CRAFT: PORTFOLIO; Michael Cook

With work for the likes of Nike, Perrier, Volkswagen, Vauxhall and Lee Jeans to his credit, and offices in London and Los Angeles, you’d assume the ‘sound designer’, Michael Cook, had a solid business head on him. Not a bit of it. ‘I ended up working in commercials through a series of happy accidents,’ he says. ‘I met the right people at the right time, and all our work so far has come through word of mouth.’

With work for the likes of Nike, Perrier, Volkswagen, Vauxhall and Lee

Jeans to his credit, and offices in London and Los Angeles, you’d assume

the ‘sound designer’, Michael Cook, had a solid business head on him.

Not a bit of it. ‘I ended up working in commercials through a series of

happy accidents,’ he says. ‘I met the right people at the right time,

and all our work so far has come through word of mouth.’



Today, with his partner, Rico Conning, Cook runs M62, one of the more

creative commercials-based sound outfits around. Brought up in

Manchester, Cook’s voyage of serendipity began in Los Angeles, where he

had settled eight years ago. A sponsored skateboarder by day, and club

DJ by night, he began selling sampled telephone answering machine

messages that he’d cobble together using a cheap cassette player and a

turntable. They so impressed the owner of a local skateboard company

that Cook was asked to provide a soundtrack for a promotional video,

which developed into a regular three-monthly commission.



A little later, he hooked up with the musician-cum-video director, Lol

Creme, who invited him to help set up a sound studio. Hiding the fact

that he was something of a novice, Cook quickly mastered the equipment

and began collaborating with the former 10cc man on a succession of

soundtrack projects.



At around this time, Cook also made the acquaintance of a young wannabe

commercials director called Tarsem. Cook helped him out on a number of

his student projects. Since then, Tarsem has involved Cook at every

possible opportunity.



Although Cook believes his concoction of rhythmic sound effects works

mainly on a subliminal level, his atmospheric use of sound adds a new

dimension to images.



‘I think of it as painting with sound,’ the dreadlocked Cook says. ‘It’s

very textured, very layered. I’ll load up all my samplers with sounds,

anything I can lay my hands on from sound libraries, field recordings,

snatches of music. That’s my palette.’



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).