Carlo Cavallone is ECD of advertising agency 72andSunny Amsterdam. In this Ear Candy he chooses his favourite audio clips, radio commercials, sounds, noises, songs, jingles, podcasts, online radio... you get the idea.
I find audio, in all its many forms, very inspiring for my work, and very soothing. When I write I like to wear those massive headphones that make you look like an Apollo 11 NASA control room engineer and I let music, spoken word, movie clips, stand-up comedy flow in my ears and influence my thoughts.
Here are some of my favorite pieces of inspiration, in no particular order. You can shuffle play them as you go.
Although I was not born and raised in the city of Compton, I find rap the most inspiring musical genre out there. It doesn’t matter if you are a baller or an advertising writer - rap can offer you guidance for all your life predicaments and solve all your wordsmithing problems. It is lyrically the most inventive music you can listen to and, most definitely, the one that can teach you how to find a cadence in your writing. This one old-school track is one of my favorite go to pieces.
“I go to work”, Kool Moe Dee
Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Edward Gorey. Nothing beats well-written kids’ stuff when you want to boost your morale, find inspiration to combine very simple words in a clever and efficient fashion and sound way smarter than you actually are. When it comes to children’s writing for me there is no bigger influence than The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. I know episodes, sketches and dialogues by heart. It’s hard to pick favorites. But if I had to it would be Cookie Monster, creature of few words (and alphabet letters).
“C is for Cookie”, Cookie Monster
This is a little gem, part of an amazing White Stripes album. When I first heard this track-intro I was blown away. It combines effortlessly three things that the best audio pieces have: a poignant message, good writing with a perfectly flowing cadence, and an incredible voice. The voice belongs to Mort Crim, the quintessential US network broadcast anchor in the States in the 60s and, mind you, the inspiration for Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy.
Intro to “Little Acorns”, Mort Crim
Sometimes you just have to listen to poetry because nothing else tells you things so clearly and reaches deep inside you as much as good poetry does. Poetry with a capital P, like the classics, the Ariostos and the Shakespeares, or with a lower-case p, in case you are into more experimental stuff or modern spoken word riffs like those of Saul Williams, Mos Def and Rives, which are always pretty amazing.
And as far as classics go, sometimes I like to hear it from Mr. T.S.Eliot.
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, T.S Eliot
Speeches are probably the most effective form of audio inspiration. Think Henry V or Aragorn at the Black Gate, think Churchill or Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday”: listening to speeches is an excellent way to learn about the deeds of great men, get the blood pumping in your veins, prepare yourself for impossible feats, or get down to write a brand manifesto or a 30 second radio commercial for an instant soup.
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