Themes from ‘DreamArtists Music’

“Nightline” Current Theme


It is not so common these days for news themes to last more than 3 or 4 years, but Nightline was the exception in ABC’s news line-up. Several challenges arose, including how to approach the new sound with such a long-lasting previous identity. As the show took on an updated/current look, composers Matthew Kajcienski and Adam Schoenberg were asked to compose the new theme.

ABC wanted a sound that would not only attract the millennial generation, but would still embrace the loyal audiences while carrying Nightline into its next chapter. The theme combines elements of EM, pop, and processed acoustic instruments. The package includes an extensive library of teasers/rejoins that reflect its hip/fresh sonic re-brand. The theme was composed by Matthew Kajcienski and Adam Schoenberg, both classmates and graduates of The Juilliard School, as well as LA neighbors!

Matthew Kajcienski and Adam Schoenberg - Nightline theme

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“Stay Tuned” Current Theme


Stay Tuned is NBC News’ twice-a-day show on Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. The theme was composed by The Perch, a new L.A. based boutique studio. Lead composer Matthew Kajcienski explained to us that it took quite a different approach when compared to writing for network or cable news shows. Because it airs on a social media platform, the audience will likely be watching the show on a smartphone, which means reduced audio quality. “From a sonic perspective, we had to keep in mind how certain orchestration, musical range, and instrumental sonorities perform when listening on such devices, ” according to Kajcienski.

Form was also a rather big departure from most other news shows. Stay Tuned is an incredibly condensed newscast, lasting only about two minutes. The theme package consists of four versions of the theme that convey different moods for different stories and an extensive set of short, transitional tracks (“the glue”). “With such a condensed broadcast format, quick transitions, and abrupt advertising breaks (especially), the theme had to be extremely flexible in how it could be edited together, yet with so many musical components, blend together seamlessly as not to feel like the music is chopped up into little pieces,” explains Kajcienski.

The Perch - Stay Tuned theme

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“This Week” Current Theme


 
This is quite a departure from the past. The theme to This Week has always been a particularly harmonic and melodic driven work. This time, ABC execs wanted a track in which the backbone was completely percussive-driven. Though this might sound straight-forward, over 45 individual percussive instruments were used to create the new sound for This Week. The wide pallet a composer usually has to work with when composing a theme – meaning percussion, effects, and melodic/harmonic instruments in combination – was limited. The challenge was giving the theme the same variety, emotion, and diversity with percussion only – then sprinkling in harmonic elements to glue together the track and ID the ABC News mnemonic (which is a stripped down version of the last theme’s button).
 
DreamArtists Music - This Week theme

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“Good Morning America” Current Theme


After just a little more than a year, and with the addition of Michael Strahan to the GMA anchor desk, ABC wanted to give the show a “bigger, bolder” sound to replace the more pop-centered theme of 2015. ABC turned to their friends at DreamArtists Music and composer Matthew Kajcienski to write the show’s main theme and theme package. Differently structured from before, ABC executives came up with a new format for the opening theme music in which it would be broken up into five parts. This was to mirror the intensity of the four main news stories used in the main open from “breaking news” to “light news”, and then exit with a bold, triumphant crescendo into the broadcast. The theme combines large-scale orchestral elements with electronics, a sound that DreamArtists Music is well known for creating in the ABC News division.

DreamArtists Music - Good Morning America theme

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“Good Morning America” 2015 – 2017 Theme


A day before GMA celebrated its 40th anniversary, the top rated morning show started using a new theme by DreamArtists Music. The new music combines elements of contemporary pop and electronic dance rhythms with a symphonic/concert music foundation for which DreamArtists and lead composer Matthew Kajcienski is known.

DreamArtists Music - Good Morning America theme

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“This Week” 2013 – 2017 Theme


In 2013 ABC’s This Week was given the makeover that it needed. The sunday morning show previously had no graphics or theme music of its own. Instead it was using ABC’s election package that was seemingly hastily converted into a show package when Christiane Amanpour was replaced by George Stephanopolous. Meanwhile, This Week had changed into a slightly hipper show. It now regularly uses pop music, for example, to lead into or out of commercial breaks. It’s a practice that has become a staple of morning shows but not the more serious sunday public affairs programs. DreamArtists Music combined the popular and recognizable election music with some new secondary themes with a re-orchestration to add a bit of an ESPN-vibe to the show. Fun fact: DreamArtists Music’s lead composer Matthew Kajcienski learned to play the electric guitar over a weekend just for this theme. But since he is trained as a concert violinist picking up a guitar was not a huge departure.

DreamArtists Music - This Week theme

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“Would You Fall For That?” Theme


Would You Fall For That? was a hybrid news and entertainment show that aired in primetime during the summer of 2013 and was produced by ABC News. Its premise was to test people’s gullibility in various situations. For example, if you stepped into an elevator and everyone was facing the back instead of the doors as usual, would you comply with what is apparently the norm in that specific elevator? Research indicates you would and the show’s experiment proved it to viewers. Nick Watt hosted. The theme is by DreamArtists Music. Freemdom Bremner is the vocalist.

