I am comfortably seated in the splendid Atrium Bar of the Four Seasons in Florence
Up until now, for about two years, the music selection in the “living room” of the Four Seasons was comprised of classic jazz tracks, sung and played covers of famous songs. While I write now, a pleasant musical background flows through the air.
It is not easy to radically change an environment’s mood. It requires a good dose of courage in addition to time, research, and inventiveness. All of these forces depend on the outcome of the final trial. This particular day is just that, a trial run to see if we have succeeded in revitalizing an environment without changing its spirit and identity.
Sound design comes from an alchemy of sounds that helps to render an experience unique
The alchemy of sounds diffused in a space characterizes the atmosphere it creates, pulling from the air a cold, sterile silence…or begging for sonority outside of the space, sometimes embarrassingly so.
The hotel needs maximum attention during phases of research and music selection
Diversity in environments implies a diversification of sound. From the moment guests enter the lobby to the moment they choose to pamper themselves in the spa. Or during a romantic dinner. A conscientious choice of what music to play adds value to every singular area of the hotel, creates consistency, and reinforces the brand identity. It helps to orient guests, improve their stays, accompany them through various environments, and promote emotional memories.
In the lobby, we immediately engage with three of our senses: sight, smell, and sound
If we want to activate a process of recognition and memorization and allow guests to relive a memory- an emotional souvenir– every time they hear that song again, we must concentrate on the stimuli in the lobby to encourage active listening.
Brand Experience is the magic alchemy that distributes among the five senses, each time in a different way depending on the space and the time
Conversely, if we want to intensify the chef’s delicious culinary combinations, we must reflect in a completely different way and orient ourselves to a music lacking mnemonic references in the restaurant area.
When the flavor reigns, one must not be distracted by sound.
If this happens, the music becomes less of a background like the lights and colors, and may compromise the entire quality of the service.
Value = Identity = Consistency
The difference between the musical genres in the hotel, divided among the various environments, moments, and services, must be evident but must still stay within the confines of consistency. Otherwise, there is the risk of compromising the guests’ stays and the perceived quality of the entire service.
Important brands like Four Seasons, Starwood, Vibe and, above all, W, are investing in sound design and ambient music as it is believed to be a new asset for hotels, a fundamental requisite that we can no longer disregard.
The ideation of themed evenings, brand compilation, playlists that follow clients even when they leave the hotel, and the diffusion of music within each structure is entrusted to hybrid professional figures who show heterogeneous qualities. Professionals who use sounds mindfully, inside and outside the environment and always on brand. With a criterium that unites inspiration, flavor, inventiveness, and also and above all mindfulness, competency, and experience.
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