November 12, 2007

SMU Student Writes Music
for Neiman Marcus Anniversary

When venerated Dallas institution and arbiter of style Neiman Marcus wanted someone to compose original music for the 100th anniversary celebration at their flagship downtown store, they turned not to some Hollywood songwriter but to a local talent source: the Meadows School of the Arts.

Timothy Roy
Listen to Roy's store music.
Listen to Roy's elevator music.

"I approached Meadows Dean Jose Bowen regarding a student scoring the music, as the spirit of the celebration was the next 100 years — forward looking," said Steve Kornajcik, Senior Vice President for Marketing and Creative Services at Neiman Marcus. "We believed commissioning new student talent would manifest that vision."

The exceptional opportunity was given to junior Timothy Roy, a President's Scholar at SMU majoring in music composition. He and his faculty adviser, music professor and associate dean Martin Sweidel, met with several NM executives, including their head store designer, to get a feel for what was wanted. Neiman's, they discovered, has never had any kind of musical signature or theme the company's focus has always been on the visual.

Roy wrote three different pieces one for the main floor and outside window area, one for the Wish Tree (incorporating nature sounds), and one for the elevators (more jazz-like, incorporating sounds of people talking).

"I was inspired by the company's beautiful and futuristic visual concept, which includes sparkling crystal prisms, glass chandeliers, countless mirrors and radiant lighting," said Roy. "These elements can all be heard in the ambient track composed for the store's main floor — glassy tones ebb and flow as musical flashes of light and color dart across the room, speaker to speaker. I wanted to make the music sparkly, reflective, uplifting — no heavy backbeats or the kind of loud pounding music you hear at designers' runway shows."

Neiman's loved Roy's work and played it at their Main Street store in October and early November.

"Our experience in working with the Meadows School of the Arts and Tim Roy surpassed all expectations, and his music proved a perfect complement to the exhibits and presentations in the downtown store," said Kornajcik.

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