With the release of our St Petersburg Vacation Travel Guide, we’ve been getting a lot of questions on just how we produce the music for our videos. So, we interviewed Jacquie, our in-house composer and asked her to explain her background and exactly how she produces the music that makes our travel guides sing.

Jacquie has been with the company for almost eight years. She started her musical career as a singer, playing in pubs and clubs and weddings before joining the TM team.

One of the first videos she worked on was the Los Angeles Vacation Travel Guide.

“LA is such a great music city that Nick and I really decided to make the music behind the video a big deal. We went with a G-funk theme and we got such great feedback we realised that we were really onto something,” she said.

“I invested in some high-end audio software and have been perfecting the technique ever since.”

The San Francisco Vacation Travel Guide was another early success story. The team came up with the idea of using acid rock for the powerful sections of the script. The music becomes airy and light around the magnificent shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and then builds back into rock again for the big finish.”

Those early scripts set the standard for what was to come, such as Hong Kong, Hawaii’s Big Island, Tokyo and New Orleans.

Creating the music is a multi-step project and Jac works closely with Tourism Media’s writers and digital experts right from the start.

“When I first start working on a script,” she says “I read it carefully and have a chat with the writer. We identify the major themes and the sounds that work with those themes. In St Petersburg, for example, we identified that there was a “grand” theme flowing throughout and so we decided on an orchestral arrangement focussing on horns.

I sourced a series of samples and was delighted to discover that someone had sampled a male choir, complete with high, low and mid notes. That really made the soundtrack resonate.”

From that point, Jacquie comes up with a main chord progression and gives our digital experts a series of timing loops: half loops, quarter loops and loops that are quiet and some that are high energy.

After that, the team work together to refine it, starting with a rough cut and fine tuning it until it all fits together perfectly.

Jacquie loves to see the final result and thinks it works so well because she treats each video as a unique creation, in the same way that the script writers do. “It allows us to really capture the spirit of a place, she says.”

If you haven’t already, check out the results for yourself in our St Petersburg video below.

And with the latest upgrade to Viewfinder, Expedia’s original music is also available to compliment your journey to different destinations. Just click on a destination and hit the music button.