think as a musician, what could the world sound like?”

Renowned music composer Hans Zimmer in his Los Angeles recording studio.

Read the full story HERE.

BizBash: This Week in Los Angeles: Coronavirus Cancellations, Plus Stylish Events From Paris Hilton, the Los Angeles Ballet, and More

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West Coast editor Claire Hoffman covers the week’s biggest event news.

Spotlight On
Paris Hilton’s birthday party took place on February 27 at a private residence in Beverly Hills. Produced by Mirrored Media, the event had a “#Sliv Your Best Life” theme—based on Hilton’s go-to catchphrase mashing up “slaying” and “living.” The venue was transformed into “Slivington Manor,” with a photo booth from Dose of Roses plus specialty cocktails from Casamigos and a late-night pizza delivery from Pizza Hut; additional sponsors included Mod Champagne and Smart Water. Topping off the over-the-top extravagance? BMW created a custom, pastel-colored BMW i8 “Slivmobile” specifically for Hilton’s birthday. 

The BMW Concept i4 is a Tesla-rivalling electric car with a 373-mile range and a driving sound scored by an Academy Award winning composer

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By RAY MASSEY FOR THISISMONEY.CO.UK

PUBLISHED: 04:02 EST, 3 March 2020 | UPDATED: 04:47 EST, 3 March 2020

“German car giant BMW has launched a new electric executive car that features a soundtrack by Academy Award winning movie composer Hans Zimmer.

The aim is to make the new battery-powered BMW i4 electric prototype – designed to take on Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3 – and the German manufacturer’s future cars sound cool.

That’s because while the prototype i4 has dramatic performance, the near silence of the electric drive can risk making the experience feel soulless.

Soundtrack over silence: This is the Concept i4 from BMW - an electric car that makes a sound when it moves that's been scored by an Academy Award winning film composer

Soundtrack over silence: This is the Concept i4 from BMW – an electric car that makes a sound when it moves that’s been scored by an Academy Award winning film composerPromo flaunts capability and design of new BMW Concept i4Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time2:01FullscreenNeed Text

To counter this BMW has sought put some aural heart and emotion into battery-powered motoring to help overcome the lack of sound drivers have grown used to from conventional petrol and diesel engines.

Rather than leave things to chance, BMW has hired the services of the top blockbuster film composer who penned the music to movies including Gladiator, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Last Samurai, The Da Vinci Code, 12 Years a Slave, and Dunkirk.

He also won an Academy Award for his original score for The Lion King, and has worked on the forthcoming 007 movie No Time to Die and the new Tom Cruise film, Top Gun: Maverick.

Mr Zimmer worked with BMW sound engineer Renzo Vitale to create sounds that resonate with drivers.

He launched the new electric-drive soundtrack for the i4 at its world premiere today. 

The ‘ready-to-drive’ and ‘start-stop’ sound for all-electric BMW models and BMW plug-in hybrids will be introduced as a standard feature worldwide from July 2020.

With its large exaggerated and almost cartoonish grille, the new i4 is set to go into production early next year as BMW’s first all-electric model in the premium mid-size class, where it will go head to head with the Tesla Model 3. 

With its large exaggerated and almost cartoonish grille, the new i4 is set to go into production early in 2021

With its large exaggerated and almost cartoonish grille, the new i4 is set to go into production early in 2021 

The electric motor drivetrain developing 530 horse-power promises acceleration from rest to 62mph in just 4 seconds up to a top speed of 124mph

The soundtrack made by the i4 Concept will be used across the entire electric and hybrid range of BMWs from July

The soundtrack made by the i4 Concept will be used across the entire electric and hybrid range of BMWs from July

The electric motor drivetrain developing 530 horsepower promises acceleration from rest to 62mph in just 4 seconds up to a top speed of 124mph with a range of 373 miles.

BMW said: ‘The virtually silent delivery of power creates an entirely new sensation of dynamism.

‘The silence of electric drive systems is often cited as a major benefit of electric mobility. As the choice of electrified models increases, however, it also means some drivers are missing out on the emotional appeal of sound.’

Mr Zimmer, who has a sound studio in Santa Monica, California, said: ‘We have an extraordinary opportunity to turn electric driving in a BMW into a very special experience with the help of great sounds. 

