music for commercials

Music for Commercials Vol. II


     It’s easy for a commercial to get annoying. Every time one of those singing Charter  jingles comes on I groan and mute the tv. Yes, they got me to memorize Charter’s phone number – but the only reason I’d call them is to tell them how much I hate their commercial.
      Thankfully, Apple’s new spot – “The Human Family Tree” is far from annoying. I could (and have) watched it over and over. Perhaps it’s the beautiful delivery of the poem and how relevant it’s message of unity is in today’s divisive political climate. Or perhaps it’s the candid photos and videos shot on iPhones that seem to capture people around the globe just being themselves. Or perhaps it’s the beautiful underscore that’s minimal enough to let the other parts sing, but gives an undeniable, unshakable feeling of hope to the piece. Yes, I know Apple is pulling on my heart strings in order to sell me stuff. But hey, this filmmaker did a damn fine job solidifying Apple as a brand I connect with.
     This commercial is in Music Box’s wheelhouse – it’s genuine, meaningful and artistic. The music is cut from the same cloth that we create. The ambient textures lend an ethereal quality to the piece; it’s high pitch, hanging over the commercial like a halo saying “this ideal – that we can live together in harmony is possible”. The piano is a simple chord progression that keeps coming back to the root chord; right back home, wherever that may be in each image.

Here are two compositions from the Music Box Licensing catalogue that come to mind when watching Apple’s commercial – “The Human Family Tree”:
     “As I awoke” – Has the same interplay of high and low notes – creating a sense of inspiration and hope while still rooted firmly in place. Layers of cello and violin are the heart of this piece. You can hear the authenticity in their sound – these aren’t synthesized strings; it’s the real deal – live musicians playing real string instruments. A beautiful track that I could listen to on repeat and still find something new in it each time.
     “Brand new day” – as the title suggests, is a piece that has all the hope and inspiration Apple’s commercial conveys. There’s a crackle throughout the piece that makes it sound vintage, time-tested – as if you’re listening to this on a record player and not your computer speakers. The organ hums and oscillates in the bottom of the mix while the strings and high piano notes weave in and out of the mix. This track, like the others conveys a strong feeling of hope without hitting you over the head with it. Another one I could listen to over and over and always find something different in it.