Music Suggestions for TV Promo?
February 15, 2008 12:41 PM   Subscribe

I am working on a series of promos for a national cable network and looking for some suggestions regarding music. They love the song from the Michael Mann's Miami Vice trailer: Numb/Encore by Linkin Park and Jay-Z. I'm looking for instrumental tracks with that feeling: serious, inspiring, melancholy, uplifting, energetic, modern, slick, etc. The promos involve beautiful slow-motion visuals with voiceover underneath. Thought I would turn to my favorite hive mind. Any suggestions? Thanks!
posted by oldkentucky to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well, if you don't need something well-known to license (i.e., if a custom cue would be okay by the network), maybe send me an email (address is my profile).
posted by uncleozzy at 1:05 PM on February 15, 2008

Anything by E.S. Posthumus is an excellent idea. They're already used by a number of movie trailers, commercials and TV shows. My favorite piece by them is Nara, which is loaded with feeling.
posted by magnoliasouth at 1:22 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh and I forgot to mention... Probably their most recognizable piece is the one they do for NFL sports, titled Posthumus Zone [free mp3 sound here, from official site].
posted by magnoliasouth at 1:26 PM on February 15, 2008

What about instrumental portions of Moby songs such as Porcelain, Natural Blues, Slipping Away, Extreme Ways, etc?
posted by Blue Buddha at 1:27 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Chemical Bros.?
posted by Dizzy at 1:30 PM on February 15, 2008

Maybe some stuff by Peter Gabriel? It's interesting, somewhat world-musicy and often emotionally uplifting.
posted by lpsguy at 1:33 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

The hands down coolest instrumental music I've come across in the last couple years -- thanks to this MeFi post, actually -- is Technology Crisis and Technology Crisis II. Some of the tracks will almost certainly be a little too video gamey for what you're after, but many have a very compelling vibe to them.
posted by cog_nate at 1:50 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Massive Attacks' "Teardrop" is used for the theme for House M.D., which has also been used for a few movie/video game promos. I'd look in their direction for more tunes that are similar sounding.

Kanye's "Jesus Walks" has been (probably over-) used pretty well too.

For something nobody's heard before, Foreverinmotion is definitely different sounding, but still pretty "serious, inspiring, melancholy, uplifting, energetic, modern, slick, etc." It's a little on the acoustic side, but at times is pretty intense. Check out "The Rain" at purevolume.

But, really, you're probably looking for Massive Attack.
posted by General Malaise at 1:56 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've got a track called "Underwater Silent Movie" I was planning to post to MeFi music that you might be interested in. I don't know if it fits with any of the artists you've referenced, but I think it would be fair to call it "serious, inspiring, melancholy, uplifting, energetic, modern, slick, etc.", especially the "etc." I'll post it to MeFi Music and post back here with a link tonight. If you're interested, you can reach me through MeFi mail.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:15 PM on February 15, 2008

Response by poster: These are great! Thanks so much for all of your suggestions. And keep 'em comin! A lot of these help me to spin off into areas I hadn't thought of. For those of you that are composers, thanks for the offers of your own tracks. Right now I'm just looking for a solid guide track since the network will more than likely use it to compose their own piece, but it's incredibly helpful to set the town and sell the overall edit. So if you don't have any qualms about having your track used as I guide I'd be happy to listen to it. But the more mainstream stuff is always an easier sell ;)
posted by oldkentucky at 2:32 PM on February 15, 2008

I'm Alright - Neil Zaza?

Uplifting, modern. Title alone says it all.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 3:26 PM on February 15, 2008

cinematic orchestra - wheel within a wheel?
posted by juv3nal at 3:35 PM on February 15, 2008

I think Sigur Ros's glósóli has possibly the most dramatic and moving bit of "rock" I've ever heard. Although not strictly instrumental, I think this would make a killer high-concept promo soundtrack. Watch the video from 4:00. At 4:45 all hell breaks loose. I get chills every time.
posted by lattiboy at 4:11 PM on February 15, 2008

Some of Metallica's instrumental stuff sounds like it would match your description - The Call of Ktulu, perhaps?

Maybe also some Nine Inch Nails tracks - The Frail, amongst others that I can't remember at the minute - are haunting and moving, and whilst they tend to be a bit melancholy they do have a strong sense of power.

Orbital's stuff may be appropriate too - particularly some of the tracks on their In Sides album.

The Future Sound of London (Lifeforms, ISDN, or Dead Cities) may also have some stuff that would fit the bill...
posted by Chunder at 5:07 AM on February 17, 2008

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