Ads is a cut-up/montage of images sourced from mainstream mass product advertising on commercial television. The shots from the ads (most lasting only one or a few seconds) are thematically organized into 5 parts, each accompanied by a composed 'jingle'.
Music, performance & mix - Philip Brophy
Film score included on Soundtracks LP released on Present Records
Premiere - State Film Centre, Melbourne
In the process of sifting through all the taped material to generate the five thematic categories, it was decided that a 'meta-jingle' would best service these cut-ups. These ditties are simplistic and hyper-synthetic, each honing in on obvious sonic and melodic stylisitcs related to 'busy hands', 'speeding vehicles', 'beautiful landscapes', 'happy faces' and 'sexy people'. This strategy is in keeping with both → ↑ → and Philip's tack of embedding critique within the project at hand. In the case of Ads, it would be too obvious to smother the imagery with nauseating noise as if one was destroying the image. Instead, the intention is to make the ads themselves even more nauseating by making music that perfectly suits their wholesome fantasy scenarios.
An additional layer of perversity lies in making 'jingles' for an art purpose. Jingle-writing is often held to be the ultimate 'prostitution' of one's musical talents (yet those who make these claims likely make the most hackneyed and unadventurous 'art'). The music for Ads is an experiment in being as unartistic as possible.
The music for Ads is performed with a Linn drum machine, a Roland SH1 synthesizer and a Casio keyboard. The drum tracks were recorded first onto a 4-track reel-to-reel, then the remaining 3 tracks were added. All music was played manually with no sequencing. The final mix is in mono - in keeping with the televisual nature of TV ad music at the time.
The music was composed in entirety first, then all the visuals were then edited to the music.