DreamArtists Music - Would You Fall For That? theme

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“The Lookout” Theme


The Lookout is a consumer-oriented show that uses the hidden camera as a tool to uncover scams and ripoffs. As a primetime news magazine, it is produced by the Nightline team and was originally to be called Nightline: Two Truths and a Lie. Nightline’s anchors serve as the principal reporters for the show. Stylistically The Lookout is a big departure from other news magazines. Its stories are accompanied by lots of music in different styles that sometimes emphasize the playful and quirky sides of whatever is being told. For the opening theme music, DreamArtists Music was told in its creative brief to have fun with it. And they did. The result is a theme that doesn’t fit the traditional news music genre and emphasizes The Lookout’s ‘differentness’.

DreamArtists Music - The Lookout theme

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“ABC News Special Report” Current Theme


Throughout the years the graphics for ABC News Special Reports were regularly updated to fit in with the rest of the ABC News brand. The music however stayed the same. Finally in 2013, after much of ABC News had undergone a transformation with new music, the Special Report theme was updated as well. It’s composed by DreamArtists Music.

DreamArtists Music - ABC News Special Report theme

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“20/20” Current Theme


For the fall 2012 season, 20/20 was given a makeover. The darker and more dramatic look that was adopted two years earlier were replaced with  a more colorful palette. The ABC news magazine still, however, does not have its own set. It’s taped in the World News studio. In 2013 20/20 co-anchor Chris Cumo left ABC News for CNN. He was replaced by David Muir. For the theme music, ABC turned to DreamArtists Music, who composed the third new 20/20 theme in a row. The theme music has that big and bold sound (with a touch of cool) that has become synonymous with ABC News.

DreamArtists Music - 20/20 theme

 


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“ABC Olympics” 2012 Theme


For the two decades after the 1964 Winter Games, ABC made the Olympics a staple of their network and invented the way it is still televised today. The torch has since been passed to NBC which adopted many of the stylistic elements ABC pioneered, including the theme music. Bugler’s Dream by Leo Arnaud is synonymous with the Olympic Games because it has been used since the 1960’s by the network that has the broadcasting rights. For their coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, ABC turned to DreamArtists Music to capture the Olympic spirit. Given their background as concert orchestral composers, this was an assignment that played to their strengths. DreamArtists scored an Olympic theme package with an orchestra consisting of a massive brass section. There was, in fact, enough brass to fill 4 concert orchestras. Remarkably the theme was composed in only 24 hours. The result is a theme that is edgy and driving, with more percussion than Olympic themes at the other networks. The music reflects the truly grand scale of this world event.

DreamArtists Music - ABC Olympics theme

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ABC News Current Tags


These are two of the tags that are used at the end of ABC News broadcasts. On air the music is accompanied by a voice-over saying: “More Americans choose ABC News to see the whole picture.” ABC went for a big and bold sound with a touch of cool, a formula that put GMA in the #1 spot.

DreamArtists Music - ABC News tag 1

In version 2 you might note that the end crescendo sounds like a TV turning off which is done by using reverse effects. It symbolizes that ABC News is the complete news source — period.

DreamArtists Music - ABC News tag 2

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“Good Morning America” 2012 – 2015 Theme


GMA wanted a new theme that sounded “hipper and fresher” but was still “thoughtful and interesting” to reflect the show’s increased emphasis on lifestyle and entertainment. For the third time in a row they turned to DreamArtists Music. Principal composer Matthew Kajcienski explains the challenge in composing this new theme: “You want your demographics to be able to hook into it, rather than targeting a specific group while alienating others – and just create something cool. The key here was to keep the thematic material subtle but still give it a sound that could be identified easily through texture, orchestration, and most importantly a unique and memorable percussion track.” Given these demands, the process of composing the theme was different than usual as Kajcienski explains: “We actually began by composing the percussion track first as it had to hold interest completely on its own before adding the harmonic elements. Once we had that, we dashed the track with some melodic/harmonic color and kept things simple. As the new graphics have its own ‘hook’, the music had to in essence be the sonic representation of that.” The theme is part of an extended package that gives GMA’s rejoins and breaks a modern pop feel.

DreamArtists Music - Good Morning America theme

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“See the Whole Picture” Branding Promo


This year ABC launched a new promotional campaign with the tag line “see the whole picture”. This image, which stresses relevance, is in response to the whirlwind of information coming at us these days. ABC News defines its mission to help us make sense of it all. The promos were shot with more a commercial-like feel using dramatic images of the ABC News team in stride. DreamArtists Music – who did an incredibly successful branding campaign for ABC in 2008 that later turned into the 20/20 theme – was commissioned to compose the accompanying music. The music reflects the more contemporary feel of the promo.

DreamArtists Music - See the Whole Picture promo

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“This Week” 2012 – 2013 Theme


Since George Stephanopoulos took back the reins of This Week, the well-received “Your Voice, Your Vote” theme was slightly altered to be used as the new theme for This Week. Former World News anchor Charles Gibson provides the voiceover that introduces Stephanopoulos each sunday morning. “Your Voice, Your Vote” is how ABC brands its election coverage for this election year. In prior years their coverage had simply been titled “Vote (fill-in-the-year)”. Along with a new name and new graphics a new theme was needed and so ABC turned once again to DreamArtists Music. This new theme is a new arrangement of the “Vote 2010” theme — a bit more driving and slightly less melodic. This was then spun out into an extensive new package including tracks of various moods and lengths.

DreamArtists Music - Your Voice, Your Vote theme

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