Customers are encouraged to play around with the window as a music box to their heart’s content.
London, England (PRWEB UK) 2 December 2011
Selfridges is making history as part of its White Christmas campaign by launching a revolutionary window display for its 2011 Christmas season that sees the run of its Oxford Street windows play re-engineered carols without the need for loudspeakers or sound-preserving booths. Each window is effectively turned into an enchanting and oversized music box. The global innovation, which is taking Selfridges a big step further into the future of window displays, is the brainchild of London-based creative outfit Condiment Junkie.
Selfridges Christmas Window Display
From a Selfridges brief, using the purity of white and the everlasting appeal of Christmas carols as creative guidelines to fit the objective of reinventing the tradition of magic of the music box, Condiment Junkie, a sonic branding and experiential sound design company, have created a totally bespoke, standard-breaking system.
There are two essential technological breakthroughs applied to Selfridges Christmas window display for the first time in a retail project of this kind. First, the new system plays music through, not from, the windows – using the glass pane itself as a loudspeaker. Additionally, the system is devised in such a way that although each window plays a different tune, customers are able to listen to the track without interference from the music being played through the next window. Moreover, and as befits a music box, each window is equipped with a state-of-the-art touch-screen wind-up system to control the track.
Customers are encouraged to play around with the window as a music box to their heart’s content. The tunes, all engineered by Condiment Junkie, are a mix of well-known Christmas carols and special creations designed to reflect Selfridges ‘crystal clear Christmas’ scheme – part eerie, part frosty and part magical.
Russ Jones and Scott King explain further the ideas behind the new system.
“We first looked at how sound and language have crossovers – words like ‘shimmering’, ‘bright’, ‘crystal’ – are all used as sonic as well as visual descriptions.
We looked into what objects create these bright, crystal sounds – a chandelier in the wind, whispers, the sharp percussive ring of bells. When then of course studied the mechanics and sounds of music boxes.
Their sound is comforting, warm and calming. It is also crystal clear, clean and crisp.
Music boxes are associated with memories and fantasies – often built in to jewellery boxes or carousels with pictures of loved ones. They are often accompanied by a twirling ballerina, or magical snow globes.
This idea of the cyclic carousel also interested us – used as a metaphor for life, special annual occasions like Christmas to mark another turn of the wheel.
Christmas carols are also often based on cyclic melodies – the word ‘carol’ comes from the old French word Carole or Carola, a type of circular dance from the 12th and 13th centuries.
We began deconstructing and re-imagining Christmas carols. Using the medieval chord patterns on which traditional carols and wassailing songs are based, we created pieces that are simultaneously familiar and that ring true with the traditional sounds of Christmas, but also feel new and contemporary.
Each musical piece is constructed out of 3 or 4 cyclic musical themes that repeat and overlap to form a complete piece, again re-enforcing the carousel like, cyclic theme.
We are delivering the sound by turning the glass itself into ‘speakers’. When the sound is played through the glass it gives us a beautifully clear and frosty tone.
To make the experience more interactive, we wanted passers-by to be able to wind-up the music boxes from the street. We designed a bespoke ‘through-the-window’ triggering system similar to that used in touch-screen devices like smartphones. We built the entire interactive system in-house using a combination of old-school electronics and computer programming.
On a selection of the windows, passers-by will be able to wind-up the music boxes and set them off to play once round the carousel. On the main window they will be able to control each of the cyclic musical elements individually, giving people the opportunity to create different versions of the piece each time, depending on the order in which they’re triggered.”
Christmas at Selfridges
The launch of Condiment Junkie’s revolutionary window display is part of an exciting Christmas season at Selfridges. As well as visiting their flagship store on Oxford Street, shoppers can visit Selfridges Online and their new online Christmas shop including luxury gift ideas including gifts for him and gifts for her.
Amongst the revolutionary Christmas plans, there is Selfridges’ range of traditional Christmas hampers. Packed full of delicious gourmet treats including Christmas puddings, preserves and drinks, their food and champagne hampers sure to be centre of your dinner table come Christmas Day.
About Condiment Junkie
Condiment Junkie specialise in experiential sound design and interactive audio. They have designed user-interface audio for bestselling apps, created sonic id’s and audio for automotive, retail and FMCG brands, and opened new avenues for the use of experiential sound to effect environments, enhance interactive installations, and improve consumer-brand engagement.
The London-based outfit was founded by Russ Jones and Scott King in 2009, after they discovered a mutual interest in the potential of sound whilst working together on various media projects. They share a desire to explore the applications of sound in branding and experiential marketing.