The Soundery: Graduates making big sounds for big brands

02 February 2022

Digital image of a keyboard cube wearing a cap and sunglasses
The Soundery

Graduates Luke Brown and Liam Iliffe set up their audio composition agency The Soundery in 2017. Today, they count the likes of Huawei and Häagen-Dazs as clients and credit Falmouth for encouraging them to think big.  

A close friendship at Falmouth between Creative Music Technology graduates Luke Brown and Liam Iliffe has blossomed into a successful business partnership, with the two audio whizzes taking a leap of faith to pursue their passion and establish an audio composition agency.

Having gained industry experience working for studios in London after graduating from Falmouth University, the friends decided to formally join forces under the banner of The Soundery in 2017. Their music and sound design studio makes fresh, unique audio for visual content. 

Since establishing the business, Luke and Liam haven’t looked back. The pair have already amassed an impressive client list, having completed projects for the likes of Deloitte, Huawei and Häagen-Dazs.

We caught up with Luke, who told us about the value of creative exploration, how his business was formed and why music plays an essential role in storytelling.

What’s The Soundery’s origin story?

Liam and I studied together at Falmouth and were good friends throughout. I started working on small projects with animators I’d met online, who then went on to work on larger advertising projects. 

After university, we both chased internships and experience at studios in London. I was working at Island Records as a digital marketing intern and Liam was working at Soundtree Music. I continued to work on sound design and composition projects in the evenings and weekends, and eventually decided to pursue these projects full time under ‘The Soundery’. 

Liam and I lived together in London for a short while. As the projects grew, we started working late nights together, just to meet the insanely tight deadlines in advertising. Of course, this collaboration soon blossomed into an inseparable work partnership and eventually into the business we live for today.  

How did the skills that you learnt on your course help you succeed after graduation?

Creative Music Technology was really a course that allowed true creative exploration. While we still use a lot of the technical audio skills that we learnt, the true value of this course is learning how to work from initiative, think big and communicate ideas effectively. We had excellent support from our lecturers, and we were always encouraged to incorporate ideas and techniques from domains outside of audio.

Can you tell us about a Soundery project that you’re particularly proud of?

We worked on a big collaborative project to celebrate the Eurovision song contest with visual artists from around the world. This one stood out for us as the brief was insanely tricky (we had to combine many different styles of music into one piece) and we had hardly any time to complete it! I feel like we work very well under pressure, and it often pushes us to create really good work. 

How does music help tell a story?

Music is like an emotional lens through which you interpret the visuals and narrative. It’s an opportunity to amplify certain emotions or concepts that may not cut through in the filming, or animation. In our case, we often use music to bring focus to certain characteristics of a brand and help appeal to specific audiences.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt in your career so far?

Communication skills have been by far the most valuable skill for our careers. When you're working with ideas it's absolutely essential to be able to help others around you understand them. Sometimes this comes in the form of a project proposal or brief and sometimes it comes through the work itself. The other aspect to consider is listening to the feedback and comments of your client or collaborators to fully understand what it is that they are trying to communicate through the work.

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