BMW claims the Concept i4 has a range of 373 miles. It will need it to rival the 348 miles of the rangiest Model 3 on sale today

BMW claims the Concept i4 has a range of 373 miles. It will need it to rival the 348 miles of the rangiest Model 3 on sale today

Tesla's design has moved to a blanked front end where a car's grille would traditionally be, as there is no need for an air intake on an electric car - the opposite to BMW's exaggerated styling

Tesla’s design has moved to a blanked front end where a car’s grille would traditionally be, as there is no need for an air intake on an electric car – the opposite to BMW’s exaggerated styling

BMW has hired the services of Hans Zimmer who penned the music to movies including Gladiator, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Last Samurai, The Da Vinci Code, 12 Years a Slave, and Dunkirk.

BMW has hired the services of Hans Zimmer who penned the music to movies including Gladiator, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Last Samurai, The Da Vinci Code, 12 Years a Slave, and Dunkirk.

‘I am relishing the challenge of co-designing the composition for future electric BMWs.’

He said: ‘We hope the sound we created is classic yet surprising and has a feeling of lightness that is fitting for a BMW.’

The sound ‘repertoire’ of the BMW i4 covers the variety of driving ‘modes’ available to motorists , from the standard sound in cruising mode to ‘the more intense tones of ‘Sport’, he said.

New legislation at requires electric cars to have an artificial sound to warn pedestrians of their impending approach

New legislation at requires electric cars to have an artificial sound to warn pedestrians of their impending approach

The styling is very much in-keeping with the wider BMW range, somewhat replicating the shape of its popular saloon models like the 3 Series

The styling is very much in-keeping with the wider BMW range, somewhat replicating the shape of its popular saloon models like the 3 Series

The cabin is, as you'd expect from a concept, extremely futuristic. How much of this is kept for next year's production model is unknown

The cabin is, as you’d expect from a concept, extremely futuristic. How much of this is kept for next year’s production model is unknown

The ‘sport’ sound is a soft but rising crescendo that feels like (to my ears at least) the opening bars of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ The cruising mode is similar, but softer and more ethereal.

Acoustic accompaniments to a door opening – like an electronic ‘plink’ – and when starting the car are also part of the car’s ‘soundscape’,

New legislation at requires electric cars to have an artificial sound to warn pedestrians of their impending approach. And that will provide another opportunity for composing a sound-scape.

Mr Zimmer has said in the past: ‘Electric cars don’t need to sound like a space-ship or a lawn-mower.

‘And silence is not the best way. On the outside you will kill people walking in the way. We have to help that a little bit.’

He explained: ‘In film music I see sound as a way of opening emotional doors to have an experience. I don’t want cars to feel more alive. I want humans to feel more alive.’

In different driving modes, the interior accents change

In different driving modes, the interior accents change. Cruising mode has the cabin shining blue but if you select sport it all turn red

BMW said: ‘The character of the i4 is not only a product of its design, but also of its visionary sound profile.

‘Hans Zimmer composed the sound of the i4 together with BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale.

‘It will imbue BMW’s electric models with extra emotional depth by connecting the driver with the vehicle’s character on another level through individual tones and sounds.’

Jens Thiemer, BMW’s senior vice president for customers and brand: ‘Sound has always played an important role in the emotionalisation of our vehicles. 

‘Now we are taking the joy of sheer driving pleasure to a new level and are particularly pleased to be working with Hans Zimmer to create the new sound world of electric mobility at BMW.'”

E! News: Inside Paris Hilton’s Pink Birthday Party With Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum and More

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Forget “That’s hot”—Paris Hilton was #sliving for her birthday. 

In honor of her 39th year, the famed fashionista celebrated with a bash fitting of the glamorous star. The soirée took place inside “Slivington Manor,” where the star-studded, pink-themed event unfolded on Thursday night.

Inside the party, there was no question who the birthday gal was as there were giant portraits of Hilton as well as pink balloons by OC Balloon Bar spelling out “HBD Paris” and “#Sliving.” “The night was all about sliving or when you are slaying life!” a source said. 

There was also no shortage of roses and pint-sized bottles of Casamigos tequila with straws for easy sipping. As for the guest of honor, the style star donned a sparkling white long-sleeved mini with a plunging neckline for the special occasion, which was produced by Mirrored Media.  

Find the full story at eonline.com

Paris Hilton’s #Sliving Birthday Party

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On February 20, Mirrored Media produced Paris Hilton’s annual birthday bash in Beverly Hills. The event boasted an exclusive invite-only guest list, with attendees including Kim Kardashian West, Kourtney Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Lele Pons, Taika Waititi, French Montana, Travis Barker, Machine Gun Kelly, and even LA Mayor, Eric Garcetti.

