October 20, 2004


NEW YORK - Sacred Noise (www.sacrednoise.com) composer/creative director Michael Montes recently completed work on a five spot campaign for AT&T promoting its new CallVantage program. Conceived by Young & Rubicam, New York, the campaign was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris of production company @radical.media in Los Angeles.

The spots highlight AT&T's new digital voice service that combines the power of both the user's phone and high-speed Internet connection. For Montes, the project provided the perfect opportunity to further explore the minimalist musical approach that he's been experimenting with for the past several years, most recently in his score of the indie feature "America Brown."

"I consider this style 'modern film music,'" explains Montes. "Commercial music has been inundated with needledrop pop music and cliched over-the-top sound design and drum loops. Whenever there's a classical music approach, it's always this retro Aaron Copeland type of thing. We don't hear a lot of modern sounding music applied to TV scoring. What I'm trying to do is use traditional instruments in a very new context. These spots, particularly 'Anthem,' really gave me a chance to explore that."

Musically, "Anthem" (:60) begins a simple melody played on harp that quickly transitions into a more complex arrangement all the while maintaining simple and memorable basic harmonic structure.

Other spots in the campaign, include "Conferencing" (:30), featuring a bluegrass-inspired style; "Locate" (:30), which incorporates a big-band jazz vibe; and "Do Not Disturb" (:30), which uses a features Celtic-imbued orchestration.

MOTU's Digital Performer was the main tool used for recording tracks, which do incorporate performances by live musicians.

JJ Lask at PS260 in New York cut the package. Graphics were created by the team at Brand New School, also in New York.