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Green United Music: A Heavyweight Parisian Music House Opens in Shanghai


Surrounded by a mosaic of screens, speakers and designer sound dampening panels in his new Shanghai office, Thomas Faucheur smiles at the question of how sound production works here. “The process here? There is no process. The idea is to have a process.”

Thomas has just opened Green United Music’s (GUM) first office outside France and much of what they do here is still being defined. In Paris, though, GUM is a storied music house dating back to 2007, when Frederic Monvoisin and Fabrice Dumont launched the company, originally as a music label. To date, their most famous signing is Woodkid, the French Arcade Fire (if you don’t consider Arcade Fire the French Arcade Fire).

In addition to producing music for popular consumption, GUM has produced music used in ads for brands including Peugeot, Dior and Diesel. They work with over 400 composers, offering a catalogue of 4,000 editable tracks across genres, managing brands’ sound identity, and researching, sourcing and mixing music for films.

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 Thomas Faucheur and engineer and producer Ronald Qiu

In Shanghai, Thomas opened GUM’s studio near Fuxing Park, down the hall from Digital District, in late August. He has been working for clients in China since April, recruiting engineer and producer Ronald Qiu to assist, and collaborating closely with the Paris office. A team of four core composers in Paris are tasked with working on China projects.

“Clients like the Parisian sound,” Thomas says, “and being six hours ahead is perfect for us.” The time difference allows him to send instructions to composers just as they finish their morning croissants, giving them a full work day to create. “The next step is to find composers here,” he says.




There are certainly challenges in the local environment. “Budgets are quite different from Europe,” he says diplomatically, with most contracts in the 40-50,000RMB range. He also finds he needs to be available at all hours, on WeChat, ready to respond. “I’ll receive a call at midnight, 1am, saying ‘hey, I have a brief. I need something for tomorrow, or the day before yesterday.’”

Because of the tight turnarounds, and the expectation of constant availability, he is grateful for GUM’s autonomy and the resources at their disposal. “We don’t have to go too far outside, so we can be extremely reactive.”

Thomas has been working in sound production for 15 years, previously for his own company, Melangeur, and the experience has proved informative. “The system here is like 15 years ago in France,” he says. Here, he’s more in touch with the film producers and directors, rather than creative teams. which implies many rounds in adapting the music track.

He’s prepared to adapt to the local way of doing things — “you have to melt into the landscape,” he says — but not to such an extent that he loses his own vision. “It’s our job to say ‘I understand where you’re coming from but let me dig in, I think we can find something else.’”.

GUM Shanghai’s recent projects are including brands like Mercedes, Lexus, Vivo, Lancôme, Nike, Schweppes, Coca Cola, Dodge, Tiger Beer, Milkana and a job of providing the music for three 3D films that will screen at a museum devoted to the horse. “You wouldn’t find a project like that in France,” Thomas laughs.


Green United Music’s (GUM)刚成立的上海工作室,四周围绕着崭新的电脑、音箱和镶嵌入墙的隔音版。 在这里,我们见到了Thomas Faucheur。当我们问他“GUM的音效制作流程”时,Thomas意味深长地微笑道:”流程?没有流程。我们倒是希望创建一个正规化的‘过程’。”

Thomas刚开设了GUM在法国以外的第一个工作室,虽然在法国本土的定位和发展已经很成熟,但来到中国后,一切的业务却有待重新规划。GUM是2007年由Frederic Monvoisin 和Fabrice Dumont在巴黎成立,原本是一家音乐室和音乐厂牌,到目前为止,旗下最有名的签约歌手是Woodkid,人称为法国版的Arcade Fire(来自加国法语区的Arcade Fire 怎么也只能算是法语版Arcade Fire吧)。


上海的新工作室位于复兴公园附近,与另一家著名的法国后期公司Digital District的上海工作室共处同一层楼。虽然工作室在八月下旬正式营运,但Thomas已经早在今年四月就来到中国进行组建的工作,他新自招募了新员工 – 录音师和制作人邱大然。巴黎的总部也全力配合,分配了四名主力作曲家全力协助中国的项目。



“客户喜欢来自巴黎之音,”Thomas笑说,“而6小时的时差对我们的工作非常有利。”他解释到,当法国的作曲家早上起来喝着咖啡、吃着牛角包的时候,他们正在阅志我们发过去的项目简报,他们可以开始计划一天的工作。“下一任务就是在本地找作曲家。”Thomas说。 在谈及在中国的遇到的挑战时,Thomas相对保守地说:“预算。这里的项目预算与欧洲的有一定的差别。”Thomas现时的许多单子都是在人民币40-50,000的范围。而且他发现他的客户会不分昼夜、随时随地联系他,譬如他随时会在WeChat 收到信息:“我在午夜、凌晨1点收到这样的信息,’嘿,我有一个简报‘、’我明天需要这东西’或者‘我前天就需要这东西了’。”

客户期待我们的反应及时而且全天候待命,所以他特别感激GUM总部给上海工作室的自主性和充足的资源配置。 “这样我们可以随时开展工作,而且与客户保持高度的互动。”
Thomas在音效制作一行已经干了15年,在加入GUM之前经营着自己的公司Melangeur,经验丰富的他对中国行业的现状感到似曾相识:“这里的系统就像15年前的法国,” 在这里他更多地是与制片人和导演联系,并没有直接与广告公司的创作团队沟通,Thomas认为这样很容易产生误会,时间可以有浪费在多轮的修改当中。 但是他已经做好入乡随俗的准备:“每个人都必须适应当地的游戏规则”他说,“但当然不可以毫无底线地失去自己的想法。我们的工作就是对客户说‘我们完全明白你要什么,我们甚至还可以把你的点子挖得更深。”

GUM上海近期的项目包括了奔驰,雷克萨斯,Vivo,兰蔻,耐克,Schweppes,可口可乐,Dodge,虎牌啤酒和Milkana等客户,还甚至包括了一个博物馆的项目 – 为三部有着“马”的3D电影配音乐:“在法国可找不到像这样的项目”。 托马斯得意地说。

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