“There are just two kinds of music” the legendary Quincy Jones once opined, “bad and good”. And who are we to argue with a man who has amassed more Grammys than any other living artist, produced everyone from Frank Sinatra to Miles Davis and Michael Jackson to Aretha Franklin and whose arrangement was the first music played on the moon by Buzz Aldrin after NASA’s first lunar landing.
From Quincy Jones to David Bowie, James Brown to John Coltrane, and J.S. Bach and Missy Elliott it is these genre bending creative visionaries whose spirits underpin The Sound of LuxDeco—an eclectic selection of curated playlists for luxury listening. Each playlist is tagged with multiple tags from genre (jazz, classical, downtempo, etc.) to room (lounge, bedroom, gym, etc.) to activity (work out, dinner party, home working, etc.) in order to enable easy orientation for enjoyment in any interior space or scenario.
The seminal interior designer Ilse Crawford and LuxDeco 100 honoree observed that “the interior is the life of the building”. And what is life without sound? Our homes buzz with conversation, laughter, the whirring of domestic appliances and sometimes of course just domestics. But anyone who has ever entered a church to the sound of a choir, or a basement jazz club to the cacophony of improvisation, or a reggae sound system to the visceral force of bass will instinctively understand the disproportionate effect that music has on our senses and our emotions and therefore our experience of any interior space.
At LuxDeco we believe that interior design is a sensory pursuit in which the aim is to create a space which is immersive and holistic. As interior designers we are trained to focus on what people see, what they touch and even what they smell. But what they hear, and indeed how they hear it, within those interior designed spaces is often an afterthought. And we believe that it should not be.
Smart home technology has enabled us to make the source of music in the home all but invisible and the quality of its dissemination better than ever. But an output, as any studio engineer will tell you, is only as good as it’s input. And it is input, as well as the relationship between sound and space, which The Sound of LuxDeco is ultimately concerned with.
It is interesting to consider the striking number of commonalities when one considers the relative lexicons of interior design and music. Both speak of balance, harmony and tone, of rhythm and of pattern. It is a mutual understanding which has underpinned some extraordinary creative collaborations over the decades. Recent examples such as Drake and Kanye West’s homes, designed by LuxDeco 100 honourees the Canadian maximalist Ferris Rafauli and illustrious Belgian minimalist Axel Vervoordt respectively, are the latest in a series of high-profile homes that both interior design aficionados and the general public continue to dissect and debate.
It’s fair to say that both occupy opposite extremes of the design spectrum in which one is firmly 'less is more' and the other 'more is never enough'. But, regardless of whether either of these very different homes are to your taste, their innate creativity is hard to deride. And music—whether through home automation, considered acoustic design or the dominant presence of musical instruments, such as the extraordinary bespoke Bösendorfer concert grand piano designed by Ferris Rafauli and Takashi Murakami which anchors Drake’s great room—is unapologetically central to both. Soon The Sound of LuxDeco will be exploring the connection between interior design and music still further with the addition of ‘Designer Playlists’—exclusive playlists selected by some of the world’s leading interior designers for you to enjoy.
A good friend of mine often opines that “Music is the closest thing we have to magic” and to not have magic in our homes when it is so readily available seems something of a design oversight. So whether you’re a jazz cat, a hip hop head, a classical buff, a disco diva, a house fiend or, like me, all of the above, hopefully you’ll find something here to soundtrack and complement your experience of the spaces you love. Long live magic.