John Brown commission original music for Sappi Paragraph
John Brown commissioned a promising young composer to create an original piece of music for paper manufacturer Sappi.
The challenge was to create a cover for the company’s internal magazine Paragraph that exemplified Sappi Europe’s new financial structure – reflecting the collaboration and harmonious working that Sappi Finance has been striving towards since integrating its various departments. John Brown approached the world-renowned Purcell School for Young Musicians to create an original score.
After auditioning some of their brightest stars in composition, John Brown offered the commission to Lauren Marshall, who impressed the team with her music and experience.
The editorial and design team at John Brown then briefed Lauren to create a piece of music that would imitate, in rhythm and melody, the new Sappi Europe financial process – this process sees employees from all over the continent working together, combining their often disparate processes and improving integration.
“For this work, I really tried to focus on the human side of finance: the tangible aspect of the company where people can come together to achieve shared goals,” explained Lauren.
Each cover is looked at as a standalone piece of art, catching peoples’ attention and surprising them whether they are new or core readers. As such, the designer also required that the music be aesthetically pleasing in notation form. Lauren also supplied a ‘graphic notation’ of the score – a piece of artwork symbolising the story in the music – which was then used to bring the feature to life.
Sappi Europe’s CEO Berry Wiersum, a musician himself, so loved the piece that he wrote an analysis, illustrating how the music reflected Sappi’s financial processes.
“A resolution of differences occurs several times as disparate themes come together and clamour is reduced to peace – very much like the integration process Finance went through over the past two years,” said Berry.
You can listen to Lauren playing her piece of music on Sappi’s website.