The working relationship between Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis goes back many years. Both were involved in many of the projects released on the Present label and both lectured in Media Arts at RMIT University in Melbourne. Ph2 is their collaborative venture.
Ph2 projects arise from the opportunity to present or perform, at which point a project is developed. Surround-sound exploration is central to most of these works, combined with ways in which the two can conceptualize, score and improvize. Most works start off as pure experiments to see what outcomes will arise. Successive performances then gel the work into a form, which is then at some stage recorded in multi-speaker configuration. Some of these works eventually found their release through Sound Punch Records.
Chronicles Of The New Human Organism is written directed by Ian Haig (also a recording artist on earlier Present Records releases and a lecturer in Media Arts at RMIT University). Ph2 provided the score for the video.
Script, direction, camera, editing & post-production - Ian Haig
Keyboards & production - Philip Brophy
Audio field recordings & processing - Philip Samartzis
Premiere screening - Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
Production and mix - Gelatin
Video and installation artist Ian Haig commissioned Ph2 to provide the score for Chronicles Of The New Human Organism: a pseudo-scientific facto-fictional conspiracy documentary on next-gen evolution. A terse yet calm Germanic female voice narrates the documentary, while a barrage of global images shot and sourced by Ian unfold in a series of delusional waves. Like a reversioning of 70s films like The Chariots Of The Gods and The Hellstrom Chronicles, this video creates sensations of fear and fraud. Referencing that era of apocalyptic pseudo-science, the score sees Philip Samartizis generating passages of neo-organic eco-textures and retro-electroacoustic warbling, while Philip Brophy works with a faux-groovy jazz-rock ensemble not far from Deodato.
Ian Haig provided Ph2 with a selection of edited sections prior to the voice-over being placed, plus the script for the text to be later intoned. Discussions centred on the alarmist pseudo-science docos of the 70, which led to approach the project almost as if they were working for the CSIRO and making an educational film for high schools. Philip Brophy composed a suite of themes, each lasting about 6 minutes and spatialized in quadraphonic. Then Philip Samartzis sifted through his sound libraries for the project and matched sounds and textures to the theme tracks. Tweaking was then done to make space for the sounds so they would mesh with the music, as per the general approach to Ph2's work.
A live quadraphonic recording was then made of each section as Philip Samartzis mixed and faded his sounds with the music themes. These mixes were then conformed as 2 stereo layers (one of the sounds, the other of the music), and passed on to Ian Haig to place where he saw fit. The final insertion of the tracks was then mastered by Philip Samartzis for the completed video.