Imagine Sound evolved from a series of collaborations that began in the mid '90s. Meeting at college, Dan and Tano formed London-based hip-hop outfit Django Thief, writing, recording, and producing the band's material for six years.
Enrolling on an ethnomusicology degree at SOAS, Tano met Sam who had recently completed a five year stint of recording and touring on the folk/ world circuit, and they soon started playing and writing together – Javanese gamelan, Cuban rumba, and their first commissioned documentary score, Mengejar Ombak (Chasing Waves).
It was at one of Tano's college recording sessions that Sam and Dan first met, and soon began to work collaboratively on an experimental jazz project, The Dan Axtell Trio, with double bassist Jerel Jacob.
Various collaborative formations emerged over the next few years between Dan, Tano, and Sam in the form of recordings, gigs, live soundtrack performances, and soundtrack composition until in 2011 they decided to formalise their collaborative musical efforts.
Dan Axtell Trio - Cosmos
Sphere - the trio's first fully-formed studio project. Composed as a series of pieces for imagined films, it combined our shared passion for both live and electronic performance and laid the foundations for our future sonic and collaborative direction.
Ananda – Imagine Sound's first venture into collaborative documentary soundtrack, which we ended up playing live to the film's premier at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London; synths, drums, bass, projector. Great fun.
No Space No Time - The team's first music video project for London-based group United Vibrations
Casio Mafia – Well it can't all be too serious can it? One of many musical experiments...
Our first commercial composition booking came from Selfridges. Shoe Carnival was an online advertising push for their Oxford Street store's new footwear range, and was a series of ten shorts for web and POS.
Shortly after Shoe Carnival, New York-based fashion director Bell Soto used our composition 'Kanaloa' (from the documentary Mengajar Ombak) for his latest film The End.
Political film-maker Ken Fero's first commission for us, centring on media censorship, and the power of Ofcom. Broadcast on Sky in January 2012, it was the final programme to air on Press TV before Ofcom revoked their broadcast license.
Soon after this we started a re-score experiment called 'If Imagine Sound did...', writing music for existing adverts that we thought we could have done a cool job on. Partly to drum up work, partly to keep are hands busy...
After our work on Shoe Carnival, Selfridges booked us again to create music for their 'Bright Young Things' campaign; promoting the best young, fresh designers across all mediums with a series of 15 micro-docs for online and POS runs.
Ken's next commission for us was the soundtrack to Burn, another hard-hitting political documentary made in the shadow of the London Riots of 2011. It explores grass roots revolution, death in police custody, and working class black Britain.
All the while we kept honing the re-scores with 'If Imagine Sound did...':
Off the back of our work with Bell and Selfridges, fashion director Corinne Delaney asked us to compose soundtracks for two of her up-coming projects, Led Zeppelin Cashmere, and designer Chocheng's The Art of Je Ne Sais Quoi ; both slightly off-the-wall, tongue-in-cheek fashion shorts.
Two more typically hard-hitting grass roots documentaries followed from Ken in the form of Who Polices the Police? and Po Po – both following Ken's socio-political stance on police brutality, social injustice, and racial inequality in contemporary Britain.
Amber and Aquarium were the first commissioned music videos for us from London-based group Orca. Experimental Sci-fi rock...
Teaming up again with some of the Selfridges creative team, Silo was a music commission for a new A.I banking technology system from some of Google's old guard.
Earlier this year we were invited by Pond 5 to be part of their Select Composer re-brand, focussing on more bespoke-sounding compositions for their catalogue. For this we made three mini-albums; each with a sci-fi edge, but ranging from thematic to underscore cue styles.
For promotion, in-house videos were also created for some of the key tracks
Our latest project, Echo, is being developed in much the same way as Sphere; writing music for an imagined sci fi. However, and coincidently, we've just found out that there is actually a sci fi called Echo in pre production. Hmmmm.....Need any music? It's still in final edit pre mix/ master, but here's the WiP.