Sparking brands, one note at a time
Michael Gaylord has enjoyed an eclectic career in multimedia and television, serving as site director for Nick at Night and TV Land, and later as vice president/digital for MTV Networks — where he won an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Enhanced Television.
Michael met Wordsmithie Founder and CEO Laura Bergheim in 2011. Recognizing his creative talents and leadership qualities, combined with his great personality and sense of adventure, Laura hired him as chief creative officer. He has since provided branding, marketing, and content strategy, as well as thought leadership and editorial services for a range of Wordsmithie clients, including global brands such as Google, Cathay Pacific Airways, iHeartMedia, Plantronics, Eventbrite, L’Oreal, PopChips, and many, many more.
Michael toggles between his San Francisco apartment and his home in Barcelona, which he shares with his husband. Before his career in media, Michael earned a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City. When he’s not sparking brands for Wordsmithie, Michael lends his musical arrangement and orchestration talents to performances and productions in the U.S. and Europe.
“When I’m not orchestrating words, I’m orchestrating notes,” Michael shares. “An arranging job might be, ‘Take these 10 songs from the ‘80s and rewrite/mash them together into a medley for our 100-member, volunteer men’s chorus to sing in keys that are appropriate for our ranges and skill level.’ An orchestration job might be, ‘Take this tune a songwriter just wrote at his piano and make it playable by a 65-piece orchestra,’ meaning writing every note the orchestra plays from the piccolo down to the contrabass.”
With a finely tuned focus on detail and a flair for engaging audiences, Michael’s work as an orchestrator complements what he does for Wordsmithie. “My work with Wordsmithie utilizes much the same area of my brain,” he explains. “Instead of notes and musical phrases, I orchestrate words and ideas into emotions that (hopefully) move audiences. Shading, balance, tonality, range, and counterpoint all play a role.”
He sums up his dual careers as only Michael can: “Richer, fuller lives make us better Wordsmithies,” he notes. “I like to think of it as a prism in reverse: all of the beautiful colors are forged together to make a pure and focused beam of energy. When we plug into an assignment, that’s what the client gets.”