Drop Science: Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE

Our previously posted work for GE featured a synchronized audio visual track built from the industrial sounds of a global shipping hub.

Lots of people seemed to like it, but there was a recurring theme in Soundcloud comments: “Where’s the drop?”

For those not familiar with the wormhole of electronic music, this question is one of the Internet’s big inside jokes. The “bass drop” is a recurring theme in pop culture - most recently satirized in SNL’s Davinci piece.

We decided to give our audience the drop they wanted, industrial style, and also tell them something about how GE uses frequencies to diagnose and maintain their machines.

To get it right, we turned to one of our favorite musicians, Matthew Dear, who composed an original track based on a library of sounds recorded across GE facilities. We worked with m ss ng p eces to help create a documentary on how the project came together. And we opened up GE’s sound catalog to the Internet; distributing the track, stems, and video files as a BitTorrent Bundle.







The liner notes explain the project best:

In the science of acoustics, every sound has both a frequency—the speed at which it causes the air to vibrate—and an amplitude—the size of these oscillations, making up its particular sonic signature. A team of engineers at GE’s Global Research Center (GRC) in Niskayuna, New York are particularly attuned to such things, listening with musician-like sensitivity to the sounds of their machines and analyzing the results. Musician Matthew Dear and GE Acoustic Engineer Andrew Gorton toured the Niskayuna facility, gathering over an hour of whirring, humming, thundering source material. Returning to his home studio with a library of over 1000 discrete samples recorded both at the GRC and at GE research centers around the world, Dear fashioned the sounds of the world’s most powerful machines into a piece of music that would evoke the wonder and optimism of his experience in Niskayuna.

Matthew Dear’s “Drop Science” is a gleefully busy romp through the world’s top research labs—a skittering ode to industry. Dear’s music has always blurred the boundaries between analog and electronic, between the body and the machine, but on “Drop Science,” he erases that boundary entirely: fiber optic vibrations are stretched into melodic curlicues, underwater frequencies squelch and bend around a 4/4 pulse, and a jet engine appears just in time to build up to a particularly well-earned drop. It’s a science lab you can dance to, and it could only have come from the minds of Matthew Dear and GE.

Listen to the full track on SoundCloud and download the Drop Science BitTorrent Bundle.

Enjoy.

Cover art designed by Michael Cina.

Drop Science: Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE

Our previously posted work for GE featured a synchronized audio visual track built from the industrial sounds of a global shipping hub.

Lots of people seemed to like it, but there was a recurring theme in Soundcloud comments: “Where’s the drop?”

For those not familiar with the wormhole of electronic music, this question is one of the Internet’s big inside jokes. The “bass drop” is a recurring theme in pop culture - most recently satirized in SNL’s Davinci piece.

We decided to give our audience the drop they wanted, industrial style, and also tell them something about how GE uses frequencies to diagnose and maintain their machines.

To get it right, we turned to one of our favorite musicians, Matthew Dear, who composed an original track based on a library of sounds recorded across GE facilities. We worked with m ss ng p eces to help create a documentary on how the project came together. And we opened up GE’s sound catalog to the Internet; distributing the track, stems, and video files as a BitTorrent Bundle.



The liner notes explain the project best:

In the science of acoustics, every sound has both a frequency—the speed at which it causes the air to vibrate—and an amplitude—the size of these oscillations, making up its particular sonic signature. A team of engineers at GE’s Global Research Center (GRC) in Niskayuna, New York are particularly attuned to such things, listening with musician-like sensitivity to the sounds of their machines and analyzing the results. Musician Matthew Dear and GE Acoustic Engineer Andrew Gorton toured the Niskayuna facility, gathering over an hour of whirring, humming, thundering source material. Returning to his home studio with a library of over 1000 discrete samples recorded both at the GRC and at GE research centers around the world, Dear fashioned the sounds of the world’s most powerful machines into a piece of music that would evoke the wonder and optimism of his experience in Niskayuna.