Mirrored Media brought Paris’ dreams to life with a Slivington Manor entrance, custom neon photobooth, projection mapping, ‘Sliving’ holograms, balloon signage

Guests enjoyed with support from Casamigos, Pizza Hut, Lyft, BMW, Mod Selection Champagne, OC Baloon Bar, Dose of Roses, and Sweet Flower.

EventMarketer: How Brands Served Up Live-Action Games, Lounges, and Charitable Panels at Sundance

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It’s not easy to attract the biggest names in the film industry to Park City, UT, in the middle of winter, but the Sundance Institute made it happen once again for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, this year Jan. 23 through Feb. 3. The event, which serves as the largest independent film festival in the U.S., offered 12 days of panels, screenings and competitions, but festivalgoers were also treated to a variety of sponsorship activations that catered to the creative community. Here, we take a look at how some of the world’s top brands engaged attendees on the ground. Now, zip up your parka and grab a cup of hot cocoa. We’re headed to the mountains.

Talent agency UTA launched a residency at Sundance this year at an off-site estate where it offered three days of programming to clients and industry professionals. The space, dubbed Sundance House, was converted from a private residence into an event venue featuring panels, lounges, meeting spaces and parties. Highlights included UTA’s annual Brand Leaders Dinner featuring a surprise performance by Ryland James, a celebration of women of color hosted by UTA client Issa Rae, the larger-than-life UTA House Party and an art exhibition featuring photography by Kwame Brathwaite.

Agency: Mirrored Media.

Read the full story HERE.

BizBash: Sundance 2020: See How Sponsors Welcomed Attendees to This Year’s Film Festival

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This year, United Talent Agency expanded its festival footprint, hosting three days of programming at a private residence. Guests, clients, and industry professionals attended a lineup of events such as the agency’s annual brand leaders dinner; Women In Film’s reception panel; and UTA client Issa Rae’s celebration in honor of Creators of Color. UTA Marketing, the agency’s entertainment consulting practice that represents global brands including Cover Girl, Delta Air Lines, General Motors, General Mills, Google, and Lyft, led the agency’s programming this year.

The estate, which offered picturesque snowy views, was converted into a space to host the panels and parties, complete with lounges and meeting spaces. Mirrored Media handled production, along with UTA Marketing, and DJ Mike Deleasa performed at all of the house’s events.

Read the full story HERE.

EventMarketer: Ways Musicians are Leveraging Pop-ups to Connect with Fans

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The late rapper Malcolm James McCormick, better known as Mac Miller, passed away in 2018, but his memory lived on Jan. 17-18 thanks to pop-up events in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and New York City. Timed to the release of his posthumous album, “Circles: Til Infinity,” the events served as museum-style experiences where fans could get a closer look at the artist’s life—and they showed up in droves. The venues were at capacity from opening until closing each day, with lines averaging three to six hours in all three cities. Each pop-up featured a multimedia fan art exhibition, a gallery, exclusive artworks and merchandise, an intimate living room listening experience where attendees could hear “Circles” in Ultra HD, and a chance for fans to leave digital notes. All net proceeds from merch sales benefitted the Mac Miller Fund, an organization that supports young musicians.

Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.

Read the full story at eventmarketer.com

Variety: UTA Marketing Ups Sundance Game With Private Residence, Programming

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Talent agency hospitality is a mainstay at the Sundance Film Festival, be it in swanky lounges on Park City’s Main Street or private chalets in nearby Deer Valley.

United Talent Agency, whose talent roster and independent film group always come in force each year, typically throws a brunch for friends and press — but will significantly expand its footprint this year, in the form of a private residence with several days of programming.

Clients and guests of UTA Marketing — which reps global brands including Cover Girl, Delta Air Lines, Google, and Lyft — will be invited to a private residence tucked away the center of festival madness for key events and refuge from the snow.

Issa Rae, repped by the agency, will throw a party in honor of creators of color in conjunction with UTA’s own head of diversity and inclusion, Shanique Bonelli-Moore. Women in Film will hold its annual Sundance panel and reception at the space, with speakers including director Haifaa al-Mansour, Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden, actor and producer Emily Mortimer, Macro executive Poppy Hanks, and producer Effie Brown.

