Sunday, November 19, 2017
  • Tuesday, Sep. 12, 2017
Music Notes
Travis+Maude plus tonefarmer equals New Math
Kala Sherman (center) is flanked by David Wittman (l) and Raymond Loewy
  • NEW YORK
  • --

Music and sound studios tonefarmer and Travis+Maude have aligned their talent and resources to merge and rebrand as full service operation New Math.

With studios in New York and Los Angeles, New Math is launched and led by music and production mainstays Kala Sherman, who serves as managing partner/executive producer, and partners/composers David Wittman and Raymond Loewy. According to tonefarmer co-founder Loewy, who now has the ability to leverage Travis+Maude’s Venice, Calif. base, New Math’s mission to expand its creative output and reshape what a music company is capable of is reflected in the name itself. “New Math is essentially a colloquialism for new thinking,” he explained. “Music is aural mathematics, and as composers we’re finding new ways of doing old things.”

Among the notable composers/sound designers joining Loewy and Wittman on the New Math roster are an established mix of fellow tonefarmer and Travis+Maude alums including Jared Hunter, Jimmy Harned, Dan Sammartano, Sam Skarstad, Casey Smith, Joe Spallina and producer B Munoz. While New Math will offer services including original music composition, sound design and licensing with a primary focus on the advertising space, the newly formed company is already eyeing expanding its audio offerings into post while creating sonic landscapes beyond just commercials--something Wittman and company have already explored in recent years.

After creating a stir with the viral rap hit “Whole Foods Parking Lot,” Wittman has since gone on to not only compose music for ads and feature films (The Clapper, Boulevard), but has, alongside Travis+Maude cohort Sherman, produced and directed direct-to-client projects including the “OAK v LGW” rap battle music video for British Airways.

The composer/director/MC said of the New Math moniker, “There’s a sense of irony in the name, and we’re cognizant of it. At the same time, the real math, the creativity beneath it, is we always try to do something very visceral and personal. It’s something we all know pretty well. While the name itself may be cool-sounding and makes people think, ‘what’s this new math?’, we’re here, beyond the novelty, for everybody and we want people to appreciate how we’re different.”

Along with his fellow partner Wittman, Loewy will also assume creative leadership, which carries a somewhat different meaning at New Math. “Creative directing is going to mean writing and stewarding client relationships from top to bottom,” said Loewy, who founded tonefarmer in 2001 and subsequently ran the studio for well over a decade with Tiffany Senft, who has since moved onto other ventures, and composed music for campaigns from an array of brands including Nike, ESPN and Land Rover along the way. “From my point of view, though, I’m not a creative director in the traditional sense. I have ears to listen, but our composers are really self-sufficient. At our place, you know who is working on it, and it’s being curated in-house by seven or eight people who you know well. The pieces of music you’re going to get, you’re not going to get anywhere else.”

New Math, which has upcoming projects for brands including ESPN, Dr Pepper, Yoplait and MLB, is represented for spot work by Miss Smith for the East Coast and Siobhan McCafferty on the West Coast. New Math’s partners will handle sales internally for other territories including the Midwest. Regarding the union between tonefarmer and Travis+Maude that has formed New Math, managing partner Sherman added, “By working together, we are much stronger than apart. In this competitive market it just makes sense. Ray’s aesthetic and approach to the business both on the client services side and taste in talent is in line with how T+M have operated. We couldn’t think of a better fit for us and are super excited to grow together.”