The following is a short selection of my work. One example from each area of expertise.
Ice in Our Veins
I am especially happy to show this first because it is the first project under my new company: Hologram. I am grateful to the one and only directing legend Mark Zibert - who asked me to join this incredible effort to provide an original score and sound design. Presenting Ice in Our Veins - a film promoting the Canadian Olympic team, like no film has ever done.
Three Chords and The Truth.
The Swiss based UBS is the biggest wealth management bank in the world. They wanted to create a new sonic logo. Simple and shallow single note melodies that work for fast food and sugar water would not work for the affluent and discerning clientele of UBS. Instead of single note melodies that characterize almost all sonic logos in the world, we chose to express UBS in rich, thoughtful, layered chords. Three of them. Played and recorded on the biggest and best sounding piano in the world, hand built by Master Piano Builder - David Klavins.
Produced by: MassiveMusic. Creative Director: Mr/Tommy Zee.
“A rare breed of talent, passion and philosophical coolness...working with Tommy equates with two words: effortless genius’’
David Angelo Founder/Chief Creative Officer - David & Goliath - Los Angeles.
The Wait by Pieter Henket
Pieter Henket is a Dutch photographer living in New York City. He is best known for the shot of Lady Gaga that became the cover of her album Fame. Pieter was invited to do an exhibition for the opening of a beautiful Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle, Netherlands. The exhibition was called 'The Wait' and it featured a film of famous Dutch actors like Halina Reijn, Marwan Kenzari, and Arjan Ederveen. These stars were asked to sit in an interrogation room for 4 hours without any interaction with the outside world. This interrogation room was filmed and then displayed on multiple screens during the exhibition.
Pieter asked for music in the style of St. Matthew's Passion by Bach. Pleasantly surprised by the reference, I immediately called my friend and collaborator, the Polish composer Maciej Staniecki who in turn, summoned some extraordinary soprano talent from the Lodz Philharmonic. A short sample of the longer piece (the film was 4 hours!) can be seen above.
Mark Zibert - Film Director - Imperial Woodpecker - Los Angeles, New York.
Tomorrow Never Ends
I believe that a great song can stay with you forever. Forever? Yes. Long after your ears shrivel and your bones become dust, whatever you fed on during your lifetime will resonate in your soul for eternity. I don't know what Hell is...but it's probably bad music on repeat. Advertising music is often hell on repeat. So it was with great pleasure that I did my part in saving advertising from hell with this beautiful track, written especially for this commercial. A beautiful film directed by my long time collaborator, Japan's very own Hisashi Eto, this film is proof that even a tire commercial can feed your soul with something true, good and beautiful. I asked my friend and artist Sean Christopher to grace the film with his musical talent.
Produced by: Massive Music Creative Director: Mr/Tommy Zee
A simple yet stunning film for Fuji that goes inside the mind of the Samurai who contemplates his own future. This is an original composition.
Produced by: Massive Music Creative Director: Mr/Tommy Zee
Speaking in Public.
I won't lie. I love having the microphone in my hand and the audience in my palm. It's not because I like hearing myself talk. It's because I genuinely care for the human beings in front of me. I want to move them, help them to see their world with new eyes and to inspire them to join the world's choir by singing in their own voice. I am asked to speak frequently at creative industry agencies and festivals (Cannes Lions, ADCN, Ciclope) and I am no stranger to delivering talks to the biggest brands in the world: Vodafone, UBS, Philips and many others.
When I speak to creative audiences, my aim is to give them insights on how they can become the best in the world at trading delight for dollars. When I speak to corporate audiences , my aim is to enlighten CMO's and their teams on how music can be used to make the brand unforgettable.
And even if no one asks me to speak, I will say what I think the world needs to hear.
“...smart, interesting and good...’’
Steve Persico - Group Creative Director - Leo Burnett Advertising - Toronto.
Lunae by Howard Roar.
I believe that every craftsperson who is commissioned to create commercial 'art' should set aside a portion of their day to make their own Art. The world doesn't need more commercials, the world needs more Art. Talented artisans should express themselves without waiting for a client brief. Do it for the sake of your soul. Because I promise you, though you might make a zillion dollars, if you never make time to let your soul speak - you will ache. You will ache because your highest calling isn't to make a zillion dollars selling your time and energy to make a brand another billion.
Go ahead, earn your bread. We all have to eat. But when you're done with sending your invoices, send yourself into the studio and make something that you know you must. Meet Howard Roar. He is my alter ego, making music even though no one asked him to. This is a teaser for the launch of his/my album: “Seven Octaves to Saturn.’’ My friend, Michal Grzeszczekowski with concept, camera work and cutting. Filmed in my birth place: Lodz, Poland.
Once an MC, always an MC.
It started when I first arrived in Toronto from Poland in 1988. First day of school. The "900 Number" blaring from a large, silver ghetto blaster sitting under the backboard on the outdoor basketball court before the school day starts. I am instantly infected with an incurable love of hip hop. It is the only sound that combines instinct, intellect and emotion. Words and rhythm. My favorite things. I begin performing at high school talent shows. My career as a rapper culminates in a couple of number one hits on the Polish charts. I have no illusions of becoming Biggie, but I will rhyme anytime I am asked. Like in this commercial for chocolate milk.
Produced by: Cris Kos Massive Music Vocals: Mr/Tommy Zee
And since we're on the subject of my vocal chords, I occasionally get hired as a voice over. I am expensive and difficult to work with...if you're into that, listen to this:
Operation White Widow
Though I spend most of my time being a conductor, hand picking and guiding remarkable craftspeople to create delightful music for commercial projects - every once in a while I am asked to be the craftsman. A very talented Polish animator and director, Jacek Mazur, asked me to compose sound and music for his short film Operation White Widow. I thought the concept and execution were delightful and I was honored. Here is the result.