UTA Fine Arts will share a special pop-up exhibition of the artwork of Kwame Brathwaite and host an intimate conversation with Brathwaite’s son, Kwame S. Brathwaite, and writer and critic Antwaun Sargent. Harlem Field Trip chef JJ Johnson and Lyft social impact head Mike Masserman discuss food accessibility and inequality.  Hollywood’s favorite Italian spot, Jon & Vinny’s, will cater dinners to celebrate “Six Feet Under” creator Alan Ball’s new film “Uncle Frank,” and the department will host a brand leaders dinner with the Atlantic, Snap and Tastemade.  A surprise performer from UTA’s music roster will also go up for a late-night set.

Bird’s eye view of the UTA House at Sundance

“Sundance is more than a film festival, but a destination that brings together a diverse set of independent voices and storytellers across the spectrum of culture,” said UTA Marketing co-head Julian Jacobs.

“We are excited to unite so many clients and partners for what has become a key moment on the cultural calendar,” said fellow co-head David Anderson.

Sundance kicks off on Thursday.

See the full article at Variety.com

Billboard: Inside Mac Miller’s Circles Pop-Up Listening Event in Los Angeles

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On Thursday (Jan. 16) the Mac Miller Estate opened its arms for a preview of the Circles: Til’ Infinity listening event for Mac Miller’s first posthumous album, Circles.

Held at the revamped D.O.M. Gallery at the busy intersection of West Hollywood’s Melrose and Fairfax Avenue, the brightly lit, two-room Mac Miller museum pop-up glowed from blocks away on an otherwise quiet, rainy evening in Los Angeles. Organized by Warner Brothers Records, Mirrored Media, and Mac Miller’s family and former management, the minimalistic event was first advertised on social media five days ago as “Circles: Til Infinity. Intimate front-to-back listenings of Circles by Mac Miller. Art by fans and friends. Exclusive merch at all locations, with all net proceeds going to The Mac Miller Fund.” 

Upon entering the venue, attendees are met with a space resembling an art gallery, with a square, barbed-wire-enclosed merchandise station in the center of the room under a strikingly tall ceiling. Fans are given the opportunity to purchase over a dozen styles of shirts and hoodies, all of varying colors, with a Mac Miller logo and various phrases decorating the clothes. As mentioned on the “92tilinfinity” Instagram page, all sales’ proceeds are funneled to The Mac Miller Fund.

This first room tells a condensed tale of Miller’s life via visual mediums: Floor-to-ceiling windows take up one of the walls, while the other three are adorned with photos, paintings, posters, and personal polaroids (from Miller’s own cameras) of the late artist. A common theme among the photos is a smiling Miller, either at the studio, with friends, or in the midst of a carefree activity such as bike riding, portraying the Swimming MC as most fans and loved ones remember him.

While a majority of the photos depict the rapper as an adult, several childhood photos are also included, showing Miller with his mother and other family members. On the largest wall in the back of the room hangs a collage measuring over 40 square feet, boasting dozens, if not hundreds, of fan-art pieces — the fans’ devotion and love palpable. To the left of the collage is a placard listing the social media handles of the collage contributors. Glass cases with cartoonized Mac Miller POP! figurines by Bram Valure & Thomas Wadtke stand at one side of the room, emblematizing Mac as a pop culture fixture for this generation. 

The room had a pacified atmosphere as attendees moseyed around the crowded gallery, reading placards and examining photos. Most notably, Karen Myers and Mark Mccormick, Mac’s mother and father, and Miller Mccormick, Mac’s brother, were present. The late rapper’s immediate family remarkably did not formally address the guests, but rather nonchalantly socialized amongst the crowd, as strangers and friends alike approached the relatives to exchange greetings and pay their respects. The room buzzed with somber conversation and friendly chatter as a quiet playlist featuring the likes of The Eagles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, and Mazzy Star filled the background, with the tracks said to be selected by the estate as some of Malcolm’s personal favorites.

Through an entrance to the gallery’s side is a black-and-red decorated, dimly lit, sitting area intended to be the listening room. This second room is smaller in area than the gallery, with a bar on one side of the space. Couches, chairs, and other lounge furniture fill the room, inviting attendees to sit and take heed to the Circles album, which is played consecutively from the speakers at the top of every hour for the duration of the event. Unlike traditional listening events, there is no DJ working the crowd nor is there rambunctiously loud, upbeat music. Rather guests are implicitly encouraged to relax and become immersed in a sonic adventure, provided by Mac Miller and his producers.

The two-day listening experience is free of charge and will be open to any and all fans on a first-come, first-serve basis on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18, in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miller’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While the album is already officially released, phones are reportedly not permitted in the venue.

Read more at billboard.com