Matthew Dear’s “Drop Science” is a gleefully busy romp through the world’s top research labs—a skittering ode to industry. Dear’s music has always blurred the boundaries between analog and electronic, between the body and the machine, but on “Drop Science,” he erases that boundary entirely: fiber optic vibrations are stretched into melodic curlicues, underwater frequencies squelch and bend around a 4/4 pulse, and a jet engine appears just in time to build up to a particularly well-earned drop. It’s a science lab you can dance to, and it could only have come from the minds of Matthew Dear and GE.

Listen to the full track on SoundCloud and download the Drop Science BitTorrent Bundle.

Enjoy.

Cover art designed by Michael Cina.

Barbarian Group Hot Sheet - 8/21/14

Foursquare’s Relaunch and Mobile-Social Data

The Story: Foursquare relaunches as a local business discovery and recommendation app, moving the “check-in” to its spin-off app, Swarm.

Why It Matters: Foursquare appears to be doubling down on the user data game in the hopes of generating a sustainable monetization plan. If things go well, Foursquare’s increased import of user data will create a robust and powerful ad tool through which brands and local businesses can hyper-target consumers based on location, behavior and interest.

The Social Web Flexes its Collective Muscle with #IfTheyGunnedMeDown

The Story: The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen, spurred the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown movement, a hashtag campaign calling into question and ultimately influencing the media’s portrayal of the victim. Why It Matters: Like a virtual town hall, Twitter can quickly turn into a point of collective grief, dialogue and protest, but for many brands, it’s only seen as a one-way content amplification hub. When used best, Twitter’s not just a top-down funnel, but a tool for giving a voice - and influence - to the masses. Brands should be not just posting but listening.

Puppy Love

The Story: Your potential matches on Tinder just got a little cuter. Ten rescued puppies from a New York City shelter made an appearance on Tinder in an effort to meet potential owners.

Why It Matters: Transforming a romantic matchmaking app into a pet matchmaking app is reminiscent of the early days of Facebook when brands would “hack” the intended user experience to create unique, native, branded experiences. In some cases, we’ve even seen social network hacks impact the style of advertising on the platform. Could this innocent stunt change the face and purpose of Tinder?

Your Facebook Friends Are Pouring Buckets Of Ice Water Over Their Heads

The Story: The “ice bucket challenge” has taken over Facebook, but has come under fire with critics claiming the messaging isn’t clear and people are missing the point, or that this is just narcissism masked as philanthropy.

Why It Matters: Haters are gonna hate. Despite any vague ALS messaging associated with the ice bucket challenge, millions of people are now aware of a movement and cause that they were otherwise unaware of previously. Success here should be judged on overall awareness and cultural buzz, not necessarily dollars raised – although the ALS Association raised $13.3 million in the first two weeks of August, compared to $1.7 million during the same period last year. Imagine if planking, Tebow-ing or the Harlem Shake were also connected to a charitable cause. How is this a failure for the ALS Association?

Kim Kardashian, Mobile Version

What’s the Story: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Kim K’s new app game in which users navigate a virtual world of celebrity, is just the latest waste of our collective time expected to earn $200 million by the end of the year.

Why It Matters: In case hanging out with Kris and Bruce vicariously via your television wasn’t enough, now you can literally become Kim Kardashian, managing your own pursuit of ultimate celebrity. The state of the collective American psyche is un unchartered territory – not only will you be able to smell like your favorite celebrity with their signature fragrance, you’ll be able to be him or her. Are celebrity apps the latest avenue for brands to attach themselves to celebrities? Or is this a one-off success for Kim? One question remains: When will the Honey Boo Boo game hit the market?

Facebook’s Like Algorithm: Exposed

The Story: This week, writer Mat Honan rendered Facebook’s algorithm useless by liking everything he saw in the Newsfeed for 48 hours, finding his feed populated with irrelevant media and brand posts as a result.

