L-r Ian, Flora & Roger

Well, December is upon us again. Most of us are either very busy (clients want to get the 2011 first quarter events business wrapped before Christmas) or very quiet (Clients have everything sorted and want to wind down before Christmas). We are celebrating 8 months in our Manly premises, and the time has just flown by. In that short period we have delivered lots of terrific events (Experiential, Music activation, Financial Services and other brand communication), exported great creative to Asia and New Zealand, created half a dozen new video productions, and I have flown around the country (shooting video interviews and location material) and around the world (chasing ideas, inspiration, and the perfect pint!).

Roger and I are fortunate to have such a terrific colleague as Ms. Flora Castillon, a ‘Franglais’ dynamo Head of Production, who cut her event management teeth in Europe before heading to Australia via the Emirates and the Beijing Olympic Torch relay. Not only is she at the top of her profession in the event space, but she has insisted that we eat proper food and  not take ourselves too seriously. A rose between two thorns indeed!

As a fairly new business, significant amounts of our time has also been spent pitching to new clients. Although we have achieved  great successes, the cool concepts that didn’t make it into production now inhabit our collective concept archive for the right client, the right project. Although continually pitching for business is the least productive process for both agencies and clients, the work on concepts is not at all wasted if it doesn’t become an immediate reality. As an agency, it is a great way for us to explore our wildest dreams and discover in the process new suppliers and partners, new ways of doing things.

Now, music. Of course I have lots of new stuff on the iPod. As much as I grieve over the death of  the album as a statement, I must admit the download culture has opened up lots of musical paths that I would not have previously considered exploring. My approach is this; I scan a trustworthy music publication or blog, (Uncut, NME, MOJO, 6Radio BBC, Froots) and highlight all of the interesting album reviews. I then download one random track off each of them to create a monthly playlist. Often, there are some great surprises, and I have gone on to download complete albums. Try “Miniatures’ compiled by Morgan Fisher. 60 one-minute tracks by such diverse names as Hugh Cornwall, Terry Riley, Trans Global Underground, and The Levellers. I have belatedly been won over by Grinderman; the eponymous albums 1&2 are just brilliant. Wolf People continue to amaze me, their second album ‘Steeple’ is a step forward from the great first album ‘Tidings’ in the FolkPsych  space so beloved by my own Wheeze & Suck Band. Finally, Olafur Arnalds offers a delicate Scandinavian acoustic beauty that is perfect for wet summer afternoons; Jim Jones Revue will rock your socks off with a sound between the Stooges and Exile on Main Street Stones, and Tricky has another great album released, ‘Mixed Race’.  He is a total genius maker of records.

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