Suns Theme Sets Championship Tone
By Stefan Swiat, Suns.com
Posted: Nov. 2, 2007
Posted: Nov. 2, 2007
As the Suns made their home debut Friday, new additions Grant Hill, Brian Skinner, Alando Tucker, and D.J. Strawberry were officially unveiled to the public.
One addition that might not have been as noticeable was the modernization of the Suns’ theme song. Originally conceived in 1991 by composer Daniel Lessner, the Suns’ theme has gone 16 years without being modified in any way.
“I never dreamed that the music would run for as it long as it did, so after about 10 years I called and introduced myself to (Director of Broadcasting) Dan Siekmann,” Lessner said. “Every year over the last seven years he would look into it and come back to me and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ So, this is finally the 'maybe next year.'”
With all of the new upgrades and initiatives within the company, the front office felt it was time to extend those upgrades to the Suns’ anthem.
“Every spring we touched base because we were interested in updating our theme, but it kept getting cut out of the budget,” Siekmann said. “With the culmination of all the changes such as going HD, launching the Planet Orange campaign and the fact that we were overdue for a new song, (President and Chief Operating Officer) Rick Welts gave me the go-ahead to get it done.”
Siekmann considered giving other composers a shot at the new theme and even listened to some of their samples, but opted to give Lessner first dibs. After working in the studio for a while, Lessner came back to Siekmann with something he could sell to Welts.
“He was really easy to work with, willing to revisit things and make adjustments,” Siekmann said. “Compared to the other composers, his music sounds very rich and expensive. With the violins and French horns, he has a network of sounds and recordings that other guys can’t seem to get.”
The new song, known as “Suns Theme 2007,” will be the main theme played on My 45 TV broadcasts. It will be heard during introductions as well as when the broadcasts break for commercials and halftime. The theme will also play in conjunction with the new video introduction that airs on the SunsVision scoreboard that sits atop the arena.
Lessner, who is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, has composed musical pieces in and out of sports. He co-runs SkandaMusic, a production company with his partner William Richter. Some of his credits include ABC Sports, Monday Night Football, the Knicks’ former theme song, HBO, feature films and Mercedes Benz commercials. He has collaborated with award-winning director Tony Scott and has won Cleo Awards for his work in commercials.
His 1991 version of the theme song was inspired the day after traveling from L.A. to Phoenix to spend the afternoon out on the golf course with Chairman Jerry Colangelo.
“It came to me in my sleep the next day,” Lessner recalled. “The song was conceived in the spirit of Phoenix.”
The newest version has been re-tooled to convey the fun, excitement and power that the fast-breaking Suns embody.
“I wanted a real heightened sound that expressed the excitement of striving for a championship,” the composer said. “You want to have a musical piece that you can remember and give the feeling, when you hear it, that we were going to win it all.”
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