Why It Matters: Honan’s article calls attention to the darker side of personalization, the “filter bubble” issue. Netflix, Google, et al., predict what we want now based on our past clicks—and serve us only that—lessening the chance we’ll discover things unlike past likes. Meanwhile, with people moving to platforms offering more personal curation and content control (Snapchat, ask.fm), we’re wondering if Facebook’s algorithm needs an update to keep pace.

As my second summer interning with The Barbarian Group winds down, I’ve taken some time to reflect on how I was able to improve my experience even more. I wrote an article last summer for my college’s newspaper about how to make the most of an internship. But the way to connect with a company is difficult to convey through words on a screen. If you want to belong somewhere, you have to show it from the start. Don’t bother being timid. No one is going to remember you that way, and first impressions really matter. It’s okay to be nervous, but it’s not okay to let that get in your way. Something I discovered from my mentors here, is that everyone in advertising is a little crazy, and not only is that acceptable — it’s encouraged.

One of our own did an intro to improv class here after work one day. She ran us through an exercise in which one person said a line, the next responded with “Yes, and ___” and the first retorted with “Well that’s cool, because __.” That works perfectly with how you should think about working through a creative concept. Don’t be afraid to add on to an idea or to bolster someone’s thought process with a bit of encouragement. “I’m just an intern” should never come out of your mouth. “I’m an intern, and __” should. I’m an intern and I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m an intern and I’m learning from everyone I possibly can learn from. I’m an intern and I’m doing my best. I’m an intern and I’m making mistakes, but that’s cool because there will always be someone to show me how to do it right.

So if you’re an intern or you’re about to be one for the first time, the best advice I can give you is to just let go; do everything the best you can and with confidence; and be honest with yourself and others. If you need help, ask. If you don’t know how to do something, figure it out. Use your resources wisely, and your best ones are the people around you. I don’t know about everywhere else, but I can at least say that here, they’re pretty awesome.



Hi there! My name is Rachel Ellicott and I am a rising senior at Cornell University studying Communications and Film. I interned in Production last summer and am currently in Creative. I’m a self-proclaimed word nerd, karaoke lover, music enthusiast, and cupcake embroiderer. But I can’t actually bake a real cupcake.

As my second summer interning with The Barbarian Group winds down, I’ve taken some time to reflect on how I was able to improve my experience even more. I wrote an article last summer for my college’s newspaper about how to make the most of an internship. But the way to connect with a company is difficult to convey through words on a screen. If you want to belong somewhere, you have to show it from the start. Don’t bother being timid. No one is going to remember you that way, and first impressions really matter. It’s okay to be nervous, but it’s not okay to let that get in your way. Something I discovered from my mentors here, is that everyone in advertising is a little crazy, and not only is that acceptable — it’s encouraged.

One of our own did an intro to improv class here after work one day. She ran us through an exercise in which one person said a line, the next responded with “Yes, and ___” and the first retorted with “Well that’s cool, because __.” That works perfectly with how you should think about working through a creative concept. Don’t be afraid to add on to an idea or to bolster someone’s thought process with a bit of encouragement. “I’m just an intern” should never come out of your mouth. “I’m an intern, and __” should. I’m an intern and I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m an intern and I’m learning from everyone I possibly can learn from. I’m an intern and I’m doing my best. I’m an intern and I’m making mistakes, but that’s cool because there will always be someone to show me how to do it right.

So if you’re an intern or you’re about to be one for the first time, the best advice I can give you is to just let go; do everything the best you can and with confidence; and be honest with yourself and others. If you need help, ask. If you don’t know how to do something, figure it out. Use your resources wisely, and your best ones are the people around you. I don’t know about everywhere else, but I can at least say that here, they’re pretty awesome.


Hi there! My name is Rachel Ellicott and I am a rising senior at Cornell University studying Communications and Film. I interned in Production last summer and am currently in Creative. I’m a self-proclaimed word nerd, karaoke lover, music enthusiast, and cupcake embroiderer. But I can’t actually bake a real cupcake.
It took me a while to decide that I want to work in a creative environment. I graduated from college this spring wishing I hadn’t lost over a year to pre-med, wishing I had taken graphic design courses through the art school, and wishing I had explored my interest in non-academic writing sooner. As millennials, whether self or society-inflicted, we often fall into pressures of paving the way for our dream futures now. We worry one misstep will put us on the fast track to failure. I graduated worrying these said “missteps” made it too late for me to work in a creative field.

My “late” choice to pursue a creative career path is what drove me to seek an internship with a digital advertising agency. It’s what attracted me to The Barbarian Group. As I near the end of my internship, I’m finding that at the age of 22, it isn’t too late to become anything. Shocking.

The Barbarian Group has much to do with that realization. Most importantly, it has changed my view of what it means to work in a creative industry. At The Barbarian Group, while the creative team brings concepts into fruition, innovative ideas are expected from everyone — from the producers and account managers to the developers and financiers. I’ve witnessed the varying skills, strengths, and expertise it takes to keep the wheels of a creative agency turning.

One way The Barbarian Group engenders this notion of collaboration is through encouraging personal expression. There’s no dress code here. There’s no shortage of visible tattoos. Style flows as freely as our ideas during an ideation meeting. I’ve come to realize how fortunate I am to spend my days in an environment like that.

Another way is by implementing a program we call “Barbarians Teaching Barbarians”, where one Barbarian shares an interesting hobby or area of expertise with the agency. The most recent was on improv with a Barbarian who moonlights with the Upright Citizens Brigade. There have also been numerous “Sketch Club” meetings held this summer, where we design inventions out of everyday objects such as an umbrella and  a radio using sketching and storytelling.

There are a lot of benefits to working in a creative environment. For me, the most predominant is that it lends itself the opportunity to inspire and to be inspired by the ideas that come to life here, and the 120 people behind them. And that’s pretty awesome.



Hi my name is Sara Morosi. I’m a proud alumna of the University of Michigan, and this summer’s account management intern. I’m a big fan of digital storytelling, so for a look into my own, check out @shmorosi on Twitter and Instagram.

It took me a while to decide that I want to work in a creative environment. I graduated from college this spring wishing I hadn’t lost over a year to pre-med, wishing I had taken graphic design courses through the art school, and wishing I had explored my interest in non-academic writing sooner. As millennials, whether self or society-inflicted, we often fall into pressures of paving the way for our dream futures now. We worry one misstep will put us on the fast track to failure. I graduated worrying these said “missteps” made it too late for me to work in a creative field.

My “late” choice to pursue a creative career path is what drove me to seek an internship with a digital advertising agency. It’s what attracted me to The Barbarian Group. As I near the end of my internship, I’m finding that at the age of 22, it isn’t too late to become anything. Shocking.

The Barbarian Group has much to do with that realization. Most importantly, it has changed my view of what it means to work in a creative industry. At The Barbarian Group, while the creative team brings concepts into fruition, innovative ideas are expected from everyone — from the producers and account managers to the developers and financiers. I’ve witnessed the varying skills, strengths, and expertise it takes to keep the wheels of a creative agency turning.

One way The Barbarian Group engenders this notion of collaboration is through encouraging personal expression. There’s no dress code here. There’s no shortage of visible tattoos. Style flows as freely as our ideas during an ideation meeting. I’ve come to realize how fortunate I am to spend my days in an environment like that.

Another way is by implementing a program we call “Barbarians Teaching Barbarians”, where one Barbarian shares an interesting hobby or area of expertise with the agency. The most recent was on improv with a Barbarian who moonlights with the Upright Citizens Brigade. There have also been numerous “Sketch Club” meetings held this summer, where we design inventions out of everyday objects such as an umbrella and a radio using sketching and storytelling.

There are a lot of benefits to working in a creative environment. For me, the most predominant is that it lends itself the opportunity to inspire and to be inspired by the ideas that come to life here, and the 120 people behind them. And that’s pretty awesome.


Hi my name is Sara Morosi. I’m a proud alumna of the University of Michigan, and this summer’s account management intern. I’m a big fan of digital storytelling, so for a look into my own, check out @shmorosi on Twitter and Instagram.